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Archive for the ‘London Transport’ Category

TRIAL 

(clockwise from top left): Muktar Said Ibrahim, Yassin Omar, Hussain Osman and Ramzi Mohammed. Photograph: Metropolitan Police/PA Source

 

Four men convicted of the 21 July bomb plot have been jailed for life, with a minimum tariff of 40 years each.

Muktar Ibrahim, 29, Yassin Omar, 26, Ramzi Mohammed, 25, and Hussain Osman, 28, were found guilty on Monday.

Their plot to detonate explosives on three Tube trains and a bus in London in 2005 was a “viable… attempt at mass murder”, the judge said.

Two other men – Manfo Kwaku Asiedu and Adel Yahya – face a retrial after the first jury failed to reach a verdict… Read more

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With knife crime sweeping across the country , the politicians are quick to mete out their hollow words. We need to be tougher on crime, they say, and the media picks this up and plasters it across its front pages. An amnesty will soon be in place to curb the spiralling wave of crime, as communities are devastated, and soon all will be forgotten – that’s until another victim falls on the street splattered with blood.

Any bus journey home, in any corner of the UK, could be your last. The streets are teeming with “thugs” who are bent on crime and intimidation. This is not something new – it has been like this for ages. And for a very long time too, the government has been trying to do something about it but all with empty promises.

What I am extremely irritated by, though, is the opinions of those people – (some) White people – who assume that this country is being degraded by black people and their cultures. As soon as the talk of crime gets underway, they already seem to know their suspects. Young, Black, Male, with nothing better to do than infiltrate this country with their crime and filth. I remember very well reading the Evening Standard, last year, when An Wilson said that “the only contribution” Somalis make to this society is “street crime and violence”! I am almost certain that when Mr Wilson wrote those words he was either highly intoxicated or his head was too far up his arse to make any sense.

This is the sort of racist tinge to crime, that Jackie describes here, I despise;

…there is a racist tinge to the reaction of the majority. People think, but don’t say, well, it’s only black on black, or Asian on Asian for that matter. It is one gang of uncivilised young thugs against another (though Kodjo was neither a gang member nor a young thug). Keep out of their way, and these murders will continue but won’t touch us. When the people involved are young and white, another defence mechanism kicks in: “Well, it happened outside a pub/nightclub in the small hours. If you’re not young, male and drinking in the wrong place, this won’t touch you.”

Crime has no colour, neither does wickedness. These youths understand the leniency this government has towards crime and are taking advantage of it – they know they will be out soon, with their “street credibility” up a notch. Prison is no deterrent whatsoever. And the poor mother lies in her bed in grievance. Another son lost, another mother bereaved. Over the past two weeks alone 14 murder cases involving knives were reported and just over this weekened alone there were 50 cases involving knives.

Imagine if this country had a National Service scheme – where every child, upon finishing his/her GCSEs, must go through a compulsory one or two years service in the Army!

I am all for bringing back corporal punishment in schools as well as capital punishment in the country. Anyone agrees?

An eye for an eye, makes the whole world blind, but sometimes it’s the best solution!

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It was a bright and beautiful morning today. The golden rays of the sun gave the fertile earth a striking radiance. I serenely watched the sun ascend the sky and listened to Nick Ferrari on LBC 97.3 while taking my nephews and nieces to school. It was there where I discovered the trial of the failed London Bombings of 21/7.

Half an hour later, I was outside Belmarsh. I wanted to hear the proceedings of the case and joined a long line of TV presenters, journalists, Photographers and Cameramen all standing in the cold, outside Woolwich Crown Court. One by one, they went through the metal barriers and extensive security checks. Having placed my bag and all contents of my pocket in the screening unit, I walked through the metal detectors and they started beeping. I had to take off my jacket, re-assure him that it was my belt buckle, raise my hands and stand for a full body search just to be let in. Several police officers carrying firearms guarded the place and walked back and forth. I became anxious. What if one of them trigger-happy ones just pointed it at me?

Court Room 3. That’s where the case of the six men – Mr Ibrahim, 28, from Stoke Newington in north London, Mr Mohamed, 25, from North Kensington in west London, Mr Omar, 26, from New Southgate in north London, Mr Osman, 28, of no fixed address, Mr Asiedu, 33, of no fixed address, and Mr Yahya, 24, of Tottenham in north London – accused of plotting to murder Londoners was to be heard. I went upstairs squeezing past the swarm of journalists. I felt a bit uneasy, but went through the double-doors where a uniformed man guarded the entrance. As I approached him, he took one glance at me.

