My nation was shaken but not too stirred by the horrendous events of the terror attack on Saturday night. And this week there have been worse atrocities in other countries we often don’t pay so much attention to. The London Bridge attack came in the context of two other recent UK atrocities.
To the bemusement of many from outside this island, but not to the surprise of most inside it, one leader called on people not to be too alarmed, stating that London remains perhaps the safest global city in the world.
There are understandable calls from other leaders for renewed action to counter extremist ideology and bolster British values, and further efforts are being made to prevent vehicles from mounting pavements at key places. But an eight minute period from the first 999 phone call, until the police taking down these people in a hail of bullets is further testimony to how well our security services are protecting us. There are many other plots being quietly identified and stopped by the police.
And so, this Great City that I love barely skipped a beat in terms of going about its business. Yes there was a gathering of remembrance attended by thousands. And flags at half mast demonstrate our concern for those who have lost loved ones, and who are injured. But we fight terrorism together by moving on together, and most of all by exercising our right to vote together in two days no matter our political beliefs. I urge my fellow countrymen to vote as I will be doing. It is an important choice. It is quite simply a question of who do you want leading our nation and dealing with all its issues, especially dealing with the terrorist threat, and negotiating Brexit: Theresa May or Jeremy Corbyn?This has been a momentus political campaign. And cutting through all the fake news, and partisanship is one glorious piece of coverage from the BBC. It is in my mind literally the only thing you need to watch. I loved the format. Not a debate, but a thirty minute grilling for each of the two leaders by the audience and David Dimbleby. It seemed somehow a very British way of doing it. Both leaders got a hard time from the audience. Both had weaknesses exposed. Both seemed to be doing their best to respond. And a couple of times each almost seemed to be forming new ideas as they spoke. For example May, seemed to almost be thinking on her feet with a throw-away mention of Student Loan debt forgiveness for those who commit to teach long-term in our schools. One felt like saying: maybe thats an idea for our NHS too, to help those nurses, for example. Anyway, if you are a Brit with a vote to spend wisely, then I urge you if you haven’t to watch the programme which is available online:
How do the British respond to terrorism? By continuing with our daily lives and this week by voting.
I will close this post with a brief prayer I wrote in the aftermath of this attack.
Father we pray for your
- compassion for those who have lost loved ones
- wisdom for our security services and leaders
- courage for all of us to not give way to fear
- love to maintain and even strengthen the unity in our communities
- peace to rule in our streets