Monday, 12 November 2007

FTSE falls reveal the unspoken

This morning a large plume of smoke was visible from many parts of London. For about half an hour or so nobody seemed quite sure what it was - friends IMed me and we googled around trying to work out what was going on.
Across London traders made their own assumptions and the FTSE fell. A short while later it became clear that it was merely a large fire in a old deserted warehouse. The news machinery kicked into action and BBC 24 soon had a helicopter hovering overhead.
What was more interesting though was the almost unspoken default reaction of both my friends and the traders to any event of this kind - another terrorism attack. I think most Londoners don't so much as fear another attack, as expect it. We are resigned to the almost inevitability of something going bang near us at any time, and are quite willing to re-interpret quite mundane events into the possibility of the extraordinary.
But do we march on the streets demanding action? Do we lobby our politicians? Do we beg for an immediate withdrawal from Iraq? Do we go the other way and demand a bigger crack-down on terror?
No. We are simply resigned to it happening someday. Another inconvenience like a train crash, a tube strike, or a fire. The genie is out of the bottle and although we see it's shadow in the every-day, we are far to busy to spend our time chasing it down.

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