Patrick Christys: The speed we move on from terror attacks is dangerous and it suits terrorists
For the family of Sir David Amess, I very much doubt they’ve moved on. I very much doubt that their personal news agenda has shifted away from terror and towards the big green plan
Isn’t it amazing how quick we are to move on from terror attacks, how quick we are to forget. Isn’t it amazing how quickly the news agenda changes, how quickly our politicians stop talking about it.
Sir David Amess’ funeral takes place today – this is the conservative MP who was slaughtered in his own office by a suspected Islamist terrorist. In fact, that discussion immediately moved on to online hatred, mean tweets and emails. It wasn’t Twitter that killed Sir David. It was terror.
Then there’s the Liverpool attack. There was a couple of days worth of reports about the fact a man was seconds away from detonating a huge bomb packed with ball bearings inside the foyer of Europe’s largest maternity hospital and then we’re over it.
We just have a couple of days of talking about it then we just forget and move on, that's it…until the next time. We’re back to talking about sleaze, about woke students, about CO2 emissions.
For the family of Sir David Amess, I very much doubt they’ve moved on. I very much doubt that their personal news agenda has shifted away from terror and towards the big green plan.
I very much doubt that Liverpudlian taxi driver David Perry and his family have moved on from the fact that he’s so lucky to be alive after a man blew himself up in the back of his car. I doubt they’ve stopped thinking about whether or not the Anglican church is actually complicit in a great big asylum swindle that sees people fraudulently convert to Christianity in a bid to remain in this country.
We gave wall-to-wall coverage of a racism hearing relating to Yorkshire County Cricket Club, then about a former England slogger putting on black face, then the man who was accusing others of racism actually saying some anti-semitic things himself. Meghan went on the Ellen show and pretended to be a cat and that was all over the front pages. England footballer Jack Grealish may or may not have been scoring regularly whilst playing away from home – that was headline news.
It just feels like we’re sweeping terrorism under the carpet and that there’s almost a playbook for this stuff now. Attack happens, people die, talk about it for a day in parliament, Prime Minister issues statement – we can’t give in to terror – blah, blah, blah, maybe a vigil if we’re lucky and then we just wash our hands of it and crack on…again until the next time.
I understand that we can’t just talk about terror all the time, I know as well as anyone that when you’ve got a full newspaper to write or a few hours worth of TV to put together, you have to cover a range of topics. There is never just one story in town.
But the speed with which our politicians and vast swathes of the media move on from terror attacks is dangerous and it’s deliberate.
If they can get us talking about something else, if they can get us thinking about something else, then it’s a distraction. It means that we’re not focusing on what they’re actually doing to tackle terror and keep us safe. It means that we don’t end up having some difficult conversations about things like radical Islam, how much of a threat the Channel crossings pose to our national security, about integration, about the role our education system plays in fostering national hatred in children and, crucially, how much danger we’re actually in.
People say, oh well we wouldn’t want to sow the seeds of division in society, we wouldn’t want to whip up hate, we wouldn’t want to stoke racial tensions. It’s the grooming gang stuff all over again, isn’t it? Oh, we just won’t report it, or we certainly won’t dwell on it.
Let’s just sweep it under the carpet and hope it goes away. Well it won’t go away, it isn’t going away. In the wake of Sir David Amess’ death, MPs now have to inform police about most of their movements, they’ve all got locks on their constituency doors, we’ve got bollards along almost every main road in every major city – remind me why that is again?
I find it troubling how quick we are to forget, how quickly we move on. Ask yourselves who that suits? It suits those in charge because it means they don’t have to get to grips and deal with the real problem, but, crucially, it also suits the terrorists.