It’s not often I get political, my blog is more about the fun side of life, but today I feel sick.
Just before I went to bed last night there were reports of a stampede at the MEN arena as a balloon popped near a speaker and people panicked – in the current climate, unfortunately when you hear a loud bang, your first thought is ‘terrorist attack’. They weren’t wrong.
When I was up with the baby at 2am my husband came running up the stairs to tell me that 20 people were dead, mostly kids, after a nail bomb went off. How could I sleep after that? It’s always sad to hear of these atrocities but when it’s children, it cuts deeper, even more so now that I’m a mother.
I feel deeply for the friends and family appealing for information for their loved ones. At the time of writing this, young teenagers Olivia Campbell, Chloe Rutherford and Liam Curry are all missing and no one’s heard a peep from them. Their phones dead. It’s vital that we keep sharing their pictures, just in case somebody recognises their faces and can help locate them.
I hope upon hope that they’ll be found but unfortunately, according to latest reports, 22 people won’t be coming home. For 22 families there won’t be a happy outcome.
It seems every other week there’s news of a new terrorist attack and to be honest, I’m no longer shocked. But the fact this was just down the round in Manchester and a direct attack on children has rattled me. A new level of depravity has been reached.
I don’t know how this will ever stop. There have been terrorist attacks in the past, in fairly recent memory. The IRA decimated Manchester city centre and killed people in Warrington. But their attacks were politically motivated, they had an agenda to push. In these attacks stemming from Islamic Extremists, there is no agenda other than they want us all dead.
Whether a country is involved or not with bombings in the Middle East doesn’t seem to matter, it’s happening anyway. These aren’t retaliations; they’re just an attack on Western culture. How can you negotiate with that?
The official line is that Islam is the religion of peace and I’m sure for the vast majority of Muslim’s that’s totally true. But religion is open to interpretation and in the hands of some people with an evil, hateful agenda it becomes a religion of oppression and violence. Take a look at any cult – there’s nothing quite like a belief system to brainwash someone into thinking that the most horrific acts are ‘just’.
I’m not coming at this from a Christian standpoint either, they’ve also got an awful track record of genocide and violence by the way, but I like to think we’re a good few hundred years past all that.
One good thing to come out of this is to see that even in the face of such tragedy, strangers are coming together in the most heart-warming ways – whether it’s offering rooms or lifts to people stranded as Manchester remains on ‘lockdown’.
It IS important that we don’t turn into a venomous, hateful society, suspicious of all outsiders, because then they’ve already won really haven’t they?
By the same token, are we just supposed to turn the other cheek and ignore this and hope it will all go away one day?
When the Nazi’s attacked our way of life we fought back – the difference is, they were one organized block, out in the open. How do you fight little pockets of evil, hiding in plain sight?
I just don’t know.
Manchester, you’re in everyone’s hearts and minds. Stand together always.