Tuesday, 12 October 2010

A Word in Defence of London Underground

Many people will have seen, or rather heard, the recordings released for the first time at the inquest into the 7 July Terrorist Murders in London.

If you haven’t some examples are at:




As so often happens with the media, journalists in search of a sound-bit type quote get emotionally charged friends and family to become angry and to use words like “shambolic” which are succinct but frankly inaccurate.

I think the staff of London Underground are getting very unfair treatment here. The "confusion" was very soon after the explosions (of which there were three at disparate locations within 90 seconds) and I think that no organisation could realistically have reacted differently. It may be that people would prefer staff to react in an excited frantic and dramatic way, they way we see on television or in the cinema. In fact, people remaining calm might not make a “good story” but it is the best way of dealing with a situation.

Indeed, some of the stories which have emerged about help, compassion and heroism from some of the station staff deserve a higher profile than this.

There were a lot of heroes that day. And I defy anyone to have reacted better, other than with that wonderful thing, “the benefit of hindsight”.

1 comment:

  1. Absolutely, Ian. I always remember the advice I was given when I started my summer job in 1977 about running in hospital: the only people allowed to do so are then "crash" team with the defibrillator.