“Are you a friend, family member, relative, what?” he asked

“None,” I replied.

I was the only Somali person there. To be honest, there were three black people there altogether including me. Nevertheless, I was rather surprised by his automatic assumption that having the same complexion or similar features as the accused men makes me somehow related to them or an acquaintance.

“then, you are?” he asked inquisitively

“the Public,” I answered, emphasizing the word public. Yes, I was simply an enthusiast of the courts.

“Sorry mate, the public gallery is already filled,” he replied

“How about the press gallery?” I enquired, presenting him my press card.

“That has been filled too,” he replied, looking at me slightly puzzled.

Maybe i should have just said Family, then he would have let me in. Hmm…

Other cases of Drug trafficking etc, were to be heard in other courts, but not as interesting as this one, so I made my way home disappointed. To be there and hear the case unfold is far more rewarding than watching its review on the screen, isn’t it?

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She towered over me with an earnest look in her eyes, as I sat in the crowded 380 bus from Thamesmead. From time to time, she’d hurl a quick glance my way, hold it for a few seconds, and then retreat. Shifting her weight from one leg and now to the other and pushing the golden strands of hair that clustered around her delicate face, she’d once again give me another fleeting look. She looked out of place – as if she did not belong to that part of the society where commuting on crowded, steamed and stench-ridden buses was a daily ritual. She was very elegant too – a willowy woman of the refined class she seemed and acted like it was her first time on buses (probably her car broke down). She had a face that glistened like early morning dew and a delicate yet pungent fragrance that wafted through the bus, easing the mists of suffocation with its sweet scent.

I interpreted her quick glances and restlessness as an attempt to persuade me to vacate my seat for her, but I didn’t. I would have done though, had she been fragile and old but she was only in her late 30s or early 40s. Was I wrong?

Though I was brought up in a country where a man never sits whilst a woman, or a girl for that matter, is standing, and where vacating your seat for any woman, young or old is obligatory and a prerequisite for good manners, yet I didn’t. I wanted to, but did not and I don’t know why! is it due to to-day’s time and age? There was a time even here in England when men possessed gentlemanly manners! But that era is long gone and the chivalrous Englishman has departed, insolence filling his void!

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Lets see if the power of the Blogs and circulation can change something and bring to justice the assailant of our American friend Jackie Danicki. “If you’re in London, Jackie Danicki could use your help with a photo identification”….

I have witnessed some roughness whilst on London Transport on several occassions, though I was lucky enough not to be involved!

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Do other people’s conversations absorb you at times or is it just me? There’s something about the conversations other people, usually commuters, have on the phone that make you want to listen to the other side of the story. I always am intrigued by what the person on the other side is saying, especially when am sitting close to the person on the phone, for their conversation lures me. On my way to work this morning a pretty young girl, about 19 I’d say, sat facing me at the large back seat in the lower deck of the bus. She was playing with her large ear hoops and the piercing on her nose when her phone rang.
“Took me for a fucking prick again didn’t ya?” she greeted the caller
A few seconds passed and I wondered what the conversation was about
“No, you told me you woz gonna call me between 10 and 11, and I waited all night for you. I didn’t even ‘ave propa sleep, so don’t gimme that bullshit” she shouted
I assume at this point the other person must have apologised or something
“No you’re not sorry, how can you be when you fucking stood me up you prick”
“I called you from the phonebox and told you to call me back, you didn’t even bovver calling back did ya, coz you was wiv your boys innit”
“You went to sleep? What wivin 2 minutes?”
“you’re a prick”
A long silence ensued, and I think he started relating a long-winded tale, which she somehow believed for she stopped shouting at him. A few more words and he had her on a leash and she was heard saying “I love you” in a very low voice.

Or at times, a couple would be sitting behind and i could hear the woman engaged in a long conversation with the man about each other’s day and life. Usually their conversations are about one another and are not as intruiging but something caught my attention:

“Do you think I am beautiful?”

“Of course you are darling, you’re beautiful”

Then she was silent. That was it. At that point i asked myself whether women needed re-assurance everytime with regards to their beauty. Do they need to be told that they are beautiful every once in a while?

