Never Forget the 52

Today marks the fifth anniversary of the London bombings, an attrocity that took the lives of 52 innocent people.

People from across the capital and the country as a whole stopped at 12 noon to remember that day, and to show that the lives of the victims shall be forever remembered.  The silence also marks a time when we stand together resilient to those with extreme views that seek to harm us, whoever they may be.  However, this fifth year, a landmark I would say was missing any official memorial, and missing particularly the Prime Minister.  I am the first to defend Mr Cameron – I have always been a supporter, but on this occasion, it is a poor show that he did not make an appearance at one of the memorials that were held in London.  To simply write a card on a wreath is not enough, and the families of the dead have every right to feel hard done by.


13 thoughts on “Never Forget the 52

  1. I totally agree Sophie, and for a representative of the government to say a visit to a memorial was not necessary because there would be many more anniversaries is just insensitive. I am rather infamous for my support of Dave but even I a strong Cameronite believe this was a poor decision!

    Tim Hasker

  2. Where do we draw the line though. Every single day of the year is an anniversary of something, and I’m not sure what the criteria for the PM’s presence should be.

  3. I think the 5th year is a pretty landmark year. Not every single day marks the time when Britain came under attack and innocent people lost their lives.

  4. And wouldn’t it be respectful to the Polish community (a significant group in Birmingham.) to commemorate the volhynia massacre of July 11th. And what about the conclusion of the Sebrenica massacre which also occured on this day in 1995?

    While these events may not be as close in proximity to 7/7 they involved many more people and whatever ‘sensitivities’ people may have, we should keep a sense of proportion.

    There is the danger of the PM’s diary becoming one long funeral exercise. 9/11, 7/7 , Nov 11th, Holocaust memorial day, veterans day, AIDS day, something for Diana… Apart from anything else, these memorials can only remain profound if they are reasonably limited in number.

  5. Jack you don’t need to lecture me on dates in History, I am doing a degree in it. In that sense the remark about the Blitz remark is historically incorrect.

    You are right, everyday is a memorial for something or someone, but this particular event is one that must be marked on the seminal years in particular, the 5th year being one of them in which the Prime Minister should take 15 minutes of his time to show the public his sense of duty and care to his community.

  6. I can’t see how the comment about the Blitz is incorrect.

    It would take a lot longer than 15 minutes, once travel time is taken into account. I note the continued absence of any clear criteria for the PM’s presence in your remarks.

  7. Britain was not blitzed every single day, therefore everyday is not an anniversary of the Blitz.

    I am not the Prime Ministers aid so cannot give you an outline of his day.

    He should have attended a memorial on the 5th anniversary of the London bombings. Simple

  8. “Britain was not blitzed every single day, therefore everyday is not an anniversary of the Blitz.”

    I didn’t say it was. Try reading what I said. I said it was an example; i.e. individual bombing incidents would fill up plenty of days in the calendar.

    I’m not asking for an outline of the PM’s day but a nod to reality by way of recognising that it would take more than 15 minutes would be helpful.

    Your last paragraph is just a reassertion of your original claim. The absence of any comment on the criteria for the PM’s presence says more than anything that you’ve actually written.

  9. Jack you are right in the sense that you cannot mark every single attrocity in history or you’d never get anything done! However we should also remember that whilst there were numerous bombings during the Blitz and great loss of life over a 6 year period, the sheer frequency of the bombings meant it was inevitable that the conflict as a whole would be remembered rather than each individual event no matter how tragic or significant.

    Sophie is absolutely right to say that the PM should have marked 7/7. It is an attack still fresh in many minds and it was one of the worst attacks in British history. On a purely political/cynical level I don’t think it would do any harm to remind people what we are fighting for and against. We are still very much engaged in a fight against extremism and hate and the anniversary of the 7/7 attacks could have served as an apt and timely reminder of what can happen when hate and extremism are allowed to prosper.

    So I suppose what im trying to say is we’re not talking about marking a distant memory of battles gone by. We are talking about marking an event that is fresh in the minds of many and a conflict that is still very much alive.

  10. Furthermore Mr Cameron should have attended a memorial service not just because it is the right thing to do but from a political and PR viewpoint this was the first anniversary during his premiership and thus he should have paid his respects as the new Prime Minister!

  11. “On a purely political/cynical level I don’t think it would do any harm to remind people what we are fighting for and against.”

    I’m not sure that people need reminding. People understand what we are fighting against.

    But again, I would have to ask: where do we draw the line; because it has to be somewhere.

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