Friday, April 07, 2006

Out of the loop

In our testimony at the London Assembly, I and many others, spoke of the hundreds of people who walked away from the tragedy on 7th July. We floated the notion that many were suffering alone without contact or support from the helping hand of the government.

Yesterday I met one such wanderer. Remarkably we were standing right next to each other on the day. We remembered the same things, the voices of comfort, the screams of hysteria, but we had absolutely no recollection of each other.

She had found out about Kings Cross United through a friend. Until last night she had been completely alone in her suffering. The relief on her face as we talked and recounted was palpable.

I am certain she is not alone. Hers must be a story of hundreds. If ever anyone comes forward and admits responsibility for the task of supporting these forgotten victims of our war on terror, they will have a lot to answer for. Until then we can only keep on helping each other.

The extent to which she had fallen out of the loop was extraordinary. She lives and works in London, it is an unforgivable failure in communication. She knew nothing of the 7th July Assistance Centre, was distraught at the realisation that she could have attended the remembrance ceremony at St Paul’s Cathedral in November last year. She had no idea about the systems of compensation, or that she was even eligible. She had heard a little about the London Assembly review into the 7th July but did not know that her testimony would have been welcomed. She had never heard about the forthcoming meeting with Tessa Jowell, and so the list goes on.

I am about to email her with all of these details.

Who is being paid to do this job of ‘victim support’? Certainly not me. It is a disgrace. Lessons must be learned and it must NEVER be allowed to happen again.

How many other lost souls are going it alone out there, long forgotten by the powers that be?