|move along, nothing to see here
||[Jul. 8th, 2005|08:01 am]
I was a bit late in yesterday by coincidence. I might have been stuck on the Tube otherwise. When I got to Waterloo I heard over the loudspeaker that the entire Underground was closed due to a power failure. My first reaction was to laugh. "How pathetic!" I thought. Maybe the cause wasn't yet known, but if they'd announced what was really happening I would have turned around and gone home. Instead I got two buses to Angel, Islington. While I was on the 243 somewhere around Holborn a number 30 was exploding a few blocks away. I arrived at work in reasonable time really. It's amazing how you can sort of drift through a situation like yesterday without even realising what's going on.
For me the most upsetting thing about yesterday has not been the events which claimed the lives of several dozen, but rather the rabid and irresponsible journalism. Contrary to what was reported on Sky News and even the venerable BBC, there was no discernable mass panic and hysteria in the city. I walked from Angel to Waterloo in the mid afternoon and all I could see was Londoners going about their business. Maybe that's because we're so accustomed to massive disruptions to our planned journeys. I got home more quickly yesterday than I did the day Waterloo was shut last year due to flooding. The prevailing attitude on the street seemed to be one of "I wonder when they'll open the Tube again?" My parents in the States were relieved that I was okay after they'd been innundated with relentless views of "devastation and human suffering" on BBC America. I'm fortunate that I don't know anyone who was killed or injured and I sympathise with anyone who does. But this kind of sensational reporting plays right into the hands of the terrorists. Londoners would be better served by accurate reports of our reactions to the events. We did remarkably well. And the police and emergency services responded with a high degree of readiness. For that I think we ought to be proud and not a little reassured.