|Quotes of the day
||[Jul. 7th, 2005|04:09 pm]
Okay, this seems to be the official LONDON BOMBING quote post...
Update: Wow, this got a huge response! Thanks to everyone who submitted more quotes and links - feel free to link to this post, by the way, you don't have to ask!
The quotes themselves somehow seem inadequate to show the spirit of the people who have contributed or left a comment on here. A site that goes some way towards doing this is this one:
Special mention to halcyon_shift who beat me to posting, and to my flist for providing the start of it. I don't have the owners for the quotes, so consider them unashamedly stolen and not credited! :)
I went through Liverpool Street station a few hours previous, because I went to work early. I live three streets away from the Bus bombing. One of my friends was on the street when the bus went up, and I didn't get home last night (because I work miles away and the transport links weren't back until, ooo, 18 whole hours later).
I could freak out, and many people I know would have more cause than me to do just that - but we're not doing it. Whenever the subject comes up at work, people get this little grin and their eyes go hard. They look resolute and compassionate, ready to stop and help, or make any effort. Not for one second is there any doubt that we love each other, the way of life, or the country (no matter how much we bitch about it).
Thank you to the wonderful people who make the UK and worldwide LJ great.
Coping with emergencies the British way: The nearest branch of Pret has sold out of chocolate cake.
Photo of the statue of Edith Cavell, British nurse who was killed in the first world war:
"Patriotism is not enough: I must have no hatred or bitterness for anyone".
These terrorists are rubbish.
They'll be caught next week, having successfully demonstrated that the British react to terrorism with indifference. We grew up with it, you see. What with this being a civilised country, they will not receive the death penalty, but be locked up for the rest of their lives, to be regularly abused by other inmates while they slowly realise that their interpretation of their religion is a pile of old hokum. Whoops. Meanwhile, I'll be out in London, partying.
On days like this, the music radio stations play sad music - if they play any music at all. I turned on the radio in the bathroom when I was taking my shower just now, and they were playing "One" by U2.
HAVEN'T WE SUFFERED ENOUGH?
I'm watching the news, I do it occasionally, it seems like a good time to do so. And I'm seeing a guy who was blown off his feet by a bus going up, but basically he's okay and being interviewed. And, shock allowed, he's pretty much laughing it off. Another interview, a woman who was on the tube, just the same response but maybe a little more detailed.
I love the UK sometimes, I really do. What happened is horrible, I don't diminish it and I hope those responsible are suitably punished, possibly with chainsaws ... but if they wanted terror well, they probably shouldn't have gone to London. Not because Londoners are particularly braver than anyone else (although they might be, have you seen the prices there?) but because they've walked through a helluva lot worse than that.
Nice try, no cigar.
Was at Tavistock Square - close enough to get a nose-bleed, but not close enough to get showered by debris, which really did travel up high, and also, far enough to be otherwise absolutely fine. A bit shaken but feeling lucky.
I called in sick with a migraine today. My psychic powers are awesome!
[(I told him my girlfriend also called in sick).]
She and I should form a psychic taskforce!
Anywhere we don't want to go, THERE BE BOMBS!
All these explosions are rather scary.
Don't suppose the French are that sore at losing the Olympics, are they?
This doesn't look good, does it?
People saying 'I've lived in London for four years, I'm sort of prepared for this sort of thing.'
"Speaking on behalf of the people of Essex, we are standing by you the peoples of Londonia in these trying times. Mainly because Suffolk won't swap places with us."
Probably not going up to Angel today then.
God, I wish I'd brought my decent camera.
Got back from a meeting to find 9 missed calls and 12 emails. Thanks for the concern :)
I'm fine, luckily I get the tube (through liverpool street) at about 7.10am...
Tavistock square is GODDAMN CLOSE TO MY HOUSE, dammit.
As halcyon_shift pointed out, the witnesses on the news seem to be very calm. Most of the Londoners are more concerned with how they're getting to work tomorrow, and act as though it's all a rather distateful inconvenience.
The great British Spirit triumphs once again! Take that, Al Qaeda. You tried to spread panic with your terrorist ways, but you hadn't counted on a nation of repressed, stiff-upper-lip Brits who refuse to show unseemly emotion in public!
People are generally spooked, but quickly contacting their friends and making plans to deal with the disruption. Good on you!
Of course, as someone pointed out already, we're used to this sort of thing - we had the IRA going at London (and Brighton when I was there) for a while now. The novelty is gone for anyone over a certain age. (I have to be careful about saying "oh, we're used to terrorist scum being murderous bastards, we had it in the 80's" on the international political LJ's, it tends to offend some folks. Folks who are wrong, clearly).
