The most important comments made by a politician and which tie in with the latest terrorist atrocities was made by Margaret Thatcher in 1984.
In the early hours of 12th October 1984, a bomb exploded in the Grand Hotel, Brighton. The event took place during the Tory Party Conference, five people were killed, and 34 people were taken to hospital, including Norman Tebbit, a member of the cabinet.
The Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher, who was the main target of the attack, was determined to carry on as before. The next session for the conference, scheduled for 9.30 that day, went ahead, on time. Mrs Thatcher said: “The scale of the outrage in which we have all shared, and the fact that we are gathered here now – shocked, but composed and determined – is a sign not only that the attack has failed, but that all attempts to destroy democracy by terrorism will fail.”
But then maybe Winston Churchill put it even better when he said: “We shall never surrender.”
Maybe there are two points we should never forget during what amounts to an attack on democracy and freedom.
Point one: recall, that London remains a safe city. The murder rate is London is much lower than in thousands of cities across the world. Britain is a relatively safe country. You hear some people, potential tourists, or even political leaders, who shall remain nameless, but one of them resides in the White House, try to suggest that immigration policy has somehow made Europe unsafe, but conveniently forget that the number of murders committed in the US are around 17 times greater than the number in the UK – as of 2010 – but the population is only five times greater. The violent crime rate in New York is below the US national average, but in 2009, the homicide rate per one hundred thousand in New York was around three times the rate in London, although the New York rate has fallen since then, it is still much higher than in London. Terrorist attacks in the UK were many times more frequent during the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s. Between 1970 and the year 2000, there were 11 terrorist attacks in the UK, in which more than ten people were killed. Since the year 2000, there have been two, according to the Global Terrorism Database.
Point two, never forget the aims of the terrorists themselves. They want to create an overreaction in the west, they want to undermine democracy they want to create a division between Christian and Muslim people. They want to create martyrs. We must be very careful not to pander to those wishes. Too many comments on social media were doing precisely that. Such a reaction threatens to give the terrorists what they want.
A recent fatwa was issued by leading religious scholars from across the Muslim world in Islamabad that declared “suicide attacks,” “armed insurgency against the state”, and “the use of force in the name of imposing Shariah as ‘Haram’” were forbidden in Islam.
The vast majority, or maybe we can go further than that, and say the vast, vast majority of Muslim believers are just as horrified by recent attacks as anyone else.
And returning to the first point, the New York Times stated that Britain was ‘reeling’ from ‘terror attacks.’ This did not go down well. A British sense of fortitude is emerging, one that sticks to the ideals of tolerance, and one that says we will not be cowed.
Ricky Gervais Tweeted yesterday: “50 tonnes of high explosive and 30,000 incendiary bombs were dropped on London during the war. We’re not reeling. We’re are just saying F*** You!