Then as the story unfolded the horror of what happened became apparent. A very sick minded individual had mown down a bunch of innocent people on a bridge, stabbed an unarmed police officer and been shot by armed police. What did this sick man hope to achieve? That we can only speculate. This morning, London got up and went to work as usual, maybe in a more sombre mood, but the city does what it always does when such atrocities happen.Sky full of news helicopters following incident at Westminster, all hovering. pic.twitter.com/Yq1orJdwMq— Roger Tichborne/RogT (@Barneteye) March 22, 2017
I have no idea what the stupid fool of a terrorist hoped would happen, but he has achieved a few things. Let me spell these out.
1. He has reaffirmed that the London Police are the finest police force on the planet. I could not be prouder of them. I for one am thankful that we have brave policement who do not carry guns routinely. It also shows that those who are armed are very well trained. The terrorist was despatched with three bullets. There was not a hail of bullets and dozens of innocent bystanders shot. The terrorist has reaffirmed my belief that London and the British Police are the best. He has made me very proud of the men and women who serve and protect us.
2. Our ambulance and medical services are exceptional people. Who knows what they were walking into? But walk into it they did. They deserve our praise and gratitude. The terrorist has simply demonstrated that in London, our society has delivered us a fantastic team of emergency services who are brave and heroic. That gives me great reassurance.
3. Every time there is such an atrocity, London always seems to throw up an unlikely hero. There is always someone who emerges from the picture with bravery and courage. There is always an unsung hero (often more than one) who is an example to us all. Yesterday, that hero was Conservative MP Tobias Ellwood. I hadn't heard of Mr Ellwood before yesterdays atrocity. He is just one of the hundreds of MP's who go about there business and try and ensure the country is well run and democratically accountable. What I didn't know before yesterday is that Mr Ellwood is also a very brave and heroic man. The pictures of him trying to save a stabbed policeman touched my heart. No one would have questioned him if he'd run and hid. But he didn't He ended up soaked in blood, vainly using his military and medical training to try and save a fellow man. This is clearly the sort of man I'd want for my MP, even if I don't agree with his politics. If there was an election tomorrow, I would vote for him. The terrorist has simply remphasised that there is more that joins us as decent people than divides us.
4. Last night, I went for a curry, in the very fine Mill Hill Tandoori restaurant. The owner is a very good friend of mine and a Muslim. We are still friends. We share a horror of what such people do. The sick terrorist simply gave us another opportunity to reaffirm that we are both hard working, peaceful citizens. There is no division. There will never be.
In short, whatever the sick idiotic fool was trying to do, what ever division he was trying to spread, not only did he fail, but he had completely the opposite effect. He has gone to meet his maker, with the blood of innocent people on his hands. There is no holy book anywhere, in any creed that says "though shalt butcher the innocent with no regard for the sanctity of life". I believe that people who perpetrate such acts have been lied to and mislead. The God I believe in does not give them a reward for such henious acts of barbarity. I don't know whether God has the compassion to forgive such people, given that someone has corrupted and perverted their notion of what faith is. What I do know is that, tragic though it is, through the actions of such despicable and evil people, we actually often get to see the very best in our fellow citizens and we get to be reminded of just how lucky we are to live in London, the capital city of the world. I hope and pray that this is the last terrorist atrocity that befalls our city. I hope and pray that men of hatred see the futility of their actions. I hope and pray that the leaders of all faiths and creeds spread the message that hatred and violence are not the way of God and people of faith. I hope and pray that we don't harden our hearts and we continue to treat all the citizens of our city with love and respect. But most of all, today, I hope and pray that all Londoners have as quiet and peaceful a day as is possible in the circumstances. I believe that if ever there was a chosen people, it is the citizens of our fine city. We are lucky as we have everything we need to have a rich and fulfilled life. We should cherish that every single day. The men of hate will not prevail. Ever.