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About me

London Bombings


Hold up! Before you read on, please read this...

This post was published more than 14 years ago

I keep old posts on the site because I often enjoy reading old content on other people's sites. It can be interesting to see how views have changed over time: for example, how my strident teenage views have, to put it mildly, mellowed.

I'm not a believer in brushing the past under the carpet. I've written some offensive rubbish on here in the past: deleting it and pretending it never happened doesn't change that. I hope that stumbling across something that's 14 years old won't offend anyone anew, because I hope that people can understand that what I thought and felt and wrote about then is probably very different to what I think and feel and wrote about now. It's a relic of an (albeit recent) bygone era.

So, given the age of this post, please bear in mind:

  • My views may well have changed in the last 14 years. I have written some very silly things over the years, many of which I find utterly cringeworthy today.
  • This post might use words or language in ways which I would now consider highly inappropriate, offensive, embarrassing, or all three.
  • Factual information might be outdated.
  • Links might be broken, and embedded material might not appear properly.

Okay. Consider yourself duly warned. Read on...

CCTV pictures

It’s very difficult to comment on a situation like that in London, particularly when it is ongoing – even as I type, it would appear that an arrest has been made in Birmingham, and suspicious suitcases are being dealt with there. Above, I’ve put the CCTV pictures released by the police following yesterday’s attempted attacks. I would personally have thought that it can’t be too difficult to track down failed suicide bombers – after all, they didn’t expect to survive and so presumably wouldn’t have put plans in place to get away.

It is clear that these attacks, and attempted attacks, are terrible. We can only hope that fewer will happen in future, though that looks increasingly unlikely. It is important in all of these to keep one’s head, and I can only hope that the police haven’t lost theirs, with the reports today of a horrific killing by police this morning, which appears to me to have been an over-reaction to a perceived threat. The basic story is that a man under surveillance following the attacks refused to follow police orders, and so was shot five times at close range. I wasn’t there, and can’t claim to really know what went on, but I do wonder whether the situation was grave enough to use lethal action – and why was it necessary to shoot him five times? Perhaps the police were acting entirely professionally, as one would expect them to, but there are clearly questions which need to be addressed. We can’t go killing every Asian man in a big coat who doesn’t do as police ask.

In the two weeks since the 7th July attacks, there have been over 250 security alerts, and armed police officers are now stationed at every tube station and patrolling the streets. A second attack can only increase the fear, and it would appear that certainly American tourism is suffering. In other words, the terrorists appear to be succeeding in disrupting our daily lives, and – essentially – terrorising us. At the same time, it’s not good enough for the police to simply instruct Londoners to ‘get on with their normal life’. You can’t instruct someone to not be scared.

As I’ve said, it’s impossible to reflectively comment on an ongoing situation – and it appears that this situation will be ongoing for some considerable time – and I have no solutions to the problems I’ve mentioned. I’m sure I’ll post more about this in future, but for right now, I think I’ll leave it there.

This 687th post was filed under: News and Comment.

Some recently published posts

What I’ve been reading this month / January 2020, 11 minutes long

The Tyne Pedestrian and Cycle Tunnels: eight years on / January 2020, 8 minutes long

What I’ve been reading this month / January 2020, 7 minutes long

Faber Stories / December 2019, 4 minutes long

My favourite books of 2016 / December 2019, 26 minutes long

Some random old posts

Review: Only Time Will Tell by Jeffrey Archer / September 2012, 2 minutes long

Flu feared more than terror attack / January 2005, Less than a minute long

Identity Theft / February 2005, Less than a minute long

The A-Level Debate / August 2005, 6 minutes long

Preparing for Emergencies / July 2004, 1 minute long

Just Swing! / April 2005, Less than a minute long

Comments and responses

Comment from Maximilian Goldenberg

by Maximilian Goldenberg

Comment posted at 09:36 on 23rd July 2005.

