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Temperatures Rising
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mosque attacker

The official temperature in London is 31C. This is the measure taken properly, in the shade, as prudence and good methodology requires. In actual fact, the temperature in the sunshine is 36C, and that is what strikes the skin of any Londoner, but that is the least of our problems. Last night, admittedly a sultry one by local standards, an idiot decided to drive his hire van at a crowd outside a mosque, severely injuring at least 10 persons, and possibly contributing to the death of an elderly man who was already unwell, probably because of the heat.

In the weary litany of dreadful events, in terms of modus operandi this one counts as a deliberate running down of pedestrians, but in this case without the additional stabbing. With commendable restraint, the injured crowd handed the assailant, a 47-year-old white man, over to the Police. He had already declared: “I want to kill Muslims.” As seems usual, he too was taken off to hospital “as a precaution” in case he was injured in the process of trying to kill people. The van was apparently hired in Wales. He was not known to the authorities, the authorities say. His neighbours say he is Darren Osborne, of Cardiff, and they are very surprised at his actions.

Political leaders have visited the scene and made statements.

Meanwhile, in the still raw aftermath of the Grenfell Tower tragedy, the Press have done what they always do after a disaster: they have identified the heroes and the villains. The latter category is understandably generating most attention. The local Borough leaders are accused of incompetence and worse, and the search for who knew what, and approved what, at what stage, continues with renewed vigour. Meanwhile, once the Press had agreed how wrong it was of emergency service operators to advise people to stay put in their flats, the Fire Service have said that that remains their advice “in the majority of circumstances”.

There is general surprise that the fire spread so quickly. However, it is not yet known with any precision when the fire started. An emergency call was received at 00.54 in the morning of 14 June. At least one neighbour says he was shown the fire in the flat, which implies the front door was open at some stage, and some accounts say that the flat owner took time to pack some suitcases before leaving. This is unclear, as so much is always unclear in the immediate aftermath of a fire.

The old way of doing things was to gather forensic evidence and interview all the people concerned, once they were over the immediate shock of the event, and then put together the best estimate of what actually happened. Modern times demand a faster pace, and everyone is sure the fire spread very quickly. It seems probable that the cladding was a major contributor, but since most things burn at a high temperature, the time from first flames to the fire brigade being called is crucial to understanding the vulnerabilities of such buildings and their defensive systems. The case for sprinkler systems seems very strong, and if the economic case for installing them in every flat is considered problematical, it seems highly unwise not to have them in the stairwells and ground floor exit lobby at the very least, and preferably also in all the corridors.

It would good be to say that London is keeping calm and carrying on, but these are not normal times. There is a sense of things having shifted in some profound way. It is not just the rush to judgment, but a rush to a lack of judgment, and implausible assurances to all and sundry that everything will be taken care of (those in government), or must be taken care of (those wanting to be in government) and a competition among all politicians to show compassion, outrage, leadership, or whatever is required on an hourly basis by the public.

Perhaps rain will make a difference.

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  1. dearieme says:

    It reminds me of the antics after the death if Diana: a rather disgusting wallow in cheap sentimentality and nasty stupidity.

    • Replies: @Anon
  2. EH says:

    It appears the actual location of the incident was about 300 meters away from the mosque by foot. The only indication that it was an attack rather than an accident caused by people unexpectedly gathered in the street is the testimony of some of the Moslem bystanders, who are quite possibly lying about what the driver said, just as some of them lied about how long it took the police to arrive, saying it was an hour when it was 5 minutes or less. Other witnesses reported screeching that could have been brakes, the driver stopped his vehicle and got out unarmed (and appears to have been beaten by the mob for his trouble, would have been killed except for the intervention of an imam). The crowd that was hit had been gathered around a man who had collapsed in the middle of the street and likely was already been dead or dying, who was the only fatality in the incident. The victims of the collision were apparently only mildly to moderately injured, none in critical condition, unlike that 11 year-old girl cut in half in a truck attack in Stockholm just a few weeks ago. If the van in the Finsbury Park incident had been moving fast, as it presumably would if the driver had been trying to attack, there would be similar injuries to the Stockholm attack and the Nice attack, but in this case there seems to have been no more than a shot glass of blood spilled. The initial claims that he drove on the sidewalk seem to have been dropped. The driver has no known links to extremism.

