The London Bombings

There isn’t much that can be said about the London bombings that hasn’t been said already. I do have a comment on the origins of these bombers, though. They were English nationals. I can understand (and please note that understanding is not the same as condoning) why people in Palestine and other middle eastern countries might indulge in hari-kari from time to time. Their lives are hard, and the West repeatedly shits on them from a great height. You shit on them, I shit on them. We buy products made in sweatshops, we don’t pay a fair price for our goods. In short, we not only ensure that developing countries stay in the gutter but we kick them in the face as well. Is it any wonder that conditions are created where they hate us? I would.

Many ‘fixes’ are needed to solve this. Two are, I think, particularly important. Free trade needs to be significantly curtailed. It’s not that I think that free trade is an inherently bad idea – it’s just that it only works between peers. Free trade should exist, for example, between the countries of the European Union and America. It should exist between developing countries. But free trade between a developed country and a developing country should be halted, and trading that is done should be significantly skewed in favour of the weaker country. That way we wouldn’t end up with the perverted situation that we have now where it is cheaper for a developing country to buy western food than it is for them to support their own people with home grown produce.

Another important fix would be to make the running of sweatshops illegal and punishable by prison sentence. I don’t have a problem with western companies setting up factories in developing countries where the costs are cheaper (well, actually I do – but it isn’t a moral problem). I do have a problem with those companies that fail to support their workers with a good, living wage. More than that, if the country where the factory is set up can’t afford hospitals, schools and infrastructure then it is incumbent on the western factory owners to set up those facilities for the staff of workers (and residents of the surrounding area), and ensure that they are staffed by locals. It’s not just good business practice, it’s a good way of protecting ourselves from terrorism. The best bit is that we can do something about this ourselves – we can boycott those companies who don’t comply with good moral practice.

So. The English national suicide bomber. I can’t understand it. They had good, comfortable lives in this country. And yet they killed themselves. They had every right to be angry with the policies of the West – but this? Nope, I’m at a loss. Islam, just as Christianity, says ‘Thou Shalt Not Kill’. And they commited suicide for the glory of God? Surely, by their own fundamentalist argument, they’ve just purchased a one-way ticket to the other place?

All this aside, my sympathies go to the victims of this attack – and my admiration goes to the city of London. Carry on regardless – if we don’t carry on then the terrorists win.

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