Weblog on the Internet and public policy, journalism, virtual community, and more from David Brake, a Canadian academic, consultant and journalist
7 July 2005

At the back of my mind there has always been the knowledge that London is a prime terrorist target – I had hoped that we would be spared given the time that has passed since 9/11 and Madrid – evidently not.

Thankfully, we are safe and so far nobody we know has been directly affected though of course some people we know have been inconvenienced and a close friend’s wife who could have been near one of the blasts was not heard from for five and a half nerve wracking hours before turning up unharmed at home.

It’s striking that for at least five hours after the blasts there was no UK helpline for people worried about those who are missing (though the State department set one up earlier “For information about American citizens who may have been affected by the July 7 bombings in London, please call 1-888-407-4747”) and it has taken several hours even to get a consistent count of the number of explosions (three on the tube, one on a bus). Some news outlets were still quoting seven for hours afterwards – presumably because where trains were blown up between stations survivors were evacuated in both directions, seemingly doubling the number of tube explosions. The casualty hotline here in London is 0870 1566 344.

Ironically when my parents lived here with me in the 1970s they also had to put up with bombs and scares – at that time from the IRA (and I was here when the IRA bombed Canary Wharf and the City of London).

I’m hopeful that Al Quaeda has now ‘done their worst’ for the moment and since they missed us our lives can return to normal. We’ve been here before and (sad to say) we’ll probably face this again…


  1. I just want to say that waking up (In the US) to this travesty after watching your euphoria yesterday was horrible to behold. I have friends all over the US and we’ve been calling each other all morning.

    Our hearts are with you guys. It may seem like we’re selfish little twerps….and I must say that’s what I scream about us sometimes. But, as I sit here watching the TUBE feeling helpless for you, my heart is certainly with you.

    I live on Long Island and our hearts are in our throats over here. Good Luck!

    Sheila Stone
    Long Island, NY

    Comment by Sheila Stone — 7 July 2005 @ 2:19 pm

  2. I just wanted to share my blog post about the explosions, titled “We are all Londoners.”

    “Today, we are all Londoners. Let the world know that the hearts and minds of Americans are with the people of London… It is important for the surviving victims, their families and the people of London see that they are not alone in their grief.”

    To read the whole thing, at SeattleBlogger.com, visit: http://seattleblogger.blogspot.com/2005/07/we-are-all-londoners.html

    Comment by Robert Raketty — 7 July 2005 @ 2:27 pm

  3. Thank God you are all Ok . I have little patience for these people nad I hope that the UK deals heavily with the culprits when they are caught , as they surely will.
    I am tired of the “muslims” hiding behind religion for these acts of terrorism as i am impatient with the Mullahs and other leaders of the Muslim “faith” for not joining together to condemn these acts against innocent people. Mohammed would be appalled as should the entire Muslim world.
    This will not go unpunished.

    Comment by Russ — 8 July 2005 @ 1:43 am

  4. My condolences to the people of London. I hope and pray that even the liberals of Great
    Britain now realize that the enemy we face does not discriminate. In London, as in New York,
    they did not empty the Tube, or the World Trade Center of liberals before the attacks. We are
    all in this together. This side of the pond, our liberals are maddingly naive. They seem to think
    if we just bury our heads in the sand, the threat will go away. This is not a policy alternative,
    this is a prescription for suicide.

    But we have an advantage, we are Anglo-Saxons. We American’s kicked the ass of the greatest power in the world in the Revolutionary War. We did so in part, because of the many Scots / Irish who inhabited the colonies at that time. The legacy of these people was one of fierce independence, and a love of liberty. The Scots, and to a slightly lesser degree, the Irish,
    were fierce and dedicated warriors. As for the English, there is the charge of the Light Brigade,
    Rorke’s Drift, WWI and WWII. If 4,000 screaming savages, or Nazi Germany could not bend the spines of the British Army, or her people, these 7th century savages do not stand a chance.

    This may sound trite, but we are all British now. But this was true even when we were fighting
    Britain for our independence. For more than a hundred years, Great Britain, Australia, and
    Canada have been our staunchest allies. And conversely, America, your best ally. This is
    because we share a common heritage. It is a heritage steeped in freedom. From the forge of
    the Magna Carta and our Constitution, we formed a bond that will never be broken. It resulted
    in the legendary grit and stoicism of the British people, and the bulldog like tenacity of the American GI’s in the South Pacific in WWII.

    Now that we are engaged in WWIII, my only hope is that France and Germany, (and some
    other Western European nations) fully understand the nature of the current conflict before terror is visited upon their shores. The enemy we all face will not give Paris or Berlin a pass because their leaders have rubber spines. Their stated objective is to destroy us all, down to the last
    man, woman, and child. If your liberals are anything like ours, they are already claiming that
    “It is our fault.” I have heard this refrain all day today on the U.S. radio talk show circuit.

    In closing, I would like to say that while I realize they have free speech rights, when they
    begin their chorus of “Blame England,” as our liberals say “Blame America,” try the following:


    God Bless America!

    Rule Britannia!

    Leonard Jones
    Lomita, California USA

    Comment by Leonard Jones — 8 July 2005 @ 4:54 am

  5. Mr. Brake,

    On behalf of the normal people on America I would like to extend apologese….There are normal, polite people here who do not put politics ahead of all other things. I’m not sure if the political extrememists have forgotten what there mothers taught them, but it sure seems so.

    I lived in Great Britain in the 70’s and marveled the National attitude of “Get on with life and don’t let them get you down.” I was remembering that feeling as I watched the events unfold yesterday. I must say, you haven’t lost that strength. Bravo!

    May we all survive, overcome, and triumph over not only terrorism but bad manners as well.

    Comment by Sheila Stone — 8 July 2005 @ 1:27 pm

  6. Glad to hear you are all okay, David.

    Comment by Jeff Gates — 8 July 2005 @ 3:17 pm

  7. Hi Mr. Brake
    I’m an italian guy,
    I don’t have the right words to say what I feel,
    but I whit all the British.
    Terrorism lose today because we think the same think
    that we had yesterday!!!
    Demecracy leaves forever.
    God save the queen, the democracy, all of us!
    you can visit my blog (is in italian!! but I wrote a tribute to the Londoners.)

    Comment by Andrea — 8 July 2005 @ 5:56 pm

  8. Good to see you’re OK David. I wasn’t in London at the time and spent the time with a friend whose grandson was. Luckily he was OK. I have strong feelings about people’s reactions (including those of politicians) and would love to talk about it at some time. My dilemma is the way these ‘murders’ are somehow seen as worse than the many other ‘murders’ we know of, from rapes and muggings through hit-and-run driving deaths to deaths from starvation.

    Comment by Joanna Howard — 9 July 2005 @ 12:25 pm

  9. London

    Tech bloggers react to the London subway bombings:
    Jeremy Wright: Oh, God.
    David Brake: I had hoped that we would be spared gi

    Trackback by NetworkWorld.com Community — 5 August 2005 @ 9:50 pm

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