The Anonymous Widower

Could More Pedestrianisation And Better Public Transport Be A Weapon Against Terrorism?

Protecting against the sort of attack like the one in Nice last night , must be every policeman’s nightmare.

The City of London put a ring of steel around the Square Mile and there hasn’t been a serious attack since. But it caused lots of other problems.

I actually think, that we now have so many areas where large crowds congregate for work, shopping and sporting events, that we need more and more traffic restrictions like those proposed for Oxford Street.

Intriguingly, the City of London is going the same way and wants to remove a lot of traffic from the area around Bank.

So is this pedestrianisation, perhaps linked with better public transport, one of our best weapons against terrorism?

The Mind Of A Terrorist

I don’t know, as I’m at best, a poor amateur psychologist, but it strikes me there are two types of terrorist wanting to create mayhem and kill lots of people.

The first group, are those who want to leave a bomb or device and get safely away.The Bishopsgate and Baltic Exchange bombings which in today’s money together caused over a billion pounds of damage, are examples of this type, where no-one was ever prosecuted, or even publicly named.

The second group are the much-more suicide bombers, who generally strike without warning

Incidentally, I only think one Irish bomber was killed by his own bomb and we can all be thankful for that, as if suicide tactics had been employed, we would have seen many more deaths.

The City Of London’s Ring Of Steel

The City of London is protected by a so-called Ring of Steel, which is a network of barriers, check-points and 649 CCTV cameras.

It certainly seems to have protected the City from further bombings and made terrorists seek out alternative targets outside the Square Mile.

It has had one very positive effect, although at times that doesn’t seem to be as effective as it was. The City inside the ring, is now a very pleasant place to walk about and explore, as traffic is much-reduced.

Also, at weekends, the City is now a very quiet place for much of the year.

When I was still driving and needed perhaps to park a car for the evening or overnight, I would also park it prominently on a meter or legal parking space inside the ring, as I knew it would still be there in the morning.

The Future Of The City Of London

The City of London is pushing ahead with a policy of pedestrianisation, improved walking routes and better access to the Underground and rail network.

They have one great advantage compared to most other local authorities. Land is so expensive in the City and therefore fortunes are spent to create buildings that will earn billions, that if the City says to a developer, can you put an Underground entrance in your building, the answer is usually yes.

At the present time, Bloomberg are creating a new headquarters building called Walbrook Square, that will incorporate a second entrance to the Waterloo and City Line.

Other cities across the UK and the wider world are not so lucky!

Crossrail and the upgraded Thameslink will have their effects on the City, because of the positions of their stations and other factors.

  • , Crossrail will have a massive double-ended station stretching from Liverpool Street in the East to Moorgate in the West.
  • Thameslink will have a line of stations; Fasrringdon, City Thameslink and Blackfriars, down the West of the City.
  • Crossrail and Thameslink will have their important interchange at Frarringdon.
  • Crossrail will have a major interchange at Whitechapel serving the East of the City.
  • Thameslink will also have a major interchange at London Bridge, just across the River from the City.
  • Crossrail and Thameslink will be running two hundred metre long trains at a frequency of twenty-four trains per hour in both directions.

Add to that the existing services of the Central, Circle, District, Metropolitan and Waterloo and City Lines of the Underground and National Rail services out of Cannon Street, Fenchurch Street, Liverpool Street and Moorgate, all of which will be upgraded and I believe that at some point in the future, the City of London, will take the bold and very green step of making the whole area a pedestrian-only one, with the only vehicles allowed in the day, being approved electrical ones.

It would be a bold move, but it have several positive effects.

  • Air quality would improve.
  • The City would be the place to work!
  • The City would become one of London’s major tourist attractions, with visitors able to walk all across from St. Pauls to the Tower and the River.
  • Innovation would work to provide the services a city needed despite the restrictions.

Would terrorists realise that the sort of spectaculars they love, would be more difficult and go elsewhere?

We could see a return to suicide bombers on the Underground!


The City of London will reinvent itself, as it does periodically with great success.

Given that Oxford Street has said that it will pedestrianise by 2020, are we seeing a green transport revolution?

I can think of a few other cities and towns, that could follow London’s example.




