Westminster – coming to terms with chaos

Saturday 25th March

We are all appalled by the events at Westminster on Wednesday; how could we not be.  But being appalled, and a succession of Politicians condemning the terrorists doesn’t solve a thing.  We are told (but not told the details) that the authorities have foiled many terrorist plots, and maybe they have, but they didn’t stop this one, or even have any knowledge of it.  And this is because more and more it seems that these outrages are not even terrorist plots in the conventional sense; more and more these are lone wolves, inspired by what we term as terrorism maybe, but probably not part of some terrorist organization at all.  And look at the ‘weapons’ this guy used – a hired car and a knife, everyday objects, and yet what carnage he caused.  We have to understand that no matter how sophisticated our intelligence services are, no matter how they may eavesdrop on our communications, there is no stopping a lone wolf.  Arrests have been made, family and friends I expect, in the attempt to see if he was part of a wider network, or if any of them had prior knowledge of the attack.  I expect that after questioning they will be released – we will have to wait and see.

But how do we deal with this chaos in our lives.  We who are so careful, who look both ways before crossing the road, who have regular health checks, who eat our five a day.  How do we cope with this element of chaos in our lives?  There is no answer to that.  I lived through the IRA bombing of London in the Seventies; you just had to get on with your life and hope it wasn’t your turn to be bombed. And that is all we can do today.  The only difference being that we all had the secret hope that the IRA would stop one day and Peace would return; with this new form of terrorism there is no end in sight, even if we militarily defeat ISIS we will not kill the idea, the crazed maybe mentality that drives people to die for a religious or political creed, and to take many other innocents with them.

Our generation is lucky, we have not lived through World Wars, we haven’t had mass unemployment, we have sanitation and most of us a place to live.  But life is always uncertain, any day we may be diagnosed with a terminal illness, any day we might die in a car-crash, any day our plane might explode in mid-air.  We cannot avoid an unexpected death – simply because it is unexpected.  But every day that we are alive we must carry on and hope that these outrages become less and less, and keep looking both ways when crossing the road…