Trade union inquiry needed into London transport disaster


YESTERDAY’S tube and bus disaster in London, with 33 dead and hundreds injured, has already been claimed as a terrorist attack, despite the fact that traces of explosives have been allegedly found in only one of the places where an explosion took place.

Initially, the cause of the halting of the entire tube network, and the various explosions that took place on the underground, were put down to a power outage, a surge of power, and was reported as such by British Transport police.

At 0940, the British Transport Police said power surge incidents have occurred on the Underground at Aldgate, Edgware Road, King’s Cross, Old Street and Russell Square stations.

This power surge was then said to have breached all safety precautions, reaching various sub-stations, causing explosions and halting the entire tube network.

It was on the basis of this information that RMT leader Bob Crow alleged that this could mean that the privatisation of the system had lowered safety levels, for this to happen for the first time in the history of the network, and that this should not be left out of any inquiry. His point remains valid.

By the afternoon however, Transport in London had denied that a power surge had taken place and was responsible for any aspect of the disaster.

Just after 11am, London’s Metropolitan Police Commissioner, Sir Ian Blair, said that he knew of ‘about six explosions’, one on a bus and the others related to Underground stations. He said it was still a confusing situation and could not say definitively that there had been a terrorist action involved.

Prime Minister Blair was the first to state that terrorist attacks had taken place in London.

He said from the Gleneagles summit at midday: ‘It’s reasonably clear that there have been a series of terrorist attacks in London. . .

‘Just as it is reasonably clear that this is a terrorist attack or a series of terrorist attacks, it is also reasonably clear that it is designed and aimed to coincide with the opening of the G8. . .

‘It’s important however that those engaged in terrorism realise that our determination to defend our values and our way of life is greater than their determination to cause death and destruction to innocent people in a desire to impose extremism on the world.’

At 12.55pm Home Secretary Charles Clarke told the House of Commons that four explosions had been confirmed, three on trains and a fourth on a bus.

‘We do not know who or what organisations are responsible for these terrible criminal acts,’ he said.

Menzies Campbell, for the Liberal Democrats, however urged the Home Secretary not to jump to conclusions about what had happened.

There is a need for a proper inquiry into what happened in London yesterday, and who or what was responsible.

This must be a trade union inquiry, since the unions have members involved in all aspects of the day’s action, on the tube system, the buses and in the various rescue services.

As well, all of the state inquiries under the Blair government have been specifically designed to be, and were, whitewashes to exonerate the government.

Although yesterday’s events in London were in no way comparable to September 11, 2001, the latter was used to invade both Afghanistan and Iraq.

In his statement Blair said that yesterday’s events were designed to coincide with the opening of the G8. That remains to be proven.

He pledged that ‘we’ would show that our determination to defend ‘our way of life’ was greater than their determination to ‘impose extremism on the world’.

Bush and Blair must not be allowed to use yesterday’s events to launch extremist attacks on innocent parties both at home and abroad.

This is why a trade union inquiry is necessary. It is the only way to get at the truth and to curb extremism.