Thursday, December 15, 2005

A lawyer's bun-feast

Rachel From North London is calling for an enquiry into the July bombings.
The public were bombed. The public are targets. The public have questions. Not just about what happened - but WHY? What can we learn from this? When the next bomb goes off, when more ordinary people passengers, shoppers, workers die and are injured and terrified, what could we have done to prevent it, how can we help to lessen the risks, improve the response, manage the after-care? What was done in our name before the bombs, what is being done in our name after the bombs? How can our present suffering help others in the future?

Do these questions not deserve time and attention? Do we, you, all of us not deserve answers?

Do these questions deserve time and attention? Well, it rather depends what the hourly rate is. Do we deserve answers? Well, only if we are prepared to listen to the conclusions, frankly. Let me address this point by point, question by question.
  1. Not just about what happened - but WHY?
    • You know why. Didn't you watch the video? A Muslim gentleman and his three colleagues believed that the West are waging a war on Islam and they wanted to do something about it. As a gesture of their belief, they decided that blowing up themselves and innocennt members of the public was the best course.

  2. What can we learn from this?

    • That the St John's Ambulance Service deserve many pints? That we are always vulnerable? That certain factions of Islam believe that we are waging a war on them and that we should be punished? That £3 is far too much for a short—possibly fatal—Tube journey (thanks Ken)?

  3. When the next bomb goes off, when more ordinary people passengers, shoppers, workers die and are injured and terrified, what could we have done to prevent it, how can we help to lessen the risks, improve the response, manage the after-care?
    • Will it, honestly, be anything that we didn't learn from the IRA bombings? Keep your luggage and personal belongings with you at all times?

  4. What was done in our name before the bombs, what is being done in our name after the bombs?
    • We a know a lot, we may suspect a lot more; ultimately, however, that will do us not a jot of good. We have taken the major steps on our course, and nothing that might follow that will now be prevented.

      And, it must be said, why all this hand-wringing? Was this entirely our fault? Where shall we place the moral agency at this stage? The bombers were the moral agents: the bombers decided to blow themselves up beside innocent people; no one made them do this. We, we are encouraged to engage in dialogue with our MP, they prefer nail-bombs. What else would you have us do? You know how to stop another bombing: deport every Muslim and let no more in, ever. But no one is going to do—or even suggest—such a thing (apart from me, obviously) because that would cause suffering to many innocent people and, besides, unless our border controls were very good—better than they were when we let a failed bomber escape to Italy on Eurostar—it would, in the end, be counterproductive.

      We could, of course, not have re-elected Blair and his merry men, and one could argue that only 22% of the country did so. But the bombers must have known this too, but they still felt the need to lash out indiscriminately, rather than hunting down and killing all those who voted these cunts back in again (believe me, that's what I'm tempted to do...).

Look, if the enquiry is to establish better ways of dealing with any further attacks, i.e. doing something practical and useful, all well and good.

If it's just going to be a mud-slinging match, then I can think of far better things to spend my taxes on. Who cares if Iraq was a factor? What's done is done; we are there now and all the enquiries in the world are not going to alter that.

To be honest, London has been bombed an awful lot, by the IRA mainly, and I imagine that responses were pretty good. Therefore any enquiry is going to be a mudslinging match, combined with a bun-feast for lawyers. The Bloody Sunday enquiry, for instance, has now cost tens of millions of pounds of our cash: do you think that any enquiry into 7/7, initiated by this government, is going to be anything other than an expensive whitewash?

Do you really think that any enquiry is going to be allowed a remit so broad that its conclusion will be that the reason for the bombings was the war in Iraq? And that Our Glorious Leader will then graciously resign? Can anyone be that naive?

And what if the enquiry was certified as utterly free from political interference and found that the war in Iraq had absolutely nothing to do with the bombings? Would anyone even begin to accept that conclusion? If not, what is the point?

I have a much more fun idea: why don't the victims take the bombers' families to court for compensation, eh? That is a much more worthwhile exercise. If the victims feel that that is not fair, and that the families knew nothing about the plan and were not in any way responsible, then they must admit the bombers' moral agency.

No, I am not really interested in an enquiry generally, and particularly under this government: it will be a massively expensive waste of our money, with the lawyers the only winners. Besides, if the enquiry finds that the best way to prevent another bombing is to immediately pull out of Iraq, will that then be done? Would anyone advocate that? If even Curious Hamster wouldn't, and I'm pretty sure that he wouldn't, then who would (apart from the loonies in the Bring The Troops Home Now coalition, or whatever they're calling themselves these days)?

I know who I blame: I partially blame the religion that glorifies the killing of infidels, that encourages homicide bombings, and I partially blame the evil fucks who actually did the deed. But I also lay a significant part of the blame on the 22% of people in this country who voted NuLabour in again: I hope that they all have the decency to kill themselves—but not anyone else—before I come looking for them...

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