Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation
Top

After London Bridge attack, people share what really ‘leaves Britain reeling’

things-that-leave-britain-reeling-london-bridge-twitter-response-new-york-times-headline_edited-1.jpg

UK Twitter users have rejected the suggestion that recent terror attacks have traumatised the nation – by sharing what really frightens a British person.

The hashtag #ThingsThatLeaveBritainReeling went viral in the wake of the horrific terror attack on London Bridge on Saturday night, in which seven people were killed.

Shortly after the attack, the New York Times tweeted that Britain was “still reeling” from the Manchester bombing. However, Brits were quick to refute the idea that we are a nation in crisis.

“NYT doesn’t get Britain,” wrote journalist Nick Cohen. “We don’t ‘reel’. I’m sure [the] ‘Blitz spirit’ hides real fear. Still, it’s how we do things here.”


Read more: JK Rowling takes down Trump over his London attack tweets


Thousands of people have since commented on the everyday incidents and interactions that strike fear into the heart of the typical Brit. And guess what? ‘A major terrorist attack’ didn’t make the list.

When some people argued that the hashtag risked making light of a terrible situation, others explained that – like it or not – jokes tend to be how we cope with things in the UK.


Read more: 15 soul-soothing books to restore your faith in humanity


Since WWII, the ‘Blitz spirit’ has become a folkloric byword for the British tendency to display down-to-earth stoicism and determination, even in the face of trauma and adversity.

However, some argue that we shouldn’t over-sentimentalise the experiences of Londoners during the eight months in 1940 when the capital was bombed.

Juliet Gardner, author of The Blitz: The British Under Attack, says that the term ‘Blitz spirit’ encapsulates both endurance and defiance – but points out that for many Londoners, ‘carrying on’ wasn’t a choice. 

“People felt during the Blitz that they were expected to take it, especially the working class population, who got the roughest of the Blitz… They felt they suffered a lot and the government owed them,” Gardner tells BBC News Magazine.

Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the terror attack on London Bridge, which left almost 50 casualties as well as seven fatalities. Of the 48 injured people taken to hospital, the Guardian reports that 21 are in a critical condition.

Only one of the people killed has so far been named: Christine Archibald, a Canadian woman from British Columbia.

Image: Rex Features/Twitter

Related

manchester-bee-tattoos-lauren-harper-tattoo.jpg

People are getting this tattoo in honour of Manchester attack victims

margaret atwood handmaid tale trailer.jpg

The real-life events that inspired The Handmaid’s Tale

ariana grande.jpg

10-year-old survivor’s letter to Ariana Grande is beyond beautiful

More

The best and coolest gluten-free restaurants, cafes and bakeries in the UK

We bring you 29 places to chow down sans gluten

23 Aug 2017

Maisie Williams and Sophie Turner unveil their Ned Stark impressions

Spoiler: they’re hilarious

by Amy Swales
23 Aug 2017

Sylvanian Families has been given a seriously adult makeover

We’re obsessed with these furry foul-mouthed critters

by Kayleigh Dray
23 Aug 2017

The second series of Victoria has an important mental health storyline

The ITV show is tackling issues as relevant now as ever

by Amy Swales
23 Aug 2017

This terrifying new TV series relives the horror of Trump’s election

Lena Dunham, Sarah Paulson and Emma Roberts will star in the new series of American Horror Story

by Moya Crockett
23 Aug 2017

Woman ghosted by her ex gets ultimate revenge by becoming his boss

Revenge is sweet

by Megan Murray
23 Aug 2017

Former Lioness says women’s football has a toxic culture of bullying

Ex-England player Eni Aluko has spoken out about her time on the team.

by Moya Crockett
23 Aug 2017

Thought-provoking illustrations reveal hidden secrets of strangers

The artist was met with “unexpected confessions”

by Sarah Biddlecombe
22 Aug 2017

The most annoying Tube habits, as ranked by irritated Londoners

“Could you move down, please?”

by Amy Swales
22 Aug 2017

These are the main reasons relationships end, according to a new study

...and the reasons couples stay together

by Megan Murray
22 Aug 2017