London open thread

by Henry on July 7, 2005

May be a good idea to have a thread for announcements from anyone who either (a) is in London, has friends who are likely to read CT, and wants to reassure people that they’re safe, or (b) has a friend in London whom they have news of.

London Pride

by Daniel on July 7, 2005

Noel Coward was a fine Englishman …

London Pride has been handed down to us.
London Pride is a flower that’s free.
London Pride means our own dear town to us,
And our pride it for ever will be.

Oh Liza! See the coster barrows,
Vegetable marrows and the fruit piled high.
Oh Liza! Little London sparrows,
Covent Garden Market where the costers cry.

Cockney feet mark the beat of history.
Every street pins a memory down.
Nothing ever can quite replace
The grace of London Town.

There’s a little city flower every spring unfailing
Growing in the crevices by some London railing,
Though it has a Latin name, in town and country-side
We in England call it
London Pride.

London Pride has been handed down to us.
London Pride is a flower that’s free.
London Pride means our own dear town to us,
And our pride it for ever will be.

Hey, lady! When the day is dawning
See the policeman yawning on his lonely beat.
Gay lady! Mayfair in the morning,
Hear your footsteps echo in the empty street.
Early rain and the pavement’s glistening.
All Park Lane in a shimmering gown.
Nothing ever could break or harm
The charm of London Town.

In our city darkened now, street and square and crescent,
We can feel our living past in our shadowed present,
Ghosts beside our starlit Thames who lived and loved and died
Keep throughout the ages
London Pride.

London Pride has been handed down to us.
London Pride is a flower that’s free.
London Pride means our own dear town to us,
And our pride it for ever will be.

Grey city! Stubbornly implanted,
Taken so for granted for a thousand years.
Stay, city! Smokily enchanted,
Cradle of our memories and hopes and fears.

Every Blitz your resistance toughening,
From the Ritz to the Anchor and Crown,
Nothing ever could override
The pride of London Town.

Update: Lord (Lenny) Hoffman is only an adopted Londoner (like myself) and is the quintessential Hampstead liberal, but he demonstrated that the spirit is still strong, not so long ago.

There may be some nations too fragile or fissiparous to withstand a serious act of violence. But that is not the case in the United Kingdom. When Milton urged the government of his day not to censor the press even in time of civil war, he said:

“Lords and Commons of England, consider what nation it is whereof ye are, and whereof ye are the governours”

This is a nation which has been tested in adversity, which has survived physical destruction and catastrophic loss of life. I do not underestimate the ability of fanatical groups of terrorists to kill and destroy, but they do not threaten the life of the nation. Whether we would survive Hitler hung in the balance, but there is no doubt that we shall survive Al-Qaeda.

London Explosions

by Kieran Healy on July 7, 2005

There are reports of a “series of explosions”:http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/4659093.stm on the London Underground. It’s not clear what’s happening. Another Madrid? Or something else?

_Update_: The “eyewitness reports”:http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/london/4659243.stm on the BBC make it clear that it’s a co-ordinated bombing of the tube and some buses. I hope they catch the bastards responsible.

_Update 2_: Reports are all over Australian TV now, and obviously this will be a major story across the media so I won’t make any more updates here. But I will keep comments open, of course. At this point the hope is for as few fatalities as possible.