Monday, July 12, 2010

Five Years On

Listening to the BBC on Wednesday, July 7th, 5th anniversary of the 7/7 attacks, was an odd experience.

'Nikki' Campbell's morning programme treated the events as you would a flood or other natural disaster - tales of coping and survival. People were interviewed about how they escaped, how they treated the wounded, how they first heard the news. Not a mention of the perpetrators, still less the M- or I- words. Hitler got a mention, the IRA - none of 'them' could break the spirit of Londoners and neither would 'this'. You'd think the attacks were just a thing that happened.

In the PM and World Tonight programmes the perpetrators were still only mentioned obliquely - in one interview after another, a kind of conversational tapestry was woven all around them without ever actually alighting on them, so that their image was marked by a hole, an absence. What we did get in the heavyweight programmes was warning after warning that anti-terrorist activity and legislation not be 'counter-productive' - that it not upset the (still un-named) 'community' and create more terrorists. Our ruling class are 'frit', as Mrs Thatcher would put it.

And with perfect timing for the anniversary, we were treated to Jeremy Hardy on 'How To Confront The Vexed Issue Of British Identity Without Getting In The Most Fearful Bate About The Whole Thing', a 30-minute lecture on how 'they' are in fact just like 'us', that there is absolutely nothing to worry about and the sooner we realise that fact the happier we'll all be.

The anniversary 'refocused attention on Islamist terrorism' according to the Guardian. Not on the BBC it didn't.