Patrick Christys: I’m sick of this country's complacency when it comes to terror
We hold up our side of the bargain, we keep calm and carry on… it’s time for the government to hold up their end of the bargain and do more to keep us safe
I don’t know about you but I’m sick and tired of the complacency in this country when it comes to terror. I’m sick and tired of how normalised terror attacks are becoming, and the meaningless platitudes from our leaders in their aftermath.
Yesterday, Boris Johnson said: ‘We must all remain vigilant and Britain will never be cowed by terrorism.’ Well, yes, we will all remain vigilant, and this country is stacked full of very brave, very courageous, very proud individuals who will refuse to live their lives in fear. But Boris Johnson drives around in an armour-plated car flanked by police officers on motorbikes. It’s Liverpudlian taxi drivers on the front line of this, it’s the people enjoying a pint in Borough Market, it’s the people trying to get to work on the tube, it’s the children attending an Arianna Grande concert who are on the front line of this.
Now, it’s important to say that Mi5 revealed they had thwarted 31 late-stage terror attacks in the UK in the last four years, and that there can be no doubt that they’re working flat out to keep us safe and that there are probably countless other situations that they take care of that we’ll never know about, and we should be immensely grateful to them for their work.
It’s also nigh on impossible to thwart every single lunatic who decides they want to commit a terror attack. It just takes some nutter in their bedroom to see one thing online and pull a kitchen knife out of their drawer and before you know it, we’ve got another attack on our hands. We all understand that, we all accept that there is simply an inherent risk out there that we all have to just deal with.
But it feels like it’s our political leaders who are too complacent on terror in general, and we’re not helping ourselves – or rather, they’re not helping us. Cutting police numbers and then making a big song and dance about replacing the officers they slashed, isn’t helping us. Having a justice system that allows a man who is known to have radicalised at least 70 other terrorists to serve just a few years in prison before not just being back on the streets but also allowed to continue hate preaching, isn’t helping us.
I’m very worried about the situation taking place in the Channel – I want to really stress that if I was from various countries in the Middle East or Africa and I had no hope whatsoever of a good life, I undoubtedly would try to make my way to a better, probably European country. So we can’t begrudge people for wanting a better life for their family.
We should also acknowledge that as yet, there has not been a single instance of anyone who came across the Channel committing a terror attack in this country. But I’m deeply concerned that it just might happen. And that’s a perfectly logical concern – by definition if we don’t know who thousands of these people are, it poses a risk to national security.
But what I’m really worried about is what will happen if one of them does commit a terror attack. I fear that we’re sitting on a powder keg as a nation at the moment and I think there’ll be huge public backlash on the streets if one does.
That would show the very worst of Britain, it would show rage, it would just be horrible – and I just hope our government doesn’t continue to sleepwalk into a situation that could allow that to happen.
But there’s another element to this as well, where I really don’t think we’re helping ourselves. We’re dealing with a warped ideology here – radical Islam, more often than not. And we need to eliminate it root and branch. And at the moment, I think that our education system helps to promote a very negative view of Britain. It highlights all the wrongs this country has committed in the past, all too often it paints us as a nation of violent imperialist slave traders with no moral compass. What impact does that have on children in this country?
Well, it leads to the Union Jack being burnt outside a school in London. Again, we’re not helping ourselves.
We hold up our side of the bargain, we keep calm and carry on, we get back on the tube the day after 7/7, we go back to Borough Market…it’s time for the government to hold up their end of the bargain and do more to keep us safe.