Today’s letters reflect again on the aftermath of the terrorist attack which happened in Manchester in the evening of Monday, 22nd of May 2017. This atrocity will engage us for some time to come. It should not be pushed into the background, nor should the questions to which this gives rise. After all, the surviving victims will have to face their whole lives to come to terms with what happened, so the least we can do is to try and keep on asking the inconvenient questions. This time, we should not “draw a line and move on”. The first letter comes from our reader Roger Arthur:
Why do hundreds of IS recruits, who have returned from action in the Middle East, remain at large in the UK? Is it because the Control Orders, which were designed to contain the risk, were deemed in breach of the European Law of Human Rights? It seems that the number detained is less than 10.
So a group of fundamentalists has declared war on non-believers, but the ECHR stops us from taking the kind of defensive action, which we would take in wartime.
After the UK has removed from the ECJ jurisdiction, then we should be better able to control the risk. Yes some might regard that as a “hard” Brexit, but it is not half as hard as leaving UK citizens open to the risk of death or disfigurement, from known terrorists.
Respectfully, Roger J. Arthur
The second letter is from our contributor and reader Alan Piper, who is standing as PPC in Barrow & Furness:
I and many others attended a vigil on Tuesday to reflect on the appalling events in Manchester. It was very moving. But before I left I read the condolences books and saw a comment from a young girl saying “this should not have happened”.
It struck me then, and I wrote under her comment, “this should never have been allowed to happen”. Because the hideous price paid by those poor murdered children and their shattered families has only come to pass because of the grown-ups who have let this happen.
And when I first saw the news on Tuesday, not for the first time it took the President of the United States to be the first to spell out who and what was responsible for the outrage unleashed on those children on Monday night, the Islamic-inspired, pure hatred for our way of life and their hell-bent determination to destroy it.
Our politicians still can not bring themselves to confront this simple truth and all the shock, virtue signalling and sombre words cannot disguise their collective culpability for this outrage.
But the politicians are not alone. I remember the recent Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams rather wearily welcoming Sharia to our shores as inevitable. And the contemporary Lord Chief Justice, Matthew something, doing the same.
And Tony Blair as Prime Minister extended the postal voting system, from relatively limited special interest groups to the entire electorate, irrespective of the manipulation and electoral fraud warnings that entailed. Later he too extended his welcome to the establishment of Sharia “courts”, which operate behind closed doors, all for electoral advantage.
As recently as the 29th April, a lady called Anne Marie Waters came to this town to speak about the reality of Sharia, and FGM, and honour killings, and the domestic and sexual slavery it entails. In this land.
Her “welcome” to Barrow was to have the venue, the Abbey House Hotel, withdrawn at very short notice on a pretext because they were too frightened to admit they had been threatened. Luckily another venue stepped in. And even more luckily, the events were televised because coincidentally, the election had been called only a couple of days earlier and a snippet of me speaking at the end of her presentation reached BBC2’s Newsnight and the Daily Express because I suggested, in a slightly agricultural fashion, that Mrs May was not to be trusted with Brexit.
But then I am a publican, not a politician. I am neither radical nor an extremist. But I predict it will require considerably more resolve from the likes of publicans and others, whose moral compasses have not been re-calibrated for reasons of gain or grandeur, to confront the source of this hatred.
My daughter is 14 and has visited the Arena. My wife and her friends were there as recently as last Saturday. The terrorist was known to the authorities. And 22 innocent people have been murdered with many more injured.
Today and for many days to come, our thoughts are with them. But tomorrow your thoughts may start moving to why this outrage happened and who is culpable.
And you may also wonder why so few people came to hear the incredibly brave Anne Marie Waters, who came to this town barely 4 weeks ago.
The path to hell is, truly, paved with good intentions. And some truly base ones too.
Respectfully, Alan Piper
The last letter is by our reader Vernon Yarker, reflecting on a question many of us are asking at this time when is seems as if prosecuting the crime of hate speech is the single most important task facing our police forces:
Why is it that we are not permitted to dislike Islamists. Such thoughts are racist according to our Liberal and Labour elite. Thus, remembering the 52 people killed in the London bombings – the 67 UK citizens killed in the twin towers – the 30 killed on a beach in Tunisia – the 28 killed in Bali, plus now a further 22 in Manchester … there have been other deaths in-between, and not forgetting that the above figures probably resulted in even more injuries, some that meant disablement for life, yet, it seems that the most that we can allow ourselves to think and say is that ‘sometimes Islamists are very naughty’. It is with deep regret that I must therefore ask: is it my duty to report myself to the authorities for entertaining unapproved thoughts?
Respectfully, Vernon Yarker