If I am struggling with the aftermath of the Manchester Arena attacks, then god alone knows how the relatives of those who were killed and injured are feeling, or for that matter the survivors. Having watched last night’s searingly powerful Panorama on the BBC and then heard today about the concert at Manchester Cricket Ground next Sunday my feelings can be measured only by the extremes.
I am more angry with the suicide murderer than I was last week. The more the stories emerge the more inexplicable his deeds became. It becomes clear that his motivation, and that of his, I suspect, many accomplices, was to murder young girls. Islamic fascists loathe the idea of women having independent spirits and the freedom to live as they choose. The only answer they could come up with was to send a brainwashed loser to blow himself up and to kill and maim as many young girls as they could.
The terrorist’s aim is just that: to terrorise, to make us frightened. To that end, you’d think they might have failed given the very public acts of those who refuse to be cowed by suicide murderers. I’m not sure that they have failed, though, unless I am the only one who is more wary than I was before. Perhaps it is because I have a family I love more than words can possibly say and friends who have helped keep me sane and happy, especially in recent times. I fear for them more than I fear for myself.
Occasionally, I feel guilty for having brought my children into this ugly world. The world was not quite so ugly when they turned up in the 1990s, although some worrying signs were already there. By 2001, everything had changed with the carnage of 9/11 and it’s gotten worse ever since. Now, thanks to random acts of cruelty by twisted losers, people’s lives can be changed and destroyed within a second. Some crazy lunatic driving a car across Westminster Bridge, two bloodthirsty goons murdering a brave soldier in the cold light of day and now a half-witted social inadequate ending his own worthless life in the blinking of an eye but taking dozens of good people with him.
No matter how much I read about islamic fascism, no matter how many movies and documentaries I see, the less I seem to understand. The God these wazzocks worship is, if you believe in their ideology, in favour of the mass murder of innocent children. If that’s God, what the hell is the devil like? I know that’s a silly question since obviously neither ever existed but why anyone should think like that? I had always been under the impression that the God worshippers were the good guys. And then came this.
My mood lifted, really lifted, when I heard about this week’s special concert in Manchester, which will be headlined by Ariana Grande, this talented but plainly traumatised 23 year old girl, who was attacked by phone hacker Piers Morgan for flying home after the murders of Manchester, as if she was somehow the bad person in all this. And I am absolutely delighted that the nation’s broadcaster, the BBC, is covering the event live on TV and radio. As Rupert Murdoch relentlessly gains control of TV and confines it to his money-making cable and satellite stations, the Beeb will still give the country a shared experience that hopefully we will never forget.
I’ll watch it, probably with a tear in my eye, thinking of those poor people who lost their lives for what, exactly? At least, not that it is much of a consolation, those taken away will be remembered with love and fondness, quite unlike the piece of excrement whose scattered remains were all that was left.
The Manchester attack has affected our country as much as any terrorist attack since the 7/7 suicide murders. I am angry and I am sad, I remain shocked and I am still mad. Life goes on, but things will never be the same, no matter how hard we try. A little part of our humanity died last week but we have no choice but to carry on.