Summer of Tragedy

Tuesday 20th June


The Summer has barely started – though it is hot both here in France and in England.  And already what a Summer of Tragedy we have had.  Westminster was barely three months ago.  A mentally disturbed ‘lone wolf’ ploughed a van into people on Westminster Bridge and then ran amok with a knife, killing amongst others a Policeman guarding the Palace of Westminster.  Right at the Heart of Government.  A lone wolf – but one wonders how many other lone wolves may be circling their prey?  The election was called and campaigning underway when we woke to the Tragedy of Manchester.  Young teenagers being collected by their parents at a pop concert blown to smithereens by a suicide bomber.  This time a Libyan, known to the Authorities – indeed indirectly supported as an enemy of the Gadhafi regime, and allowed to travel to and from Libya at will.  Campaigning was suspended for a few days as we absorbed the enormity of the tragedy.  And just as things appeared to return to some sort of normality we had another attack.  This time on London Bridge, and Borough market.  More deaths, more known to the Authorities terrorists – this time mown down by the Police.  How strange that a few years ago this reaction, by American police, might have horrified us, now we accept it as the norm.  Again, campaigning halted for a few days.

The election itself and it’s uncertain result.  Jubilation and tears and negotiations and uncertainty as a weakened prime Minister clings to power.

Then less than a week passes and we have the horrific fire at Grenfell Tower.  We still don’t know the number of dead….maybe we never will.  A catalogue of failures and accusations of broken regulations swirling around.  An inquiry promised but for now anger and despair and disbelief.  How could this happen in the Twenty-First Century?

And this morning (Monday) we woke to yet another atrocity.  A white anti-Muslim has driven his van into a crowd of Muslim worshippers outside a Mosque in Finsbury Park.  So far, only one reported death. Maybe another lone wolf – who knows?  This time the man has been arrested.  And the Summer has barely begun.  We wait in fear now of even turning the TV on each morning.  Will this senseless death continue?  Will there be yet another tragedy?  Has Pandora’s box been opened by the xenophobic Referendum Campaign, how will Society get back to Decency and Understanding again?  I am simply appalled by this Summer of Tragedy….