It started on a high, on 6 July, when London was awarded the right to stage the 2012 Olympics. It was a surprise victory – Paris had been the clear favourite – and caused massive excitement. Hundreds celebrated in Trafalgar Square that night. But the joy didn't last.
The next morning, terrorists set off rush-hour bombs on three tube trains and a bus. 52 people died, all UK residents, of 18 nationalities. More than 700 were injured. It was the UK's worst terrorist attack since Lockerbie in 1988 and the country's first Islamist suicide attack.
Exactly two weeks later, bombers struck the tube and bus network again, in another four places. This time the bombs were badly made and there was only one minor injury, but it was terrifying – and the whole transport network was shut down.
Since the bombs hadn't gone off properly, the would-be suicide bombers didn't die. Manhunts were launched, based on fairly clear CCTV imagery.
Brixton tube turned out to be closed – the transport network was still in chaos – so Jean Charles walked to the next station, Stockwell. He picked up a free paper at the entrance, used his Oyster card to get through the barriers, and reached the platform just as a train arrived. Officers then followed him onto the train and shot him seven times in the head, in full view of all the other petrified passengers. Yes you read that right. Seven times. In the head.
The Met immediately said he was a terror suspect, but it quickly became clear he was nothing of the kind. He wasn't carrying a bomb, or anything suspicious, and he looked nothing like the actual bombers. They then claimed he had been acting suspiciously: he vaulted the barrier, he wore a bulky coat in hot weather (potentially covering a suicide vest), and he failed to respond when challenged. None of those things were true. All flat-out lies.
In truth, the operation was a shitshow from start to finish: sloppy surveillance by the police, appalling communications along the way and then lie upon lie from the Met as the institution scrambled to cover its arse and defame the innocent man its officers had assassinated.
Revulsion over the incident led to demonstrations in the UK and shock waves abroad. Prime Minister Tony Blair issued a formal apology to the government of Brazil.
No individual officer was ever charged with the shooting, but the Met commissioner, Sir Ian Blair, was prosecuted under health and safety laws. Even then, the Met continued to play dirty. They mounted a character assassination of the man they'd killed, falsely suggesting he was high on drugs at the time and had behaved in an aggressive and threatening way. More lies. In addition, they issued a picture attempting to show that the dead man did look a bit like one of the suspects. It turned out that picture had been wildly distorted, in a further attempt to deceive.
The bad smell eventually cost Ian Blair his job, although of course it didn't prevent his elevation to the House of Lords – Lord Blair of Boughton is now a legislator for life – nor stop him walking away with a massive payoff. And what of the person at the end of the radio, who gave all the orders all the way along? They too were quietly put out to pasture, right?
Wrong. Gold Commander Cressida Dick – for it was she – was promoted, first to Deputy Assistant Commissioner, then to Assistant Commissioner. Then she went to a director-general role at the Foreign Office before returning to the Met as Commissioner, Britain's top police officer.
She was also awarded the Queen's Police Medal for Distinguished Service, was made a Commander of the British Empire, and then ultimately given the DBE – so she is now Dame Cressida Dick. Only in the UK can you fail upwards in quite such spectacular style.
She is the symbol of all that's rotten in our country. To anyone who remembers the events of July 2005, it's sickening but no great surprise.”
Thank you to Chris Wood for this summary of events.
But at least Dick is now out of a job. Now we just need to get Johnson out along with all the corrupt and lying politicians who have been lining their pockets and those of their mates with our money whilst busily stripping away our hard-earned democracy.