It has been interesting, from living in Northern Ireland, to listen and observe the British Government’s reaction to the London bombings. The discussion on shoot-to-kill and internment without trial policies are not strangers to those who lived through the violence in Northern Ireland. Sean O’Hagan of the Observer has written about his memories coming flooding back, in his article“Living with fear”.
He moots whether London will have to introduce the types of security measures that became everyday life in Belfast: checkpoints, handbag searches, armed patrolmen in the streets, and whether this will become the ‘abnormally normal’:
What is chilling is that this may just be the beginning of a gathering storm and those of us who protested that the war in Iraq was unjust and illegal, who consider Muslim lives in Falluja and Afghanistan as sacrosanct as lives in New York, Madrid or London, must somehow come to terms with the terror like everyone else, and yet not give into fear. This, then, is the question that echoes most loudly across the years: will the abnormally normal life of the small province in which I grew up become the template for all our lives?