London’s Tragedies

We are all Londoners now

By Alan Tristram ( a personal opinion from the Editor)

I worked in London as a journalist for many years, and lived there too. Now, though I’m a true-red Kiwi, I also feel more and more that part of me is London.

So with my wife Helen, who really is English, I weep with Londoners for all that has happened this year.

We were in the UK for two months from the beginning of March and we experienced some of the fear which took hold after the Westminster Bridge terrorist attack.

Now horror has been piled up on horror. And the threat of religious conflagration is never far from people’s minds.

However, there is another side to all this, and it is the spirit of Londoners.

When Helen and I squeezed into crowded tube trains, and the ubiquitous red double-decker buses, we were struck by three things:

  • The incredible diversity of people, races and religions.  Muslims from North Africa, Blacks from every corner of Africa. East Europeans from all the old Communist Bloc states, Arab women in scarves or burkhas, Pakistanis galore…you name the country, London has its representatives tucked in somewhere.
  • The courtesy and generosity of  Londoners — we we never able to stand for long without people insisting we take their seats.
  • Courage — in spite of appalling happenings, the police, fire officers and ambulance staff just plugged along without much fuss. Nurses and doctors rushed out of near-by hospitals to render first aid.

As the Nazis discovered, you can’t put down a people like this.

In coming weeks and months, we expect this ‘Good’ that is in common people will reassert itself, and flourish.

Remember this when you greet the Lions’ supporters!