"I will at the earliest opportunity, assemble in London in a public demonstration of respect to the victims of the July 7 atrocity, defiance of the murderers who carried it out and solidarity with the people of London but only if 100 other people will too."While watching the telly last night, I realised how different the coverage of the attack on London by British TV networks and the coverage of the 9/11 attacks by American TV networks.
I have yet to see a single Union Jack flag being flown in the background by the BBC or ITV (I do not watch Sky News). Even London's Evening Standard (which is owned by the Mail group) has no example of such feverish patriotism that gripped America during the few days after the 9/11 attacks (apart from page 9 where Camilla blurted "It makes me proud to be British").
On the streets no one was carrying the Union Jack or St. George. No. One. Not a single one. Not a single store I visited were selling flags. In US it was Walmart, K-mart, you know - grocery stores. I visited Sainsbury's and Safeway. Both do not do flags. Yes, I asked. And got blank faces.
"Flags? Why do you need one?"
"You are British?" to which I replied "Well I am not...yet, but then again London do not have our own flag do we now?"
Where the fuck did they get their flags for Wimbledon and the Queen's Jubilee?
No one installed flags onto their cars. No one has a flag pole up their garden. The local school has no flag. Innocent kids weren't forced to don Union Jacks on their faces.
Not. A. Single. One.
Well, not a single one from London that I can see. The only flag I saw yesterday was on the council where it flew at half mast. Even the police doesn't have Union Jacks on their lapels.
After 9/11 switch to CNN or NBC and we would often witness reporters interviewing outraged Midwestern Americans some thousands of miles away from New York:
"We will get em all!"
"Let's lynch them!"
"We will smoke them out."
Compared that to Ken Livingstone's:
How cool is that? He scolded the terrorists and at the same time he encouraged immigration to London.
"This year for the first time in human history a majority of people live in cities. London continues to grow and I say to those who planned this dreadful attack whether they are still here in hiding or somewhere abroad, watch next week as we bury our dead and mourn them, but see also in those same days new people coming to this city to make it their home to call themselves Londoners and doing it because of that freedom to be themselves, thank you."
You might think this is weird. But it isn't.
You see, when London was attacked, everyone was. The city is just so multi-cultural that it wasn't just Britain that was attacked, it was every country. When I was in Malaysia the government would give the usual mumbo jumbo on how multi-cultural KL is among the whole wide world. All bollocks. London is even more so than KL*.
And Londoners realised that (that London is multi-cultural, not better than KL). Which is why we have yet to see any showcase of patriotism.
Which is why I doubt we will see some sort of idiotic new bill here titled the Patriot Act. They can try but trust me, London will defeat it.
* I might sound anti-KL here, don't get me wrong. KL is still a multi-cultural city, just not as pumped up by Malaysia's pig headed government. To them multi-cultural is okay as long as the people are Malaysian-Malays (not those criminals from Indonesia), Malaysian-Chinese (not beggers from China), Malaysian-Indians (not Pakis) and rich white people (except gays and commies). Others can fuck off (except rich people, please come in)
Malaysia's system of faith-based or racial-based political system is worrying. Is Malaysia supposed to be only made up of: Malays, Chinese and Indians? What about other Malaysians from other races? If we have a Jewish-Malaysian or a Japanese-Malaysian, does that mean they are excluded from our society? I may blog abot this some day but right now isn't the time.