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A time for mourning

The London atrocities are deeply saddening today. The contrast with yesterday when I was jumping around and hugging a stranger in Trafalgar Square could not be greater. Whereas yesterday I couldn’t help but smile, the events of this morning certainly took the smile from my face. I take comfort in the knowledge that the God of yesterday when Jacques Rogge announced the result of the Olympic bid process and London had one of its happiest days in a long time is still the God of today and He will be the God of tomorrow.

For several years now, I have read of foiled plots and regular excellent police work as they have stopped terrorist attack after terrorist attack. However, as everyone has always recognized it only needed one group to slip through.

I was deeply impressed with the emergency services today and, indeed, with the contingency planning of both those services and also my own place of work. The police quickly assumed control around Westminster where I work, obviously with Parliament nearby a highly visible target.

We were quickly informed what we should do – namely to stay put – and advice continued to arrive in a timely sensible fashion throughout the day. To be honest, I felt calm and perfectly safe. The biggest crisis of the day for me was shortly after news started to filter out nationally and suddenly my mobile phone, work phone and email inbox all went mental at the same time.

Tony Blair said today that the terrorists use these things to try to cow us. I hope that I will join the rest of London in refusing to be cowed. I will be at work tomorrow even though I know people would understand if I chose to work from home. The best thing I can do for my country right now is to do my job, to do it bloody well and to just be a normal ordinary person ignoring threats of violence or even violence itself. If we all do such a thing, the terrorists can never win.

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