Conversations such as this one are a daily occurance and shorten the journey tremendously. Thanks to them i guess!

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It had just started rained. The floor, already damp and wet, reflected the nimbus clouds looming on the horizon as we sought protection from the rain under a bus stop shelter. Several people crowded the bus shelter, leaving inadequate room for any more. The clock had just struck twenty minutes past the hour of five, and by this time many workers were leaving their monotonous work places and heading for their home.

Rarely do the buses take this long to come, what has happened today? These damn buses! I was thinking to myself when a strong sensational scent, swimming with the wind currents, raided my nostrils. My mind, which was once indolent of its surroundings after a dreary day at work, was now immediately invigorated, awaken by the pleasant smell of the intruding forces; my muscles which were fatigued by the strenuous work, have now revived from spasm; my feet became more lively, my eyes more vigilant. A familiar current of electricity ran through my veins; there’s something about that scent that makes it seem a lot familiar. Where have I encountered it before? My mind started wandering as the familiar scent grew stronger and stronger, hysterically titillating the tips of my nostrils, passing the scent from one nostril and now to the other in a playful manner. My eyes frantically searched for the direction this piquant yet delightful aroma was coming from; searching to and fro, hither and thither, unconscious neither of the eccentric behaviour I am displaying inadvertently nor of the weird looks I’m receiving from the perplexed onlookers.

Why am I soaking wet? My subconscious mind subtly asks, as the conscious mind is reluctantly yet effectively overpowered by invincible and transparent invaders, not even aware that I am now standing in open air – dripping wet as the rain pours down on me. The conscious mind, drifted away by the registration of a sudden gush of cold into the system, was now once again repossessed as a gentle breeze wafted the familiar scent down the bridges and alleys then into the open air. My nostrils were now accosted by the familiar scent, excitedly caressing them. But this time coming from an Easterly direction, the scent was a lot concentrated and intense. Voluntarily, my nostrils followed the direction the scent seemed to permeate from, was it cologne? No – it was something a lot stronger; it was something unfathomable, something overpowering – it’s sweet smell, rarity and supreme qualities quite akin to the Frankincense I used gather back home. I walked over to the second shelter, still intrigued by the scent like a dog sniffing out a trail. Buses came and went, people boarded and dismounted, even the shelters which were once jam-packed are now vacant.

Minutes just rolled by, yet that scent seemed to hypnotize me, enthralling me in a way too wonderful for words, in a way no other scent has. I inhaled and exhaled, making sure my lungs are filled with the fragrant smell. Subconsciously I wondered what time it was and where I ought to be, but that feeling was trivialized when the conscious mind was subdued by the intruding scent and, out the corner of my eye, I spot a young woman walking down the road. Her manoeuvres were of regal grace; she ambled gracefully, carrying along with her the scent that seemed to send my mind packing. She didn’t seem to notice that it was even raining; in fact she wasn’t bothered by it for she didn’t have any jacket either! The closer she got, the more her scent dismantled my senses. She walked round oblivious of anyone or anything that moves and contentedly sat at the corner of the long red seat at the bus shelter; now she started fiddling about with her hair, removing the protruding strands of hair from her damp forehead. Was anyone else not aware of this? Am I the only one stirred by this angel? Have I lost my judgement? I was lost in contemplation, unaware of the old lady behind me repeating “Are you alright sir?” when she didn’t get response a couple of time she decided to talk louder “Sir, Are you alright there?” which immediately commanded my attention. I look around; a huge throng had gathered behind me as I stood there facing the shelter’s large plastic shield, standing on the large red seat. What was I actually doing and how did I end up here?

I spent nearly 15 minutes trying to gather my wits, trying to think why I have lost my judgement. What was it that commandeered my consciousness? Have I lost my sanity? No I haven’t – I was merely hallucinating. It was but a figment of my imagination – my mind’s eye having been enticed by a distinctive scent that knotted my consciousness in a complex network of fanciful images and, of course, the rather attractive young woman that smiled beguilingly at me. Finally with a shake of the head I laughed at myself, the onlookers started laughing too unable to believe the events that have were just unfolding right in front of their eyes. The rain had now stopped, and all thoughts seemed to have evaporated into thin air as I boarded the bus an hour and nine minutes after I initially came to the bus shelter – it was now twenty nine minutes past the hour of six. What a consuming element the scent is – you have to keep all your wits about you!

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