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The London Bridge heroes don’t just talk tough – they’re proof all is never lost – Fleet Street Fox

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There can not be many places where James Bond would be considered surplus to requirements.

But Fishmongers’ Hall has no need of a guilt-free alcoholic with enough psychopathic traits to put his life at risk while crushing threats to the world as we know it. They’ve got a bottle-washer who can do that.

Should 007, on his next high-octane, Highway Code-defying trip around the capital, find himself battling terrorists south of the river he would be, for once, redundant.

There is a man called Lukasz who cleans the glasses for a charity, who will engage in a solid minute of one-on-one combat, being slashed 5 times on his left side, by a terrorist in body armour, with kitchen knives taped to each hand, without backing down.

Lukasz, it should be noted, is armed with a stick. Not a pen gun, not an exploding keyfob, not a moon-laser. A slim length of wood.

Two other charity workers join in, armed with a fire extinguisher, and a narwhal tusk grabbed from the wall. Bond looks on bemused: every time he’s got the horn he did something else with it.

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These 3 men terrified the bad guy so much he ran away, which is something only Andrew Neil can do. Bond hasn’t managed it in 66 years.

While Dawn in reception rings the police, Gareth the doorman tries to keep the killer at bay. Alla and Sandra defend themselves in the cloakroom, and Lukasz comes face-to-face with the desperate killer once more in the entrance hall.

Andy the maintenance man tries to keep the knifeman indoors. He takes a knife wound to the chest, and the door opens.

Knowing armed police were on the way, knowing they were finally safe, knowing he was armed with knives and possibly a suicide belt, Lukasz and the others chase the terrorist down the street, shouting warnings.

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Bond likes chasing terrorists. He likes chasing them across rooftops, through building sites, on motorbikes, on trains, in rockets, and in a variety of £200,000 cars that either end up in a river or a fireball. He likes to chase them while showcasing his parkour skills, his ju-jitsu, the ease with which he shrugs off a hangover from an alcoholic intake which should, by rights, leave him impotent and with permanent hand tremors.

These chases usually take up the first 20 minutes of the film, and cover several miles.

When chased by Lukasz and his colleagues, the terrorist does not get that far. He’s on the ground in less than 60 seconds. Driver Stevie Hurst stops his car, and with passenger Thomas leaves the safety of their vehicle, running across the road purely to kick the terrorist in the head. A passing British Transport Police detective, suited for a court appearance, wrestles a knife away. The soundtrack is confused shouting, and the terrorist asking if they’d mind letting him get up.

Armed police arrive, and tell the bystanders to move away. The bystanders keep on kicking the terrorist, because he hasn’t given up yet. They roll him over, spot what looks like an explosive vest, and jump back all of about 5 yards. One, a kitchen porter called Mohammed on his break from a nearby restaurant, keeps throttling the terrorist because, well, someone has to.

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Mohammed has to be physically dragged off for his own safety by a policeman. Orders are shouted at the terrorist to stay still, who does the opposite and is rewarded with 3 bullets for his trouble.

Bond, about now, would be shooting his cuffs and thinking up a dry remark about how movies are much shorter these days, before ravishing the nearest female.

Mohammed goes back and finishes his shift washing plates, without discussing it. Lukasz goes to hospital to have his stab wounds treated. Andy, most likely, got out a new fire extinguisher and made a mental note to get the used one refilled.

Bond has never fled a possible explosion and stopped 5 yards away. He’s never foiled a terror attack and not mentioned it. He’s never taken out a terrorist that quickly, and he hasn’t washed a glass in his life.

There are many people in the world who, for now at least, make it a sour-tasting place. They are the ones who use the murder of two young innocents as an excuse, 10 days before a general election, to blame the other side. There are those who tell lies about who and what is to blame, what only THEY can do to fix it, despite the fact that all stripes of government, the cuts, the system, the missed opportunities and something in his past, must have played their part, and such sentencing has been tightened up already.

There are some who’ll say this is why you must ban all Muslims, stop all immigrants, lock up everyone who thinks about doing something bad before they get anywhere near doing it.

Only two things need to be borne in mind when listening to this. The first is that none of those who say it to you would fight a terrorist for a whole minute with a stick. They would not chase him down the street after being stabbed, they would not calmly go back to work like nothing had happened, and they would not fail to mention it.

The second is that the heroes of the Fishmongers’ Hall attack prove that the world is not as sour as they would like it to be.

Leanne O’Brien, the girlfriend of Jack Merritt, is comforted by family members and leans on Jack’s dad

The relatives of those killed have highlighted the kindness of those who died, and criticised those who have exploited it for votes. Those who fought to save strangers’ lives have demanded nothing of us. Lukasz, Mohammed and the others, as with every major tragedy, prove that all foreigners and faiths stand with us.

Charity workers, maintenance men, pot-washers, cloakroom staff, doormen, are not considered of much worth by those who do so much to sour our world. Yet they have more social value, courage and thoughtfulness than a thousand lying populists.

At each stage of Friday’s fight, those men and women felt all was not yet lost; they could fight some more. And that shows, if we keep fighting for what we know is right and fair, that all never will be lost.

You don’t need James Bond to save the world. You just need to see our world for what it is – stirred, but never shaken.

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London Bridge terror attack



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