“I do wonder whether the situation was grave enough to use lethal action”

It clearly was grave enough.

According to the BBC propaganda site


“One of them was carrying a black handgun – it looked like an automatic – they pushed him to the floor, bundled on top of him and unloaded five shots into him,” he said.

Obviously being under pinned to the floor under several police officers rendered this man a threat to the police officers and everybody else, therefore since the official policy is,

again from the BBC propaganda site,


“The aim of opening fire is to stop an imminent threat to life.”

the officers had to shoot him.

It is obvious to anybody that the police did not want this man to talk, because his revelations would have been far too damaging to the Bliar administration.

Comment from sjhoward (author of the post)

by sjhoward

Comment posted at 09:46 on 23rd July 2005.

So all of the police officers on the ground – and by all accounts, there were a lot – were instructed to kill the man should they manage to corner him, as his testimony would be damaging to the Blair administration, which is on its way out anyway? And none of them are speaking to the press about this, despite the fact that it would make them an awful lot of money, and they are severely underpaid? Sorry, but I don’t buy that.

Comment from Maximilian Goldenberg

by Maximilian Goldenberg

Comment posted at 12:09 on 23rd July 2005.

Was the man armed?

What evidence is there that the man had any connection with the previous terrorist outrages?

Comment from sjhoward (author of the post)

by sjhoward

Comment posted at 12:17 on 23rd July 2005.

I don’t suggest they were right to shoot him, I merely suggest that it was – as the saying goes – cock-up rather than conspiracy. To my mind, it sounds like a policeman rather lost it, and shot the man five times in some kind of rage. There certainly seems to be no reason to shoot him five times, particularly if he’s on the floor – and presumably police protocol wouldn’t allow them to shoot him if they thought he was a danger to the public as a potential suicide bomber as the shooting could (presumably) set the explosives off.

Comment from Jonathan Willoughby

by Jonathan Willoughby

Comment posted at 12:43 on 23rd July 2005.

Perhaps you should take notice of Winston’s Black Dog’s comments
over at your colleague’s “EU Referendum” site.

“My worry is the attitude of Ian Blair. He quite brazenly admitted that the suspect was not one of the attempted bombers but was shot because he failed to obey police instructions.

If this is the future of British policing then the terrorists have won as they have achieved the objective of forcing us to change our lifestyle.

What next? People shot dead for not moving on if told when protesting against the EU?”


Comment from sjhoward (author of the post)

by sjhoward

Comment posted at 18:21 on 23rd July 2005.

It has now been formally confirmed that the now-dead man had nothing to do with the bombings, confirming my suspicions.

I completely agree with the sentiments of Jonathan as quoted above, and indeed expressed similar sentiments when I said

We can’t go killing every Asian man in a big coat who doesn’t do as police ask.

Albeit with less of an EU bent.

Comment from Maximilan Goldenberg

by Maximilan Goldenberg

Comment posted at 20:12 on 23rd July 2005.

So like I was saying, the man had to be shot to be kept quiet.
It is now obvious to all that there is a conspiracy by the police to take out people who know too much or stand in their way. And then the excuse of a terror related attack is used as the cover for their nefarious acts.

And I note that nobody has bothered to mention that the Metropolitan Police knew all along about the second terror attack, which of course proves my point above about a conspiracy,
and this was reported in today’s Daily Mirror.


And there is more about the original attack at




Comment from sjhoward (author of the post)

by sjhoward

Comment posted at 11:51 on 24th July 2005.

And I note that nobody has bothered to mention … this was reported in today’s Daily Mirror.

I think reading various media sources has made it clear that the intelligence services also had a fair idea about the first attack too, but I still can’t make the leap to conspiracy. Though, as always, you’re entitled to your own beliefs, as I am to mine.

Comment from sjhoward (author of the post)

by sjhoward

Comment posted at 16:07 on 17th August 2005.

For future reference, I’ve made a new post with significant updates and corrections here

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