05 August 2005

What Blitz Spirit?

In yesterday's Guardian G2, a passenger on the 43 bus, where Richard Whelan was stabbed to death, explains how no-one was willing to help her when she came to his aid.

I have covered this angle of cowardly individualism before, to explain how the July 21st bombers were able to escape, and this story sadly emphasises my point.

Nice as it sounds, the new Blitz spirit is bull, made up by the press, because it sounded good!

Thatcher's words 'no such thing as society' are ringing in my ears. She would be proud! This is a quote from Tara McCartney, the only person who came to the dying man's aid on the bus.

(I find it astonishing that no one else approached an injured man in this situation. I suppose people might not have thought it was life-threatening. And I suppose some people might have been squeamish. But nevertheless, there was blood, and a guy injured, and you were there. You don't just leave him, and leave someone else to deal with it. Perhaps things wouldn't have happened any differently for him, but every bit of statement and every bit of evidence is going to be vital. After he'd been taken away in the ambulance, I kept saying, "Where did everyone go, why didn't anyone do anything?")

Never mind lack of 'Blitz Spirit', I think we have 'I'm alright Jack' spirit is this is anything to go by. People wouldn't even offer their jacket to a dying man, in case it got bloodied, what does that tell us? "If you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem", never has a saying made more sense. What did I expect from a society that considers clothes and cars more important than the environment and equality?

We need to take a long hard look at ourselves and ask, 'are we really this selfish?'. I would hope I would have helped. Think about it. If Socialism means anything, it means helping people. Fittingly, on that note, no more from me until Monday, have a good weekend!


  1. You might want to check the Guardian corrections today.

    As was made clear in the story itself, although the author recalled appealing for help without receiving assistance, a number of others also assisted at different points

    I agree that the invocation, by some press, of, specifically, the "Blitz spirit" was hyperbolic and unecessary. However, I think you should have a bit more faith in the general good nature of people.

  2. I was having a bad day at the office that day. Reading it again it sounds a lot more pessimistic than I wanted it to sound.

    I do generally believe the vast majority are well meaning people, and I know in this story a few people did help out a little, but it was still pretty depressingly pathetic the amount of help that was offered, don't you think?

  3. Yes, I do agree (in retrospect, my comment to you was a bit...erm presumptious) and I have witnessed the sort of attitudes you were talking about first hand.