Friday, July 07, 2006
One Year Ago Today
One year ago today it took me 3 hours to commute to work, a journey that usually took 1 hour. London was attacked by cowards and I had the privledge of listening to this statement made by Prime Minister Tony Blair. I know it looks long, but it's worth the read.
This has been a most terrible and tragic atrocity that has cost many innocent lives. I have just attended a meeting of the government's Emergency Committee, received a full report from the Ministers and the officials responsible. There will be announcements made in respect of the various services, in particular we hope the Underground, insofar as is possible, and rail and bus services are up and running as swiftly as possible.
I would like again to express my profound condolences to the families of the victims, and to those who are casualties of this terrorist act. I would also like to thank the emergency services that have been magnificent today in every respect. There will of course now be the most intense police and security service action to make sure that we bring those responsible to justice. I would also pay tribute to the stoicism and resilience of the people of London, who have responded in a way typical of them.
In addition I welcome the statement that has been put out by the Muslim Council of Great Britain. We know that these people act in the name of Islam, but we also know that the vast and overwhelming majority of Muslims, here and abroad, are decent and law-abiding people who abhor this act of terrorism every bit as much as we do.
It is through terrorism that the people that have committed this terrible act express their values, and it is right at this moment that we demonstrate ours. I think we all know what they are trying to do - they are trying to use the slaughter of innocent people to cower us, to frighten us out of doing the things that we want to do, of trying to stop us going about our business as normal, as we are entitled to do, and they should not, and they must not, succeed.
When they try to intimidate us, we will not be intimidated. When they seek to change our country or our way of life by these methods, we will not be changed. When they try to divide our people or weaken our resolve, we will not be divided and our resolve will hold firm. We will show, by our spirit and dignity, and by our quiet but true strength that there is in the British people, that our values will long outlast theirs. The purpose of terrorism is just that, it is to terrorise people, and we will not be terrorised.
I would like once again to express my sympathy and my sorrow to those families who will be grieving, so unexpectedly and tragically, tonight. This is a very sad day for the British people, but we will hold true to the British way of life.
At that moment I had never been more proud of the British and I consider myself lucky to have lived with them.