Where there's a Willesden there's a way

Friday, May 13, 2005

Give in to Terror!

My route home takes me under the railway bridge at Cricklewood, one of the dustiest, noisiest, dirtiest places I know. And definitely not a pleasant place to die. When I walk through there, I tend to turn the walkman up, keep my head down and look for hazards. And in the mornings, pray that a pigeon doesn't drop a poo in my coffee. And if they do, that I'll notice.

As I was walking through there tonight, being Friday 13th, I was more paranoid than usual. Especially as there was a battered old Fiat Uno with a rope sticking out the top of it. It was clearly abandoned, and behind pulled up a police car with flashing lights. As I walked past, I saw something that gave me the creeps- the whole car was full of blue building waste bags, packed tightly together across the front and back seats. Laid across the back seat were also some scaffolding poles which had taken on a suddently lethal air.

I hurried under the bridge as soon as possible, and headed down the road, keen to get away from the area. Suddenly, ludicrous as it may seem, I expected an act of terrorism to shatter my quiet and safe world.

Then I realised just how ludricrous that really was. And just how much fear is driving everyone, myself included, to paranoia and the eventual destruction of our way of life. Because if I'm scared walking by a car packed with blue plastic bags and scaffolding poles, next time a man in a robe with a long beard gets on my bus, maybe I'll get off a stop early. Then I'll be supporting ID cards. And voting New Labour. And that way lies totalitarianism.

Explaining why the only thing the opposing sides in the War on Terror have in common is this: they want us to be afraid. And clearly they're doing a very good job of it.


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