Thursday, July 07, 2005

Brits to terrorists: "Bugger off!"

Andrew Sullivan offers some remarkable British responses to this morning’s bombings in London. First this, from a British blogger named Tim Worstall:

“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.”

And this, from one of Andrew Sullivan’s emailers:

“I’m in London today...was on my way to Covent Garden from Paddington when they closed down the tube. I’m an ex-pat Brit (18 years in New York) who was in the Big Apple for the World Trade Center attacks.

“I’ve been alternating between home and down the pub since lunchtime, and in my local the BBC news coverage is on one channel, while the cricket is on another...England well on the way to beating the Aussies in a one-day match. Coming from America, where sports commentators felt compelled to litter their coverage of the most meaningless event with pious platitudes and references to the attacks, it’s quite remarkable...every now and again Sky Sports runs a very subtle trailer on the screen advising people that there has been an attack and they can watch the coverage of Sky News, but the commentators have made almost no reference to the bombings.

“No one has suggested that we stop playing cricket because of events in London. No one has said, ‘Of course this game fades into insignificance compared to events in the real world.’ Nor has anyone offered up the inane idea that if we stop playing cricket the terrorists will have won. The idea of stopping the game appears not to have occurred to anyone, which I think is wonderful and yet another example of the British stoicism of which you write. It makes me realize how much I’ve missed London.”

Quite a contrast to how Americans and their media “carry on” in response to crisis.


At 4:26 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yah, that is a big contrast. Too bad they don't have the same spirit when it comes to the at-home terrorism Blair et al. are pushing on them ...


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