July 15, 2016 Posted by | Travel, World | , , , , | 9 Comments

The Attack On La Promenade Des Anglais

I know the area of the despicable, cowardly and ultimately tragic attack well, as over the last thirty years or so, I’ve been to Nice several times and stayed just off that road and even walked down the road, which runs parallel to the beach. There are even pictures of the area in Wandering Around Nice.

Years ago, when we had the house in Antibes, I seem to remember one Bastille Day going to see the fireworks. It was chaotic, as they still allow traffic to go through the area. Which I think they did last night!

Protecting against this sort of attack, must be every policeman’s nightmare.


July 15, 2016 Posted by | World | , | Leave a comment

Shooting Down A US Heavy Helicopter

About twenty years ago, I heard a story, how an engineer at Cambridge University, programmed a computer to recognise the Duke of Edinburgh’s voice.

I have also read about smart mortars, that look for something big, metallic and making a lot of noise and if it appears to be a tank, they hit it.

Last night, I was woken by the distinctive noise of President Obama’s helicopter as it flew over East London from Stansted. The noise is just so distinctive.

How long will it be before someone parks a missile on a roof with a smart guidance system, looking for a distinctive noise signature in the sky?

April 22, 2016 Posted by | World | , | 2 Comments

Another Suicide Bombing

This morning, this report on the BBC, is talking of another suicide bombing in Afghanistan.

Correct me if I’m wrong, but I can’t think of any suicide bombing, where the perpetrator wasn’t Muslim.

So why is this deadly practice an exclusively Muslim phenomena?

April 19, 2016 Posted by | World | , , | 3 Comments

The Evil Killing Of A Shopkeeper

This story on the BBC is untitled Arrest after Glasgow shopkeeper Asad Shah dies in attack.

In my view, this marks a new low for Islam in the UK, in that a thoroughly decent Muslim shopkeeper was murdered by another Muslim man, because he was being thoroughly decent and friendly to his Christian friends and customers.

That in my book is terrorism and the evil bastard who did this should be treated with the full force of the law.

March 26, 2016 Posted by | World | , , | 1 Comment

Corbyn Not Happy With Shoot-To-Kill

This article on the BBC web site is entitled Jeremy Corbyn ‘not happy’ with shoot-to-kill policy.

What would this mean for armed police officers, who came across a group of Islamic State terrorists murdering people in a theatre?

  • They could offer themselves up as human shields.
  • They could wait until the attackers ran out of bullets and arrest them.
  • They could call Corbyn and ask him to negotiate.

Jeremy Corbyn’s thought processes are useless against the nutters of Islamic State.

November 16, 2015 Posted by | World | , , | Leave a comment

Is This How To Fight ISIS?

I first read about ISIS-Chan in The Times and I’m surprised that this Japanese character hasn’t spread into more of the media.

I did find this article about the  anime in this article on CNN-Money.

The idea is to so fill Google and the other search engines with the harmless stories, that the real hardcore ISIS filth becomes impossible to find.

Let’s hope that the UK and other governments are creating masses of similar material in their fight against the evil madmen of ISIS and other terrorist groups.

Those that choose to spread their perverted material by the Internet should be strangled by the Internet.


September 11, 2015 Posted by | Computing, World | , , | Leave a comment

London Just Carried On

Ten years ago today, I published a post on my old blog entitled Carry On London, as a reflection after the bombings earlier in the day.

I make no apologies for repeating it today.

Tuesday, I went to the funeral of a friend. Alex died young at 48. Life is cruel. But even the funeral was not a sad affair! Alex wouldn’t have wanted it so and stated it probably many times before she died!

Wednesday, I was in Trafalgar Square, when my fair and beloved city, London, was announced as the winner of the 2012 Olympic Games. Life can be so sweet.

But then we have the bombings of today!

Thousands of times, I’ve travelled through the tunnels under London. Many times, I’ve done the stretch between Kings Cross and Russell Square, where most of the casualties occurred. Occassionally, I’ve used the two parts of the Circle Line, where the other two bombs went off.

Am I bitter? Angry? Sad? Vindictive?

Not sure!

Sad yes! As why would anybody want to do such a thing! How would I feel if one of my sons did that? I would know I had failed. How would I feel if one of my sons had got caught in the blasts. I don’t know! But thankfully they didn’t.