And as someone else on my flist said (approximately):
"Blimey, I didn't think the French would be THAT upset..."
UPDATE: stu_n just provided this, which is completely brilliant.
BBC Parliament internal email: NEWSFLASH:
There has been a widespread outbreak of grumbling and tutting today in London, along with a large number of people going home instead of to work, with a certain amount of guilty pleasure.
Sorry, bad guys. We've been bombed before, and we just adjust our day to account for it. This is London calling.
"No, really, we're not scared. You can try and kill as many people as you want, you're still going to lose because we're just that damn British. Also? Notice those docks and airports? Still open to the freedom loving folk. Suck it, bitch."
"Why didn't you go to the party?"
"Cause London was blown up"
It was just announced that the queen is deeply shocked and that it has been decided that the Congestion charge (a toll to use a car in London) will not be in place today - how I love the British.
"I'd like to congratulate today's terrorists for achieving nothing but instilling a fierce patriotism back into the British Isles, creating a rather wide-spread rash of Blitz Spirit, and giving me a day off work.
I'm a bit pissed off that you nearly blew up some of my friends, but at the end of the day - you failed. We're still here, we're not scared of you."
From the BBC website: statement from Al Qaeda:
"Britain is now burning with fear, terror and panic in its northern, southern, eastern, and western quarters".
Erm really... where? I think you will find that's a reaction to the winning the Olympics bid or perhaps just the effect Bush has on us when he visits?!
The people of London have responded to all this exactly the way I always imagined we would; with humour, strength and defiance. I've never been more proud to be British, and never more proud to be a Londoner. Pip pip.
During the second statement by Blair, he was surrounded by the various heads of state and representatives to the G-8 gathering. And there stood ol' W, with the usual confused look on this face - likely wondering who had his copy of "My Pet Goat".
God I love the British...
Nobody does pissed off disdain like 'em...
When the bombs went off in the tubes everyone just went out and huffed because it was inconvenient. Within minutes people were making jokes about, "I knew the french were bad losers, but.."
It's the Great British spirit of, "Oh well, f*** it, shall we go the pub?"
Were people running around like chickens with their heads cut off? No. People were concerned and trying to help or thinking of a solution. Or even, "Great, how do I get to work NOW?"
We've had a tragedy and it's awful, but we personally can't do anything about it.
Fancy a pint?
We rock, plain and simple.
Okay: it's f***ing INCREDIBLE what a medium Farmhouse Pizza can do to lift one's mood at a time like this.
When the news reporter said "Shopkeepers are opening their doors bringing out blankets and cups of tea" I just smiled. It's like yes. That's Britain for you. Tea solves everything.
You're a bit cold?
Your boyfriend has just left you?
You've just been told you've got cancer?
Coordinated terrorist attack on the transport network bringing the city to a grinding halt?
And if it's really serious, they may bring out the coffee. The Americans have their alert raised to red, we break out the coffee. That's for situations more serious than this of course. Like another England penalty shoot-out [in soccer].
"It's hard to panic the British. They've dealt with the Blitz, the IRA, the Silurians, the Zarbi, the Daleks, the Cybermen..."
"Terrorists -- Dude, London?! WTF were you thinking?! XRef: Blitz, IRA, Ru Paul."
To quote an old Londoner who lived through the blitz and got caught up in the Canary Wharf explosion: "I've been blown up by a better class of bastard than this!"
"We took on the Romans, the Saxons, the Danes, the French, William Wallace, the Black Plague, the Roundheads, the Great Fire, Napoleon, the Nazis, and the Blitz, and we're still here. You terrorists are bloody amateurs."
"I'm vague on Muslim theology but the asshats responsible need to go to a "special paradise" where the virgins won't put out."
It's moments like this I wish I were English.
Y'all rock. Just so's you know.
"They're asking everyone to stay within the office."
"Oh. What about lunch?"
"We can go out for lunch, right?"
"Well are you ordering pizza or something?"
[From me, to a moron who essentially accused me of betraying my country]
You're a moron. I have nothing but sympathy and time for everyone caught in this horrible day. I am not in a state of 'terror', I do not want to up the 'war' with the terrorists or give into their demands - so they haven't "accomplished their mission with me".
