Whatever we say to the contrary, terrorism does affect us. We might not allow the terrorists to change the way we live our lives, but the truth is that it does change our lives.
For example, I can’t walk up Park Street in Bristol without being transported back to 1974 when the IRA tried to kill me. Well, not specifically me, you understand, but they did leave a bomb outside of Dixon’s camera shop which went off literally minutes after I passed. On a rather more serious note, my thoughts yesterday went back to 7/7/2005 after we heard there had been power cuts all over the country. The TV newsreaders were telling us there had been some kind of “power surge” that had caused the outages. My mind went back to that fateful day when four islamist maniacs caused carnage on the underground and on a bus. Had the terrorists been at it? Would we find out some ‘breaking news’ later on? No, it transpired.
7/7 didn’t stop me using the tube in London and I don’t think about the carnage all the time. But it’s there in the very back of my mind.
It’s the same with flying. I remember when going through airport security was a doddle that took virtually no time at all. 9/11, the “shoe bomber” and countless other airport incidents have changed all that. The essential security serves only to remind us of why it’s there. And when I’m on the plane, I know that the actions of Mohamed Atta and his crazed associates will mean I won’t get another chance to visit the flight deck. Little things, little victories, perhaps, for the crazies.
It won’t stop me visiting Paris, Madrid, Barcelona, Nice or anywhere else the islamist fascists have tried to kill us. But the innocence of life has well and truly gone and part of the terrorist’s work is done.