Friday, July 08, 2005

Grateful to have been here now

I have been reflecting that it has been a sort of privilege to be in the UK right now and to experience this directly. I am working my way through my morning Times in the hotel (I am now back on vacation so happily lazy) and stumbled on this wonderful column by Mick Hume. I particularly like and endorse his last paragraph:
The BBC reported yesterday that, on major roads leading into the capital, signs were displayed warning motorists: “Avoid London. Area closed. Turn on radio.” Perhaps that seemed sensible as an immediate response to the scenes of death and destruction in the city centre. But as a message to the world, it would be disastrous. Do not avoid London. Our city is open. It is open to the peoples of the world, the most vibrant and tolerant of European capitals. Of course, this means that it may also be open to a few nihilistic murderers. That is a fact of life in a city such as London today. And while we would far rather not have to live alongside the madmen, many of us still would not want to live anywhere else.

Another reason I am happy to be here is that I can only imagine some of what would be appearing in the Canadian media, and I suspect it would turn my stomach. A small hint that I may be right appeared on the Shotgun - read this. Howard Moscoe is by no means untypical of a certain set, particularly in Ontario. It is attitudes like those being referred to that go far to explain why, despite much self-aggrandizing Toronto media claims about the city's great multiculturalism, it looks like a silly narrow little small town compared to London.

UPDATE: Kate McMillan confirms my fears.


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