The terror threat is palpable in central london at the moment: I think every day for the last week has seen at least one major road closure to examine suspicious bags or cars – the security services are certainly on edge, it’s not just London, Paris too is on high alert with regular evacuations of tourist sites, something almost unheard of in our laissez-faire republican cousin.
It’s an odd state of affairs – Be Aware! we’re told, but the question most people ask is of what? Odd looking cars, people with turbans, odd beards, shamrocks, the germans, smurfs – what? Most people on the street wouldn’t know where to start without some guidance, and so far there’s been no guidance. The result? Fear – precisely what the terrorists want, we change our lifestyles because of them, and they win.
It’s interesting to watch the various media outlets explain the terror threat, the BBC have made a huge thing out of it – it’s been the lead or top three story all week, ABC news and FOX are the same, some French outlets – most notably Canal+ are following our lead – whilst the German’s are remaining remarkably stoic, the conservative Erste network and the rather
lowbrow commercially guided ZDF and ProSieben channels are treating this as an ‘and in other news’ feature. Not once has the terror threat come above story 3 – why? Because there’s very little one can actually say about it without resorting to hyperbole and conjecture, and that’s not news.
When I grew up it was exposed on an obvious Military installation at the height of the terrorist activities of the Irish Republicans. Cars were bombed, people were shot – but through all of this, guidance was always given, you knew that you have to check your car before you got in it, you knew you had to report certain people, numberplates or activities, and you knew most of all that the chances of you actually being involved were ludicrously low; but for the sake of everyone in your community you should be vigilent anyway. Some commentators have been screaming for exact facts, but that’s clearly not intelligent or practical, but if the state, both ours and abroad, want us to be more aware; they must start giving the public more useful information about what they need to be vigilant for, rather than simply scaring people about an unknown, unsized, unpredictable threat.
Posted in Europe, London, Politics, PR & Communications
Tagged ABC, ARD, BBC, Canal+, Communications, Europe, Terrorism, Terrorist Threat, TV, ZDF
Here we go again, a day of news coverage about a threat to the UK’s security; this time a plan to blow up planes with the finger being pointed at a certain section of the UK’s ethnic community, the government needs to start connecting with these communities so these sort of people can be taken out, dealt with, imprisoned, deported, or whatever needs to be done to allow us to get on with our lives without these religiously driven fuckwits blowing themselves (or at least attempting to) left, right and centre.
It doesn’t seem like a year since I decided ‘nah’ I can’t be bothered to go into central london today, since I was woken by a bulletin on Radio 4 saying there’d be an ‘explosion’ on the tube, possibly caused by a power failure, and one year on from watching in horror as the events of the 7th unfolded in almost pornographic detail on Sky News.
I don’t think anythings changed since now and then to be honest; initially we obviously all started to look at people differently, started to think that every bag, every person with a beard and a rucksack might be a threat, but that soon passed with the realisation that if something like that were to happen the chances of being directly involved (rather than simply inconvenienced by) were infinitesimally low; and in many ways that’s a good thing, if we all lived our daily lives in fear we’d be letting ‘them’ win, but we’re not… but on the flip-side of that it’s irritating nothing’s changed: no-one seems to want to take responsibility for what’s happened, and no-one seems to dare utter the words that it’s not until things change from the current status quo that things will be able to change.
I think everyone’s still a little shell shocked, I’ve talked to a lot of people about the events of this day last year, and people still seem to be coming to terms with the facts that it’s happened here in London: we’ve put up with Terrorism before, but there is a distinct difference between someone planting a bomb for political reasons, and someone with fundamentalist religious views strapping themselves to a bomb and taking themselves off this mortal coil with a load of other entirely innocent souls… we will all come to terms with the events of this time last year eventually but I believe the sense of being violated will stay with us for some time.
I really can’t see the point of this advert which has apparently just been shot in LA other than scaring people and reinforcing the fact that every Arab and Indian is out to “slaughter” “innocent” Americans. Really what is the point? Other than perhaps causing paranoia and hysteria, you surely wouldn’t be able to spot a suicide bomber before they’re going to do something anyway? And I can’t imagine the ad’s is aimed at the terrorists, as I have serious doubts as to whether a glossy bullet time advert is going to change their beliefs in a single 45 second slot?