So it has to be sadness at the moment. Vindictiveness only follows the old eye for an eye maxim, which means that we all go blind!

But perhaps, the greatest thing we can do is just carry on, remembering those that died and vowing to be more vigilant so that it won’t happen again.

Fay would have done that. She worked for my father and during the Second World War, the shy girl from North London, worked as a conductor on the buses. One day, the bus she should have been on, was hit directly by a German bomb. Everybody died! She just remembered the tragedy, I suspect she cried long and hard, and then she carried on.

A few crackpots, who take the good name of Islam in vain, should never be able to bring London to its knees, when the evil Hitler and the Luftwaffe failed.

A last point for Bush and all those who think that the death penalty is a deterrent in these sort of cases. I’ll ignore the fact that the London atrocities may well have been suicide bombers, which are usually pretty difficult to execute. But as I am someone who has no belief in any religious being at all, I do believe that we should do all we can to preserve reasonable life here, as there is nothing more to come. So if we ever execute anybody, then we are losing our own humanity and descending below their level.

Carry on London.

A lot has happened to me since that fateful day of the 7th July, 2005.

My wife of nearly forty years and our youngest son, both died of cancer. I then had a stroke, which left me unable to drive. So I’ve moved back to London and almost ironically, I now live close to the route of the number 30 bus, one of which was destroyed with the loss of thirteen lives in the bombings.

But London has looked after me, as only one of the world’s great cities can.

And London has carried on, just as Fay believed you should.

July 7, 2015 Posted by | World | , | Leave a comment

Are We Doing Enough To Combat The Real Terrorism Problem?

Over the years, I’ve met people in all walks of life that deal with terrorism and crime in general. So I like to think I have a good insight into it.

The United States will claim it hasn’t had any terrorist attacks since 9/11, but isn’t the dreadful attack on the congregation of the church in Charleston headlined in this BBC article as Charleston church shooting: Nine die in South Carolina ‘hate crime’, nothing more than a similar attack to the one on the innocent sunbathers in Tunisia.

The links between the two crimes are the twisted motivations of the perpetrators and the easy availability of guns, that can fire large numbers of bullets.

One of the reasons, we have not had a deadly gun attack in this country, since the Dunblane and Hungerford massacres, is that it is just too difficult to get a deadly weapon like a Kalashnikov in this country. I don’t think we’ve even had an incident in recent years involving such a gun, where perhaps gangs of drug dealers are settling an argument.

But are we doing enough to keep these deadly weapons out of the UK?

As an engineer with extensive knowledge of modern manufacturing techniques, I believe that it is now possible to create a workable machine gun, that was mainly created on one of the new industrial 3-D printers, with perhaps a few small metal parts smuggled through border controls. I should also say that I know of a manufacturer, who posts and receives specialist stainless steel parts through the post from all over the world.

After all, this report on the BBC describes how nutters in Texas have created a gun that fires using a 3-D printer.

I believe it won’t be long before someone creates a set of plastic parts, which when put around the working parts of an assault rifle create a gun that can be fired by any suicidal terrorist.

There is no defence against such a weapon getting onto the streets through this method.

I’m pretty sure that someone is working on doing it. Probably in the United States, where it seems that owning an assault rifle is something that many want to do. But then adding sense to the gun laws of the United States, is as difficult as making a serious alcoholic or heavy smoker see sense.

July 1, 2015 Posted by | World | , , , | Leave a comment

The Tragedy In Tunisia

For the second time in my life terrorism has got personal with my memories.

Two weeks after I stayed in the Taj Mahal Hotel in Mumbai, it was attacked.

It must be nearly twenty years ago, that C and myself, stayed in Sousse and had a wonderful holiday.

But, it is nothing to all of those directly affected, whose lives will be changed forever by the pointless actions of the terrorists.

My heart goes out to everyone who has suffered loss!

When will it all end?

I sometimes think, that the time has come to send in the troops to cleanse the world of the scourge that is Islamic State, Boko Harum and all of the others, who just like killing people and destroying things and the lives of others for fun!

These groups are no more Muslim than I am!

But we would reap the whirlwind, as things would just get worse!

June 28, 2015 Posted by | World | , | 2 Comments