Who or what could be blamed for the fifty-two fatalities on 7/7?
Based on previous sessions, how much have students gleaned about who or what was blamed? Try to draw out their thinking here by redirecting them to previous work or encourage speculation.
- Were the four bombers to blame? (Remember Dr Buckman who described them simply as murderers, regardless of their motivation.)
- Was the religion of Islam to blame? (See Slide 2 – but the backlash soon died down. Generally people have understood that extremists are not representative of ordinary Muslims and that the Koran does not condone their behaviour.)
- Were the emergency services to blame (for being too slow)? Was MI5 to blame for not preventing 7/7 in the first place? It is unlikely that they will have picked up criticisms of MI5 from previous sessions. The main criticism related to the poor quality of a photograph used by MI5 which may have prevented identification of one of the bombers by an informant. The BBC link on Slide 3 enables you to show exactly the problem with the photo. Scroll to the bottom of the webpage and you can look at the original and then the cropped version of the same photograph.
- Anyone else?
Phase 1: The Inquest
Hand out copies of MV History Resource 4.1 Coroner's verdict. What did Lady Justice Hallett conclude about who was to blame? (Unlawful killings by terrorist action. The evidence didn’t justify the conclusion that any failings of any organisation or individual caused or contributed to the deaths.)
Hand out copies of MV History Resource 4.2 Families' recommendations, made prior to the Inquest. In groups of three, each student reads one section of the recommendations.
Hand out MV History Resource 4.3 Coroner's recommendations made at the Inquest. How far do they cover similar ground to the recommendations put forward by the families? (This is really a way to motivate students to read them carefully).
Establish that all the recommendations made by the Coroner at the inquest were accepted in full.
How satisfied do students think the families might have been? Think back to the Guardian film of four people being interviewed in the last session. They were satisfied on the whole and glad to know as much information as possible. Although some wanted a further public enquiry, others felt this was a waste of public money. (For more on this, see MV History Resource 4.4 Presentation Slide 4).
What were the wider, less personal consequences of 7/7? Which recommendations are already being implemented?
Play MV History Resource 4.5 Dr Buckman Q&A. Skip to 14.06 minutes in (to the student asking what changes 7/7 has led to). Students to note in exercise books the changes Dr Buckman mentions and then refer back to MV History Resource 4.3 Coroner's recommendations to cross-reference. Have some of the recommendations already been implemented?
(NB other recommendations have been implemented too and this is an ongoing process. One change that Dr Buckman does not mention is the London Ambulance Service’s change in triage procedures in these types of circumstances. Triage is assessment of the severity of an injury to decide how urgently treatment is needed. Note that this change was a direct result of Miriam’s and Philip Duckworth’s experiences.)
Plenary 2 (conclusion)
Students to add to the consequences list in their exercise books.