Wot no terrorists?
According to the house style guide at work, use of the word "terrorism" and derivations thereof should be avoided in copy on the BBC News website unless attributed to a reported individual or organisation. One man's terrorist, the thinking goes, is another man's freedom fighter, especially on a site read the world over.

So yesterday's attacks on London were apparently not the acts of terrorists. Yes, more than 50 people are thought to have died. Yes, they came out of the blue. Yes, a self-proclaimed affiliate of al-Qaeda has admitted responsibility for them. But is it terrorism? Apparently not.

The anti-terror line of editorial thinking obviously has some merit. In the case of most Palestinians, for example, they are simply fighting for autonomy and equality in a land that used to be their own. The methods employed by Hamas and their like may be deplorable, but they are born of frustration and hatred of the people they see as their oppressors. Ordinary Israelis, on the other hand, are being made to pay in blood simply for occupying the land they were taught was theirs by divine right, however archaic that may seem to those who don't share their faith (as well as some who do).

And the British people were clearly against the US-led invasion of Iraq, even if Mr Tony didn't appear to give a toss what we thought.

Al-Qaeda's main aim, on the other hand, appears to be devoted to anything but increasing liberty. Yes, they want to end the West's involvement in the Arab world, but they want to replace Muslim secular states with a single Islamic leadership. Government on their terms, not those of the people.

Not exactly my definition of freedom.

And just as the Crusades weren't exactly a great idea, I don't think the slaughter of innocent Britons is how the majority of Muslims would really want to achieve an Islamic utopia, however desirable an ideal that may actually be.

As for the people who attacked London yesterday and what we call them, well if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck... it's probably got explosives strapped to its chest.
My friend Chris, in Malmö, Sweden, sent me this message after hearing I was okay.

It’s a violent world.

Today, during my lunchbreak I walked with Ulla-Karin, Signe and a Client on the main shopping street in Malmö.

We walked into a crowd of people who were looking at a murdered man on the street.

He was shot by two guys as he sat having a cup of coffee.

The Client works with marketing at The Sydsvenskan Daily News and took this picture with his mobile which is now a news picture on the web.

Violence is everywhere.

Idiots are everywhere.

I won't include the picture.

Times like this make you realise how much you miss your friends.


For anyone worried about me and the bombs, I'm okay. At work, busy, but okay.


Fuckin' yes!

Please pardon the French, as the unfortunate saying goes, but this has to have been one of the most exciting days I've ever had in the newsroom, if not my whole time in the BBC.

All morning we'd been hanging on every word to come from the International Olympic Committee meeting in Singapore, as we caught the tail end of the presentations. At first glance Seb Coe's very simple presentation looked almost apologetic next to the extravagance of Luc Besson's mini-movie for the Paris bid. I wthought we were sure to lose.

Then the painful minutiae of the voting system explained time and again for all those IOC members who hadn't quite caught it the third time over.

And the votes themselves with hearts in mouths as one by one Moscow, New York and Moscow were knocked out of the competition.

Then nothing but silence for an hour or more, as the bastards kept the results of the final ballot to themselves until they could set up the big reveal. After the break: if it's good enough for Who Wants to be a Millionaire, it's good enough for the IOC.

So when Jacques Rogge announced the games would be coming to London, it was just a magical moment.

Cries of "Yes!" and applause went up spontaneously across the office. (This has to be one of very few places of employment where the watching of television at one's workstation is actively encouraged.)

For months, battles have been raging between those excited by the prospect of London 2012, and the doom merchants and naysayers who could see only congested public transport, irritating tourists, and inevitable humiliation as incompetent Britain drops the most keenly contested Olympic ball in front of a world audience.

But I believe London 2012 will be phenomenal. Apart from the compelling sport, massive urban regeneration, radically improved infrastructure and very likely rise in house prices, the truly exciting thing is the fact that the whole world will be arriving in our city. The already cosmopolitan nature will be magnified a hundred fold as the entire globe focuses on our backyard. What could be more exhilarating than that?

In the long run, I'd very much like to be part of the Games, even just a tiny speck, hopefully from within my current organisation - host broadcasters, of course.

Seven years and counting. There's a lot to be done. And I want to see that it's done right.

But for now, just fucking yeah...