Leading article: Voices of 7/7 that deserved their hearing

Share
Related Topics

It is hard now to recall the controversies that preceded the inquests into the deaths of 52 people when the London transport system was attacked by suicide bombers on 7 July 2005.

But there were many, ranging from – at one end of the scale – the expense that the necessarily lengthy proceedings would incur, to– at the other – the view that nothing less than a full public inquiry would suffice. That those objections have long been forgotten reflects the way in which Lady Justice Hallett, appointed to act as coroner, went about her task.

In delivering her verdicts of unlawful killing yesterday, Lady Hallett evinced the same combination of brisk efficiency and humanity she had shown throughout. She noted, too, that the inquests had been completed on time and "significantly under budget". This was quite an achievement and should serve as a model for any similar proceedings in future. She concluded that there was now no need for a public inquiry. That is right.

Along with her verdicts, Lady Hallett made nine recommendations, some of which sounded just a little modest when set against failings that emerged during the inquests. There were two in particular: the dispiriting contrast between the response of some branches of the emergency services and the way ordinary members of the public rushed to help, and the stultifying effect of jargon, which hampered co-ordination of the rescue. Lady Hallett found no evidence, however, that delays had caused additional deaths. Those who died, she decided, were so badly injured that they would have died anyway. She called for better co-ordination and communications between the different services, but stopped short of taking issue with formulaic regulations, saying that necessary procedural changes had already been made. We hope that confidence is justified.

Her other main recommendations arose from specific inadequacies in the workings of the security services. That these emerged at all is also greatly to Lady Hallett's credit, as she insisted that a representative of the intelligence services testify in person, despite considerable resistance from MI5.

When all is said and done, however, the value of these inquests resided in more than the recommendations – essential though it is that they be acted upon. It resided also in the voice it gave to survivors and their relatives. What happened on 7/7 was a multiple atrocity and a tragedy; but it also brought forth extraordinary heroism and humanity. It is right that this uplifting side was also heard.

React Now

Latest stories from i100
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Tradewind Recruitment: English Teacher

Negotiable: Tradewind Recruitment: My client is an excellent, large partially ...

Tradewind Recruitment: Science Teacher

£90 - £140 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: I am currently working in partnersh...

Tradewind Recruitment: Year 3 Primary Teacher

£100 - £150 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: Year 3 Teacher Birmingham Jan 2015...

Ashdown Group: Lead Web Developer (ASP.NET, C#) - City of London

£45000 - £50000 per annum + Excellent benefits: Ashdown Group: Lead Web Develo...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

i Editor's Letter: Science versus religion in the three-parent baby debate

Oliver Duff Oliver Duff
Kylie has helped to boost viewing figures for the talent show  

When an Aussie calls you a ‘bastard’, you know you’ve arrived

Howard Jacobson
Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee