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  • Whiterock Wales

How do we react to attacks like this?

Having been stuck away in meetings for most of the day, it was several hours after the event that I learned about the tragic and horrifying attack in London. Like many others, I've walked those same pavements and courtyard both in my 'day job' and as a visiting tourist. It was their familiarity that somehow made it worse. Nearly a week later, we’re told the UK-born perpetrator acted alone and that his motivation is still unclear. Not that this stopped speculation.

For some it was an excuse to wilfully misrepresent earlier comments by London mayor Sadiq Khan who had urged public vigilance in the face of terrorism risks that beset big city life.

My attempts on social media to highlight this deliberate inaccuracy earned me a vaguely menacing note from an individual living in Arizona.

Not that the ‘responsible’ media behaved much better with suggestions that Parliament was left unguarded shortly after the attack. It’s a pity that such searching scrutiny was not aimed at fellow news outfits who ‘named’ the attacker only to get it wrong.

Equally unforgivable were the photos of an individual with a knife being confronted by police – and which related to an incident outside Buckingham Palace in 2013.

It’s a dumb question but will the media ever accept that their obsession with being "live at the scene" adds very little to the sum of viewer understanding and only creates further headaches for emergency services?

I watched a government representative insist that London is safe. I don't mean to be glib but someone once said something similar about Tunisian resorts. As anyone in the insurance business will tell you, risk is relative concept.

As for the Palace of Westminster, I don’t think we will be made safe as a nation if the place which represents our democratic freedoms becomes less accessible to its citizens.

Nor am I convinced by a Home Secretary who demands access to our encrypted emails when the attacker was not even under surveillance.

Either we change our lives after this event or we don’t. The government can’t have it both ways – as much as they would like to try.


Is the party over for UKIP?

The weekend saw plenty of political commentators forecasting the imminent demise of UKIP – which tells you how little has been learned in the past year or so.

Mention the name Douglas Carswell to your average UKIP supporter and I’m guessing the response would be a blank look. According to current leader Paul Nuttall, the departure of the party’s only MP was a pre-emptive leap before he was pushed out anyway. UKIP is undoubtedly a party with problems although it’s hardly alone in that respect.

Even so, having an estimated 4 million voters is a handy buffer when you’re figuring out the purpose of vaguely right-of-centre populist movement which is anti-establishment by inclination but beholden to billionaires for its funding.

Let's be blunt though, no-one is more entitled to unfurl the "Mission Accomplished" banner than Nigel Farage. He may have since deserted the stage but his Brexit legacy definitely lives on.

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