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7/7 Memorial

The recollections and ceremonies one year on were unexpectedly moving today.

The courage of the victims combined with the vivid descriptions of their experiences seems to penetrate skins thickened by years of IRA terrorism. In particular the description by a victim of noticing the bomber reaching into his rucksack to detonate the bomb was particularly chilling to those of us who traveled on the tube every day for decades.

The injured victims and the grieving families of those killed want a public enquiry because the perpetrators are dead, there will be no criminal trial and there is no body to sue. But our society brought up the young men who did this - gave them the experience and the values that led them to take these awful actions. With a bit of historical knowledge and some imagination we could understand what we had done to the Irish Catholic community over centuries to generate the reaction in the form of the IRA but this is different.

Many of the colonial actions of the Europeans and the post colonial adventures of Britain and the USA in the Middle East may have been harsh and insensitive but why would four Yorkshire lads feel that they had to take this on. Is there a real recruiting sergeant in the background or were they deluding themselves that killing more innocent people would make a difference? Branding them as terrorists is meaningless and provides no hint of a solution - it is literally hopeless.

Some of these questions suggest why the Government have no desire to have these issues exposed to forensic examination and that just confirms our suspicion that they too are feeling very uncomfortable about having taken us to wars in the Middle East without any real plan or commitment to the investment required to build the conditions for lasting peace based on honor and respect for all the parties except perhaps the convicted criminals.

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