Friday, July 07, 2006

London Carried On.

7-7 Anniversary Edition

Jonathan Freedland has written a great article about how London simply carried on after it was attacked showing the character I spoke of before. Here's a taster. Click the title for the full article.
Shortly after the second world war, a new poster appeared in tube stations around the capital. It declared simply: "London Underground carried on." It was a bald statement of fact - amazing as it seems, tube trains had indeed run throughout the war - but it was also a powerful statement of the "Blitz spirit", that now-cliched shorthand for the values London - and Britain - most admires about itself. Those four simple words expressed, in quiet and modest fashion, a pride in the capital's quiet, reserved stoicism, in the dogged determination to keep going - without making too much of a fuss.

These days, it is fashionable to say such values have vanished, gone the way of Humber cars and Lyons Corner Houses. Today's Britain, we're told, is the nation of Big Brother self-exposure and of weepy David Beckham, of therapy culture, piles of roadside flowers and self-indulgent "misery lit" memoirs on the bestsellers lists. The conventional wisdom holds that, these days, we advertise and wallow in our suffering; we don't just get on with it. The stiff upper lip has gone wobbly.

And yet the response to the attacks of July 7 2005 tells a different story. One year on, it seems an event that many thought would mark a collective watershed has barely changed us. From our habits of leisure and transport, to our attitudes to politics, to the way we live with each other, the bombings have not had the impact many expected. We could mark today's anniversary with another poster: London carried on.

Click title for full article.

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