Two years ago today four suicide bombers took the lives of 52 people in London. The second anniversary of this evil act was marked with a low key ceremony at the memorial garden by Kings Cross station. The ceremony was attended by Prime Minister Gordon Brown, Mayor Ken Livingstone and Olympics and London Minister Tessa Jowell.
I have no great love for Livingstone but his words on that day two years ago sum up my feelings : “This was not a terrorist attack against the mighty and the powerful. It was not aimed at Presidents or Prime Ministers. It was aimed at ordinary, working-class Londoners, black and white, Muslim and Christian, Hindu and Jew, young and old. It was an indiscriminate attempt to slaughter, irrespective of any considerations for age, for class, for religion, or whatever.... That isn’t an ideology, it isn’t even a perverted faith - it is just an indiscriminate attempt at mass murder and we know what the objective is. They seek to divide Londoners. They seek to turn Londoners against each other Londoners will not be divided by this cowardly attack.”
Today by contrast London will be alive: This afternoon there is the Live Earth Concert at Wembley Stadium, there is still British interest (albeit in the mixed doubles) on the last Saturday of Wimbledon and, perhaps of greatest interest to me, the prologue of the Tour de France through the heart of the city . Security will be particularly tight, especially after last week’s failed car bombings.
It is also an utter disgrace that about a quarter of victims has not yet been fully resolved after two years: For example, Thelma Stober who lost a leg in the Aldgate bomb has received £33,000 (the maximum value for the loss of a limb below the knee)- but is still trying to get compensation for the rest of her injuries. The Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority said the outstanding claims were the most serious ones, involving complicated calculations of loss of earnings and estimates for future care. If it takes that long then it would seem that a root and branch overhaul of the compensation system is urgently needed.
Finally for those who believe that the bombings represented some form of justice I hope you choke on your perverted ideologies. You are vermin. You know who you are.