Saturday, July 23, 2005

Sceptred Isle

This royal throne of kings, this sceptred isle,
This earth of majesty, this seat of Mars,
This other Eden, demi-paradise,
This fortress built by Nature for herself
Against infection and the hand of war,
This happy breed of men, this little world,
This precious stone set in the silver sea,
Which serves it in the office of a wall
Or as a moat defensive to a house,
Against the envy of less happier lands, --
This blessed plot, this earth, this realm, this England.

William Shakespeare, "King Richard II", around 1600 AD

Stockwell, 2005 AD

. . . "On Thursday the terrorists sent a message which was ... we can still reach out and touch you wherever you are," anti-terrorism expert Robert Ayers of the Royal Institute of International Affairs think tank told Reuters.

"The police message on Friday was 'we are not messing around ... we are going to kill your ass'," he said, noting the aim was to stop the device being triggered even in the throes of death.

London, 2005 AD

Elite detectives, dressed as young Londoners with peace wristbands, designer leisurewear and fashionable haircuts, are now on the front line, stalking suspects. Trained with the SAS in close-combat techniques, they are equipped with brutally efficient, adapted Heckler & Koch pistols.

United Kingdom, 2005 AD

These small rainswept isles off the western end of the vast Eurasian landmass have contributed far more to the well-being of the rest of humanity than any other country, bar none.