Wednesday, March 22, 2017

arriving in London

There's something very tranquil about arriving in England in the late afternoon light - with familiar smells (of what, quite, I don't know - plane and train and elevator fluids?) and rhythms of speech, and skylines, and blossom, blossom everywhere.

Except today, as soon as the plane touched down about 3.20 p.m., phones started pinging with the news of the terrorist attack in Westminster, and the news has been dominated by this.  But ... much though I may hate Theresa May's policies, it's such a relief to have a calm public voice speaking out for the government, and not tweeting, or leaping headlong into hysterical new measures.  Indeed, the overall tenor has been one of - we've prepared for something like this to happen - we are, after all, living in an age of international terror attacks; we've foiled attacks in the past; we're very well prepared; we'll carry on, at least until we have more details of this specific attacker, doing our surveillance, following our leads, being alert - business as usual.  The contrast with Trumperica couldn't be more intense.

(and yes, I know I'm probably idealizing, in various ways - but my point echoes that made elsewhere and in a different context today: Trump will almost certainly take domestic terrorism, when it happens, as an opportunity, not as tragedy).

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