THIS IS NOT A CRISIS. It is a tragedy, but there is no crisis. We are not about to fall apart, once the tube gets going again the only concern will be for the dead and bereaved, not 'how will we surmount this crisis to our very society?!' Tony Blair said it - we're not changing our minds about shit, so their attack will not succeed in it's goals.
"They did their worst, and they managed to disrupt our transport network and get fatalities in the low double figures. That happens on a fairly regular basis anyway, you twits. What's your next trick - a fiendish weather control device which makes it rain on a bank holiday weekend?"
People have been trying to blow up bits of London for decades. Centuries, in fact. This one's nothing special. It's no different to any of the others. London's reaction to it is typified by my friend Jeff, who was actually *running* to catch the bus that was blown up.
"I went to Euston: went to the tube and there was a loud bang. and we were sent out! Then we were sent out of the station so I half ran to Tavistock Place to catch a bus to Victoria. And then it went bang, so I thought "b****r that"."
"Al Qaeda say: 'Britain is now burning with fear, terror and panic in its northern, southern, eastern, and western quarters.' Bitch, please. Osama, you live in a f***ing cave. You're like an evil Batman or something. No wonder you have a thing for blowing up commuters, because you will never commute because you live in a cave. You see transport, and you are filled with rage, because you? Live in a cave. You could try forming a political wing to... oh, wait, you can't because YOU LIVE IN A CAVE. Twat.
The BBC paused news coverage to show *Eastenders*. That'd be the nationwide fear, terror and panic, then."
Ken Livingstone, Mayor of London:
"Finally, I wish to speak directly to those who came to London today to take life.
I know that you personally do not fear giving up your own life in order to take others - that is why you are so dangerous. But I know you fear that you may fail in your long-term objective to destroy our free society and I can show you why you will fail.
In the days that follow look at our airports, look at our sea ports and look at our railway stations and, even after your cowardly attack, you will see that people from the rest of Britain, people from around the world will arrive in London to become Londoners and to fulfil their dreams and achieve their potential.
They choose to come to London, as so many have come before because they come to be free, they come to live the life they choose, they come to be able to be themselves. They flee you because you tell them how they should live. They don’t want that - and 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."
Tony Blair, 08 July 05:
"The purpose of terrorism is not only to kill and maim the innocent, it is to put despair and anger in people's hearts. It is by its savagery designed to cover all conventional politics in darkness, to overwhelm the dignity of democracy and proper process with the impact of bloodshed and of terror. There is no hope in terrorism, nor any future in it worth living. And it is hope that is the alternative to this hatred."
Your responses have been overwhelming, and very welcome. Here's a short section on points of view from abroad. There are extremists and civilians in every country. I'll shake hands with anyone who is working for peace, this isn't about borders - America, Israel, Palestine, Iraq, Russia, Switzerland. You want peace and want to talk about it, come forward. This next one reminds us all not to turn this into another round of Crusades, or to foster hatred at any country... just to stay brave and laugh in the face of whatever bastard turns up next.
America says, "Let me get this straight. You've been trying for ten years to blow up an overinflated superpower run by the petty excuse for a mad cowboy... a country that takes three years to implement security systems meant to compensate for yesterday's incident... the country that invented irresponsible hysterical journalism... a country that has systematically managed to alienate everyone in the world... and you couldn't even do that... so you decided to take a crack at London? The place that has dealt with the IRA and the Blitz? The place that gets suspicious if it hasn't been bombed in a year? What were you thinking??? America is with you, London! Yeee-haw!"
Israel says, "Let me get this straight. You've been trying for eighty years to blow up a country that's smaller than Switzerland. A country full of your own co-religionists, a country where every adult citizen under the age of 55 is a soldier on eleven months' leave, a country whose airline security puts James Bond to shame... and this challenge has somehow evaded you... so you decided to have a go at England? We've been dodging your shots since the 19-teens... they've been dodging your shots since the bloody Crusades! You think we've had practice putting our lives back together: meet the guys who've been doing it for a thousand years! You pathetic little morons! The Spanish Armada didn't faze the English, the Nazis didn't faze the English, and you think they're going to pay any attention to you? Ha! Israel is with you, England! Mamash sababa!"
Reactions from World Leaders.
I'll repeat what I say somewhere below: I work with some Muslims. They're furious about the attacks, and about what these extremists do in the name of Islam. Every Muslim I've met who tries hard to follow the faith has been kind, generous, gentle and Good. Al Qaeda have done huge harm to the Muslim community in Britain and around the World - but I want to say here that there's people out there who know the real score. Good is good.
Peace and love to you, wherever you are.