It's difficult to think of much else other than Paris this Monday, particularly the ramifications of the pointless tragedy.
I was thinking of the London Blitz and war-footing this morning, and how people willingly sacrificed some of their 'human rights' for the sake of national security, and I have begun to think that the same will be asked of us soon - even though we have more cameras trained on us than the average country.
I would really like to think it was possible to pull up the drawbridge on this little island, but of course this is just day-dreaming. Anyone who dares to mention that there is a strong possibility that one or two terrorists are slipping into Europe hidden in amongst thousands of genuine refugees is accused of siding with the Daily Mail, such is the hysteria caused by the Paris shootings. I know if I was planning an infiltration here, this would be the first thing I would think of - the most obvious way of hiding trees is in a forest.
Pop a paper bag on any street in France now, and you will cause a stampede and probably be shot in the process. Somebody only had to whisper that they thought they had seen a gunman down the road last night, to send a silent vigil into screaming flight, with everyone trampling on the flowers and candles. The poor sods.
By sheer chance, the hospital which dealt with all the casualties in the aftermath of the real thing, had just that hour completed a training exercise which dealt with exactly the same scenario, but using actors. The actors were replaced with real people in a matter of minutes, and the training was so fresh in the minds of the medical staff that they believe that they saved an extra 50 lives as a result of it. They even trained for the treatment of automatic AK47 wounds. Next time, I am going to take a fire-drill seriously.
Where do we all go from here? Well, one obvious step would be to halt the cuts to the Metropolitan Police's budget and keep the Bobbies on the streets. There are some sacrifices that are not worth making in the long run. If you could save someone's life by going bankrupt, would you not?
Everyone in London lived their lives on high-alert in the 1970s, when the IRA had cells all over the city. Special rubbish bins were designed to deflect any blasts from bombs placed in them upwards and away from the passers by. Northern Irish accents were treated with extreme suspicion.
I felt sorry for the Northern Irish in England at that point, and I feel sorry for the vast majority of young men with obvious Moslem names now too, but the first thing a suicide bomber does before going out on a job is shave his beard off - if they ever had one in the first place.
The lid is off and the genii is out.
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