Defiant normality

Over on Making Light, Abi uses the wonderful term “defiant normality” to describe the behaviour of Londoners following yesterday’s bombings. This fits in with a lot of the other responses I’ve been seeing in the news and on blogs. Tim Worstall wrote one of the best (Via The Guardian’s news blog):

Many thanks for the kind words and to those who have emailed offering condolences and prayers. I have a prediction to make, that tomorrow we’ll find out whether Britons are, still, in fact, Britons. Many years ago I was working in The City and there were two events that made travel into work almost impossible.

The first was a series of storms that brought down power lines, blocked train routes and so on. Not surprisingly, the place was empty the next day. Why bother to struggle through?

The other event was an IRA bomb which caused massive damage and loss of life. Trains were disrupted, travel to work the next day was horribly difficult and yet there were more people at work than on a normal day. There was no co-ordination to this, no instructions went out, but it appeared that people were crawling off their sick beds in order to be there at work the next day, thrusting their mewling and pewling infants into the arms of anyone at all so that they could be there.

Yes, we’ll take an excuse for a day off, throw a sickie. But you threaten us, try to kill us? Kill and injure some of us?

Fuck you, sunshine.

We’ll not be having that.

No grand demonstrations, few warlike chants, a desire for revenge, of course, but the reaction of the average man and woman in the street? Yes, you’ve tried it now bugger off. We’re not scared, no, you won’t change us. Even if we are scared, you can still bugger off.

Britain has thirty years of coping with terrorist bombings, and we will deal with these new attacks accordingly. The police and security services will hunt down the perpetrators and try to bring them to justice. Despite MI5 having the word “military” in its abbreviation, this is not a military issue. There are no countries to invade, because this is not a war. These terrorists are nothing more than criminal scum. Let’s not elevate them beyond that. They deserve no more status, and no less disgust.

5 Replies to “Defiant normality”

  1. Agree with you, except, in a small way, the point about the M in MI5.

    I think, with this, a critical threat to national security, it firmly lies with the purview of all intelligence and security services, both military and civilian (there’s more than just MI5, remember – the distinctions tend to get a tad blurred in close co-operation).

  2. Good stuff: “Business as Usual” today in the City. If my mum could live through London in the Blitz and be bombed out of her home, I can take the train to work: this is nothing to that.

  3. Mark,

    Although I agree with the use of whatever intelligence we can to catch these criminals, I worry about getting the military involved. The people who did this need to stand trial, and the military have not always been keen on handing people over to the civilian courts. The last thing we need is another Guantanamo, or another Gibraltar.

    Justice must be done, but it must also be seen to be done.

  4. Abi, I hear you. I didn’t mean like that. Under British law the justice must rest in the hands of the courts.

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