East & Central London hospitals and Emergency areas across the Capital will be overwhelmed with a huge influx of some seven hundred-odd marathon runners, all brought in at ultra-high speed by Paramedics and ambulances. All the patients will be admitted with notes stating that the diagnosis is a probable heart attack; as each patient was seen to clasp his chest with his hand as they crossed over the finish line. Only one patient will actually be admitted to the hospital for treatment, as the rest were able, once they had recovered their collective breaths,. to confirm that they were just trying to comply with the proposal that each runner held his or her hands to their heart as a symbol of solidarity with the Boston marathon casualties.
Please do not misunderstand me. I, and probably millions of others around the world, are aghast at the random ferocity unleashed upon unsuspecting runners and crowds of supporters when the bombs exploded without warning in Boston. But we simply do not feel the need to express our regret collectively, publicly, or with any flourish at all. What does the proposed wearing of black ribbons achieve? Will the injured recover faster? Will the family of that small boy, itself ruptured by more horrific injury, be comforted by the fact that lots of people held their hands to their hearts as they crossed a marathon finish line? Will the fanatical Muslim jihadis, already settling down in their madrassas for an afternoon’s bomb-making class and koranic propagands session be given pause for thought because a large bunch of sweaty clowns running in a road race make a ‘gesture’?
I doubt it very, very much indeed!