I was on the tube

I was on the tube this morning from Maida Vale to Farringdon, on my way to work. I normally change at Baker Street, so when I arrived at 9.15am I disembarked and started walking across to the Metropolitan line. Very quickly I became aware that something was wrong – there were raised voices from staff on a couple of platforms around me, and people were starting to move. A message came over the tannoy, “Due to a reported emergency, would all customers please leave the station immediately.” A couple of months ago, I’d just think it was a hoax bomb threat or something from the IRA, but suddenly you start thinking if it’s related to current events. And of course it probably is. Everyone left, no one got excited – it takes a lot to panic Londoners who are used to being pushed around by the vagaries of the metropolis – and pretty much everyone seemed to assume it was some kind of anthrax-related incident. And pretty much everyone thought it was probably a hoax. But if you step back a couple of feet from the edge of the neurotic precipice that Londoners live on all the time, you have to ask yourself – how on earth did we find ourselves here? And why are we all so comfortable with it?