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#Manchester, Union FlagA Bit About Britain’s normal Tuesday post has been abandoned. Of course, life goes on while tragedy is all around; but banging on about interesting places to visit is irrelevant, and disrespectful, today, when people are mourning and suffering just down the road. At least 22 dead and 59 injured, including children, at an Ariana Grande gig. A pop concert, for heaven’s sake!

So Manchester joins London, and other cities in other countries all around the world, who have been the victims of evil, twisted, people in the last year or so alone, including Afghanistan, Belgium, Egypt, France, Germany, India, Iraq, Nigeria, Pakistan, Russia, Somalia, Syria, Turkey and the USA. Terrorism threatens us all.

Twitter is full of expressions of anger and puzzlement. Pictures of the missing, most of them kids, are being circulated; it is heartbreaking.  The Prime Minister has called an emergency COBRA meeting.  The Conservative and Labour parties have rightly agreed to suspend election campaigning for the time being, and the also-runnings have followed suit.  Their messages would be eclipsed and no one would be interested anyway. This tragedy also puts the playground viciousness and immature grasp of reality you see in social media into perspective.

The people of Manchester have been offering shelter, refreshment, transport, help of all kinds, to the victims.  The emergency services are working overtime.  Unfortunately, Manchester is no stranger to terrorism. It was as recently as 1996 that the IRA exploded a bomb at the Arndale Shopping Centre on a busy Saturday. You can’t negotiate with people who embrace violence, with psychopaths consumed by blind hatred, warped outlook and perverted ideology. You have to beat them and, simultaneously, marginalise them. At the same time, I worry about those who can only interpret the world in black and white, see it in their way and no other, who seek to blame an entire community, belief, religion, or race for disgusting events like this, and their own, lesser, problems.  The talented late Jo Cox MP was also a victim of hatred; I did not generally share her political views, but she was right that we all have far more in common than the things that divide us.

Meanwhile, I cannot comprehend what those affected by this are going through. It is horrific, a nightmare. All people of good heart will be thinking of them.

22 thoughts on “#Manchester

  1. furrygnome

    We have been deeply affected not only by Manchester but by the fire, a different tragedy, but still unacceptable. Our thoughts are with those affected by all of this.

  2. CherryPie

    One of my husbands colleagues sister and daughter were what caught up in the trauma. The sister was wounded by the bomb.

    It brings the atrocity rather close to home…

  3. Clare Pooley

    Thank-you for this eloquent and moving post, Mike. I’m late commenting as I’ve been off-line (migraine) but have been kept up-to-date with what has been going on.

  4. williamkendall1

    I’m not at all religious, but it’s thoughtless remarks like that Sparky above that certainly aren’t helpful. Judging an entire group by the actions of a few is the act of a dolt.

    ISIS must be put down. In the long run that will happen.

  5. marmeladegypsy

    Hi Mike — I have been glued to the news, heartbroken that this can happen yet again and be so cruelly targeted toward the young. (Though it’s cruel, no matter who the target is,) Your post is eloquent and beautiful. My heart is breaking for your beautiful country and its people. Ssending love and hope out into the world…

  6. Sparky

    Islam is no one’s friend. It’s devil worship. It must be rooted out and destroyed. Y’all take care over there. You have our prayers.

    1. Mike@bitaboutbritain Post author

      Thanks for your thoughts, Sparky, but assuming you are actually serious, obviously, Islam is not devil worship. You know from your newspapers that Muslims are targets for these evil terrorists too – all over the world – and that it is the Iraqi Army that is fighting ‘Islamic State’ on the ground in Mosul at the moment! There are millions of Muslims in the UK – and I assume in the US too – who are as disgusted and saddened by these perverted acts as anyone else. All normal people, of all beliefs and races, are. We have humanity in common. The TV News tonight showed an enormous crowd, of all faiths and none, coming together in Manchester; I am proud to live in a country like that.

  7. Marcia

    I can’t comprehend how someone can get to the point of carrying out such a horrific attack. How can they think this will accomplish anything? Prayers for all of Manchester and UK.

  8. mekslibrarian

    My nieces in England are teenage girls. This concert would have been just the type of thing for them to go to, if they did not live too far away from Manchester. It could have been them just as well – and those 22 who died (and others who are injured) are someone’s nieces, nephews, daughters, sons, friends and siblings, too.

  9. Joseph Biles

    One of the worst places that could have been attacked, a building full off young children. Absolutely disgusting. RIP those who were killed.

  10. SpookyMrsGreen

    I cried when I switched on the radio this morning and heard the news. Not my Manchester. So close to home. We remain strong and together, as always, supporting each other through the chaos and grief.

  11. Tina

    It’s shameful, such hatred. To target a venue obviously full of children is especially heinous. My heart goes out to all those suffering.

  12. Denise at Forest Manor

    I’m so sorry to hear about this, Mike. It’s horrible, and sadly, defenseless people all over the world are experiencing these attacks almost weekly now, it seems. I’m so sorry for all the loved ones lost yesterday.


  13. hilarymb

    Hi Mike – it is just appalling … my heart always breaks for families involved in this kind of incident … those who perpetrated this horror need to be found as soon as possible and taken out of the mainstream. thanks for writing up such a sad, yet comprehensive, post… Hilary

  14. Shammy

    Thanks so much for posting this. What a dreadful thing to happen at a concert where so many young people are enjoying a fabulous night out. How can we make this hatred stop? I can’t understand how anyone can think this way.

  15. Suz

    So much sadness and horror here to learn of this terror. My heart goes out to everyone affected.

  16. Cynthia

    Horrendous. My heart breaks for the families affected, and for us all because we all feel less safe in the world.

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