    Meanwhile there’s been a stabbing of a 14 year old boy in a church in London and a weapons- and explosives-laden van went kamikaze on a convoy of police vehicles in the heart of Paris. The girls killed at the concert recently have been forgotten after the subsequent Moslem attacks. The same media that were so circumspect about calling the Moslem acts terrorism and about attributing the attacks to Islam and its official and widely-supported doctrines of jihad and martyrdom are showing no such reticence in calling this van incident an attack and attributing it to “Islamophobia”, “hate”, “terrorism” and White men.

    Moslems are complaining of being apparent targets of this very, very rare instance of Moslems in the West being injured by a White man while virtually never protesting their fellow-Muslims who commit terrorism every week and violence every day, nor even apparently sympathizing with their thousands of victims. CNN recently was caught stage-directing a “Moslem anti-terrorism demonstration” to appear larger because so few Moslems show up for a real rally of that sort (by their own account) or faking it with actors entirely (as the right alleges, which seemed to be the case from the video). Either way, it shows Moslems in Britain are not too worked up about terrorism by their child-mass-murdering brothers in faith against their too-generous hosts. The refusal of the Saudi team to honor the moment of silence for the victims of terrorism reinforces that impression for Moslems around the world. As a group they seemingly couldn’t care less about anyone else, nor see how this causes them to be perceived by others.

    If Finsbury Park turns out to not be an intentional attack Moslems and their media advocates will look bad, but even if it turns out that it actually was an intentional attack, because of their lack of sympathy for the victims of atrocities while demanding infinite sympathy for their own relatively slight injury, Moslems will be seen by a large segment of the populace who formerly had been sympathetic more and more as inimical, lying whingers than as victims.

  3. Anon • Disclaimer says:

    Yes – Theresa May as the Queen, with BBC reporters trawling the crowds to find Labour activists/ordinary bystanders happy to accuse her of not emoting enough.

  4. Anon • Disclaimer says:

    And some inconvenient truths start to emerge.

    “Some victims of the Grenfell Tower fire may never be identified because they were living in flats sublet without permission by the original tenants, according to the local North Kensington Law Centre.

    Others who survived the blaze were reluctant to seek help from the authorities because they feared being detained over their unresolved immigration status, said Victoria Vasey, the organisation’s director.”

    30-odd years back, living in London, I knew well-paid professionals who were living in council flats sub-let by the original tenant, who had often moved elsewhere or even abroad.

  5. G Pinfold says:

    EH, these were my sentiments exactly. The rush to judgement was obscene. In fact T May made a point of saying that the police took exactly 8 minutes (‘co-incidentally’ the same time it took to pot the London Bridge terrorists) for the police to begin to treat the incident as a ‘terrorist attack’.

    There is objectively no comparison between he two incidents – especially not the casualty rates.

    Any investigator would look at finsbury and scratch his head. Just look at the incongruity – as you have observed, between the accounts: the early accounts (ie, the actual eye witnesses) are all over the place… there were three people in the van, etc. Rapidly, the hive mind, ably assisted by the media, got the story straight. Who in that hive would depart from the narrative? Just imagine plucky Achmed stepping forward to say: ‘sorry, that’s not right. He never said that. He said “get off my face or I’ll kill the lot of you”‘.
    Then there are questions about the heart attack victim and the crowd possibly spilling into the street to help him.
    The other questions around motive are why did Osborne stop; and why did he not arm himself.
    On the other the hand, the Daily Mail, which, as heir to the tabloid reporting tradition, can be relied upon to dig the dirt, reveals an unflattering picture of Mr Osborne. The Mail’s investigation rather contradicts Dr Thompson’s claim that Osborne’s family was surprised. Suffice it to say that many close acquaintances were less than gobsmacked that the violent nutter had gone full nutter.
    A bit of a non-story, really.

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