Yes I did make that headline as provocative as possible.
This subject is one I am even more uniquely inexpert to comment on as my usual ground but some things need saying and I’m damn well going to say it. I created the headline from a (since amended) tweet by rabble rouser Katie Hopkins and various hysterical reactions across social media. As I type this news is filtering through that one of the victims of the Manchester atrocity, (do we even have words to describe targeting children with nail bombs?) is just 8 years old. This is from the BBC
Eight-year-old Saffie Rose Roussos from Leyland was killed in the Manchester suicide attack, Lancashire County Council has said.
Chris Upton, headteacher at Tarleton Community Primary School, said: “News of Saffie’s death in this appalling attack has come as a tremendous shock to all of us and I would like to send our deepest condolences to all of her family and friends.
“The thought that anyone could go out to a concert and not come home is heartbreaking.
“Saffie was simply a beautiful little girl in every aspect of the word.
“She was loved by everyone and her warmth and kindness will be remembered fondly. Saffie was quiet and unassuming with a creative flair.
“Our focus is now on helping pupils and staff cope with this shocking news and we have called in specialist support from Lancashire County Council to help us do that.
“We are a tight-knit school and wider community and will give each other the support that we need at this difficult time.”
I just sat with my head in my hands for a few minutes after reading that, bewildered, sad and angry. Oh God I’m angry and so, probably are you. And just a little bit sick. What the hell else is any even half decent human to feel? Neither my anger or yours is going to bring those dead people back or heal the injured. It certainly isn’t going to bring comfort to those grieving. I have no idea how to offer comfort to those people but I suspect the following would be an example of how not to.
Let the hotheads prevail and follow this through, let’s go down the route of revenge. this would require leadership and that leadership sets a direction that others will follow. The first thing revenge needs is a target and of course the target in this case would be The Muslims. Yeah, let’s get ’em, oh and those people with dark skins and daft towels on their heads. Who cares if they’re Sikhs let’s get ’em anyway. Let’s face it it’s foreigners in general let’s get ’em as well. Now hotheads can complain this isn’t what they mean but once a direction is set, in the heat of the moment when passions are raw, things escalate. So we send in the police to close down every mosque, do you think that mobs wouldn’t lend a helping hand with a can of petrol and a box of matches. It only takes one wrong decision in the wrong direction for things to escalate out of hand.
Here is a truth that can’t be repeated often enough: “Terrorists and the far right seem to have some weird symbiotic relationship in which each does its best to boost recruitment of the other” (H/T @marcuschown). Think about that, the more extreme the reaction the better as far as terrorists are concerned. Those who are attacked will naturally group together, what would you do? I know it’s exactly the same because that’s what we’re all doing right now, pulling together, but in which direction?
So what’s your direction you bloody snowflake?
Well you have a popular meme doing the social media round that shows exactly the modus operandi of we snowflakes. We draw cartoons, fly flags at half mast, put up a temporary Facebook profile pic, light up buildings and write blog posts. Oh yes, you may sneer, that’ll learn the terrorists won’t it? Yes I think it will, each and every small act of kindness and solidarity helps because it’s what the terrorists don’t want. tell me how do your methods work? We’ve bombed Afghanistan, Syria, Libya, Iraq and threatened countless others. The only boons I can see are for arms suppliers, opiate producers and terrorists. It may also help you think you have a big willy, I don’t know, but I do know it isn’t working and will never work.
Yes I fully accept these token gestures are of little use so let’s look at what responses actually helped. The priorities, in this order. Victims, bereaved, emergency services, security and intelligence services. Halfwits like Katie Hopkins not even in top million. (citation needed) What follows is what terrorists don’t want.
People rushing to help like our emergency services. Do you think they cared what the nationality of the dead and injured were? They will of course have trained for incidents just such as this but that only goes so far, the real thing? Nothing prepares you for that. As the Manchester forces were tied up others rushed in to help from Yorkshire, West Midlands and Lancashire to take up the slack. We know, because of our basic civilisation, the police and security services will do their job and remorselessly track anyone connected with this atrocity down. Anyone who even so much as encouraged this atrocity is complicit and should be sentenced as such. I take this to mean what our justice system allows not what barbarians allow, that way only madness lies.
Then there are the bystanders, innocent people caught up in hell. So many wonderful good people offering rooms, lifts, refreshments or just a good old fashioned hug to the distressed. Hotels open doors to lost kids, taxi drivers went off meter, cafes and pubs opening their doors, decent people offering help with no thought of reward. Terrorists really hate people like that, they need people spewing bile and hatred. There is one man who I think deserves special attention.
This is homeless guy and we all know his sort don’t we? Feckless loser, alky or druggie probably both and scrounger? Oh yes by his own admission he was going to beg for money from concert goers. He deserves everything he’s got, how superior does that make me feel? Surprisingly it turns out that this man has a name, he is called Stephen Jones*. He’s the guy that pulled nails out of childrens faces and witnessed the dead. He’s the man who didn’t run away, he stood up to be counted by a society that threw him overboard.
Mr Jones, a former bricklayer who has been sleeping rough for more than a year, added: “I wouldn’t have been able to live with myself if I’d just walked away.
“Just because I’m homeless, it doesn’t mean I haven’t got a heart.
“There’s a lot of good people with Manchester who help us out and we need to give back too.”
Wow, a man who has been given virtually nothing wanting to payback the pathetically little he was ever given.
So over to you non-snowflowflakes and oh so wise non-cuchs? What would you do? Don’t forget to include the consequences of your actions.
*There appears to be some confusion over this mans identity having also been named as Chris Parker. I will update or amend when clarified. Info taken from ITN News.