Helping to make stoicism the media’s most over-used word of the week, Londoners continue to show their defiance against terrorism:
I’ve been asked several times by members of the public whether I’m scared to drive my train now. I answer that we can’t allow ourselves to be beaten. — a District line tube driver
A letter to the terrorists, from London: …if this is a message to Tony Blair, we’ve got news for you. We don’t much like our government ourselves, or what they do in our name. But, listen very clearly. We’ll deal with that ourselves.
…nothing you do, however many of us you kill, will stop that flight to our city where freedom is strong and where people can live in harmony with one another. Whatever you do, however many you kill, you will fail. — London Mayor Ken Livingstone to the terrorists
Inevitably with all the attention, some in Australia are showing signs of London news burnout. The media coverage was nonstop over the weekend, and continues today, with many personal accounts now being told. It’s at a level which you simply don’t see for many comparable incidents in other countries.
This is understandable — a sizable number of Australians either have direct descendants from, and current relatives living in Britain (as I do), or have friends who are either currently in or have recently stayed in London. Our parliamentary system is from there, world time is based there, our head of state is from there, a substantial amount of our TV, literature and music is from there. Britain, and England and London in particular are very high in the cultural consciousness of most Australians.
But the next important question is this: various leaders across the western world are proclaiming they will not give in to terrorists and will preserve our freedoms and way of life… But will they now erode those very freedoms by making us carry ID cards, and giving the security forces sweeping powers of arrest?