Tuesday, 23 May 2017

We Stand With Manchester

Woke up this morning and blearily checked my BBC News app on the phone on the way downstairs and I'm not ashamed to say I stood in my living room a little while later and wept as I watched the story begin to unfold on the TV.

Those poor people .....

My thoughts go out to all of those people who have been and will continue to be affected.

Obviously Manchester has been targeted before by terrorists (the Arndale bombing in 1996) but this feels more personally visceral for a number of reasons. Firstly I live in Leeds and in recent years have spent quite a bit of time on business and with the family in Manchester. I've been to the MEN Arena several times myself for concerts and of course I have two children in a not dissimilar age range to the kids that would have been there and affected last night.

I'm not personally affected by the tragedy I would stress but still feel as if I've been punched in the stomach.

I am not a journalist nor an investigator and it is not for me to say, at this stage, who may or may not have been responsible. I will leave the investigation to the police and the recriminations to the politicians.

What I will say is that this is an absolute outrage. A cowardly attack on innocents. It should not go unpunished.

Personally I would consider myself a liberal and a non-reactionary but moments like this make me want to devolve to my baser instincts. That however is what 'they' want. Terror attacks are designed to frighten, to disrupt, to change behaviour and ultimately to make us lash out at those responsible, or rather those we think responsible and thus give justification and legitimacy to the terrorists.

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