Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Do we care how much money the bombings cost?

Before Christmas I was called by a journalist from the BBC World Service.

He told me he had been carrying out some investigations into how much the London bombings cost. This is his story . He asked me what my reaction would be if he told me they had cost 'only a few hundred pounds'. It's not often that I find myself speechless. For once I wasn't speechless from shock, anger or disbelief, I was speechless because I just didn't care.

I felt rather pathetic as I eventually replied 'I don't know really'. Most unlike me I can assure you! I was just bemused and couldn't really see the point of the conversation. I told him that what I really cared about was the lives that had been lost and what had driven these young men to do this.

I really don't think that money is the issue. Once the mindset is there the money will come whether legally or illegally. It doesn't cost money to kill people. You can stab someone with a kitchen knife for pennies, you can pour petrol over a sleeping family's house and burn them alive for the price of a match. It doesn't cost money to kill, and quite frankly who cares if it does.

I care about learning from what happened, about having an independent public enquiry, about making this country a safer place to live in, and I don't care how much that costs either.

He seemed surprised at my indifference and kept pushing me to get some sort of a reaction. He told me that the Madrid bombings had cost significantly more. I reminded him that they weren't suicide bombers in Madrid. In London they paid with their lives, what is worth more?

I told him I could quite see how these atrocities could be carried out on a shoestring. There were 4 men involved, possibly a handful more. Personally I do not believe in this theory of an almighty Al Qaida power which is trawling the world and brainwashing vulnerable young men. I believe they did this on their own, they brain washed each other. What does it cost to do this? A couple of flights to Pakistan to receive basic training, materials to produce the explosives, train tickets to London, what else? Why should it cost any more.

52 people were killed....hundreds were injured and are still suffering...that is the cost and that is what we should be talking about....not money.