The estimated time of arrival corset holiday-homes. Those are the concepts passing through my mind as I think of the news. Tuna seems to feature heavily in the news reports. Tuna and metal. I think of Robert Shaw in 'The Taking of Pelham One Two Three', because that took place on a train. I should be weepy-sad about the people in Madrid but I am not, because I am numbed to this kind of thing. It was in the news all the time when I was young. When I was young I wondered why the IRA were bombing the UK; did they want us to move to Norway? I am more sophisticated now, smarter. Of course the IRA didn't want us to move to Norway. No. They actually wanted to stop the people of Norway from moving to Ireland. The UK just happened to be in the middle, that's all.

When I think of the word 'basque' I think of an attractive lady wearing a basque, an item of underwear rather like a corset. You think the same thing as well, it's just that you're not likely to admit it. When I think of Milan I think of elegant people wearing fashionable clothes. Notwithstanding that the ETA have actually bombed Madrid, I nonetheless think of Milan. The two names are similar. In that respect the ETA are winning the battle for my mind, because they have made me think of something compelling, in this case a lady in her underwear presiding over disaster. The word 'basque' when used to describe underwear derives from that of the Basque people, who apparently wore these things in antiquity. I do not know if we get the word 'pantaloon' from the people of Pantalonia, or whether we have derived the word 'corset' from the people of Corsica.

However, the point I am trying to make, the point, is that although the ETA have attracted and managed to continue to attract my attention with their mental images of women in corsetry and also injured people, they have not enlightened me of their message. They have won my mental election, but failed to inform me of their policies; indeed they may have made a conscious decision to avoid mentioning their policies for fear of alienating my mental constituents. I suppose a balance must be reached between winning the battle on the one hand, and winning the subsequent peace on the other. It's not enough to pass a driving test; in order to get from A to B one needs to drive a car thereafter.

And this is where the ETA have failed. I am aware of them. Right now, I think of them. I think of Spanish women in their underwear, with frills. I do not think of Basque independence. Rather than plant bombs of my own, I instead visit, a website where one can purchase basques and look at photographs of women wearing basques. It would appear that a basque costs £37 pounds. I do not know how much it would cost to hire the model who appears in Heavenly Bodice's photographs, probably much more.

She seems to be smiling a lot, this woman. In those photographs where her face is visible, she is almost always smiling. She is smiling because she has been told to smile, and if she does not smile the company will hire another model who does smile. The latest death toll is 192, which makes me think of Blink 192, a pop band. Again, the ETA have failed. They have failed because their assault is a monomedia assault. They made use of only one media, that of explosives. And explosives are not enough. They are impactful, but they impart very little information other than that the bombers wish to kill the bombees from a temporal and physical distance. The subtleties of policy are wiped out by explosives.

Of course the bombs might have been planted by some other group. We will probably never know for sure. Even when we know, there will be people who say we are wrong.