Thursday, July 07, 2005


For those of our readers who are not following the news as intently as we are, the latest figures are 37 dead and about 700 injured, though not all of the latter seriously.

According to the BBC website there were 35 fatalities in the tube and 2 on that bus. If the latter is accurate it is surprising, given the state of the bus. But one must not grumble. Let us hope that the figures are accurate.

It is no help to those who have died, lost relatives or are injured or whose friends and relatives are injured to say that it could have been much much worse. But it could. And it may be yet.

While the emergency planning has been extremely good (then again, as I have said before, we have had some experience), questions will be asked about intelligence reports and how solid any information was.

Ever since 2001 we have been warned in almost hysterical terms on a weekly basis that there will be an attack any minute but when it came, the tale of the boy who cried wolf sprang to mind.

No doubt there will be an enquiry into intelligence and security, though, to be completely honest, there can be no full security on the transport, as the Israelis found.

And, of course, when the perpetrators are tracked down as we all sincerely hope they will be, we shall see how many of them are recent immigrants, how many third or fourth generation, ill served by our education system and how many converts to Islam.

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