A most impressive response to the bombings is coming from Britain, but that shouldn't be a surprise. Resolve, stoicism, aplomb, and humor abound...just what we expect and exactly why we adore them. From friends I've heard the pubs are packed, folks are shopping in Central London, and to quote one friend, "earliest suggestions (not entirely serious) were to blame the French...." The unflappable Ken Livingstone, Mayor of London, has issued a statement so strong and human it deserves to be among our most cherished texts. Here's a snippet:
Finally, I wish to speak directly to those who came to London today to take life.
I know that you personally do not fear giving up your own life in order to take others - that is why you are so dangerous. But I know you fear that you may fail in your long-term objective to destroy our free society and I can show you why you will fail.
In the days that follow look at our airports, look at our sea ports and look at our railway stations and, even after your cowardly attack, you will see that people from the rest of Britain, people from around the world will arrive in London to become Londoners and to fulfil their dreams and achieve their potential.
They choose to come to London, as so many have come before because they come to be free, they come to live the life they choose, they come to be able to be themselves. They flee you because you tell them how they should live. They don't want that and nothing you do, however many of us you kill, will stop that flight to our city where freedom is strong and where people can live in harmony with one another. Whatever you do, however many you kill, you will fail.
What a fucking City!