London

Back in February, I spent a couple of superb days in London. The last event of my trip was a delicious dinner at a Lebanese restaurant called Arabica Kitchen in Borough Market with some friends.

When I was back in London a month later, I went back to Borough Market because I’d never seen it in all its foodie fantasticness. It was great to browse around and see the sorts of ingredients you only hear about on Masterchef, including truffle at about £190 per ounce.

I met a friend there and we bought lunch from one of the street food stalls and ate it in glorious sunshine down by the river.

It’s a great part of town and one which, on a Saturday night, is teaming with people.

So it was even more shocking to watch as the events unfolded last night in a place I hold in great affection. Yet again, murder and violence feature in our streets.

The response of the emergency services was incredible and courageous as ever. It takes superlative skill and bravery to go into that situation and take down the right people in a crowded area in just 8 minutes.

Our thoughts are with all those who have been affected by last night’s attacks, whether as victim, witness, family or friend. There were a fair few of my friends who were either round about or had been in the area a short time before. Thankfully they made it known on social media that they were ok, but I know that they will be feeling that they could easily not have been.

It’s also important to note that kindness and a willingness to help was the instant reaction of so many people, who offered shelter to those in the area. Our Brian Paddick was one of them.

National campaigning has been suspended for the moment but local campaigning will continue. This is a sensible decision so close to the election. The proximity of the election must mean that the national suspension is shorter than it was for the Manchester attack last week, but our hearts are and will stay with those who are suffering.

Tim Farron has just issued this statement:

My thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families, and I would like to pay tribute to the emergency services for their professional response in such terrible circumstances.

The terrorists kill us because they hate us and what we stand for. They hate our democracy and our freedom. We refuse to let them win. We must respond with a vigorous commitment to our democracy.

The election must go ahead as planned. It is right that we suspend our national campaigning for a short while out of respect for those affected by these tragic events, but local campaigning can and must continue.

The remainder of this campaign must be a collective showing of defiance and pride in our democratic values.

We must not let these awful people set us against each other. Now more than ever, generous-spirited solidarity, freedom and celebration of our common values of liberty and democracy have to be the order of the day.

* Caron Lindsay is Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice and blogs at Caron's Musings

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60 Comments

  • Richard Underhill 4th Jun '17 - 10:43am

    Yesterday evening we watched a Canadian thriller on BBC4 and switched to BBC News pending the football highlights on ITV. A BBC reporter happened to be in the area and reported. She was calm and factual, not panicking at all and should be commended for that.
    There will be two enquiries, one for the offences and one for the police response. There is a policy question about the equipment and training provided to armed police. If it might be technically possible to incapacitate the attackers, it might be possible to question them about any links they might have to other possible attacks and attackers.
    After Manchester there was a question as to whether there might be a bomb-maker who was not killed in the murderous attack.

  • Ryan McAlister 4th Jun '17 - 10:51am

    Meanwhile Theresa May just made a cynical, calculated election speech on the steps of Downing Street. Using a tragedy for nakedly partisan campaigning.

    While Labour and ourselves meekly go quiet all day as ordered.

  • Ryan MaAlister

    No she didn’t. She’s Prime Minister and had to make a statement. We can agree or disagree with what she said, but I don’t think many fair minded people would say it was “a cynical, calculated election speech”.

  • Paul Murray 4th Jun '17 - 11:11am

    Yesterday my partner and I were in London for the happy occasion of my niece’s wedding. The reception was at a venue on the riverside walk just a few metres from London Bridge on the north side of the Thames. We needed to leave a little early and at 8pm we were walking over London Bridge to get to the station, weaving through the crowds of tourists taking pictures of Tower Bridge. Had we not needed to leave early we might well have been on the bridge at 10pm… random luck.

    I agree completely with Caron that heinous crimes such as this – which are intended exactly to divide people – must not be permitted to do that. As Liberals we must surely stand for the values of inclusion and respect or we are nothing. Right now there are 25,000 “likes” on the Daily Mail for a BTL comment that “something must be done”. I agree, something must be done. But it must not be some piece of illiberal, kneejerk populism that brings only more harm.

  • Richard Underhill 4th Jun '17 - 11:12am

    Part of Theresa May’s statement outside 10 Downing Street this morning requires legislation and can therefore only be implemented in the next parliament.
    After the Cobra meeting the Home Secretary appeared on Peston on Sunday (ITV).
    The threat level remains at severe, unlike after Manchester, where it went up to critical.

  • The actions of the emergency services were once again bold and heroic, and once again it’s wonderful to see locals offering support to those who might find themselves stranded.

    On the other hand, I am hugely uncomfortable with the news coverage being filled with footage of scared people fleeing the scene, or hiding behind tables. Those people didn’t give permission, and it serves no genuine public interest. It’s just gratuitous sensationalism, and provides additional motivation for future terrorists.

    I’m afraid I agree with Ryan. May’s speech went beyond the necessary and was carefully scripted to provide political advantage, rather than to inform the public. She could have said what needed to be said in half the time. To add a bit about not campaigning today was an extra kick to demonise those who can’t rely on a right-wing press, wrap-around covers and Google Ads.

    IMO, suspending campaigning for three days after Manchester was too long and a mistake. No-one wanted to be the first to start campaigning again, and having set that precedent, it’s hard to resist it this time without someone pretending to be offended.

    I say this as someone who has had nights out in that area, who has been to several concerts at the MEN and was evacuated from Soho when the nail bomb went off at the Admiral Duncan pub. I have huge sympathy for those directly impacted, but the media are thinking of viewing and circulation figures, not national safety or respect, when they decide to demote regular politics.

  • Ryan McAlister 4th Jun '17 - 11:40am

    Malc,

    Absolutely she should speak. Update on the situation. Offer condolences, praise the emergency services.

    But when she veers off into a plan of action of how she is going to respond, most of which would require legislation it becomes an election speech.

  • Philip Rolle 4th Jun '17 - 11:43am

    I would support internment of all on the terror list. Extreme measures are justified in such difficult circumstances. Those who carry out attacks are usually “known” to the security services. We are presently not making effective use of the intelligence available to us in order to keep people safe.

  • Eddie Sammon 4th Jun '17 - 11:50am

    Three attacks in less than three months, I think we need to strengthen security. We shouldn’t just carry on as normal attack after attack. Thoughts to the victims and their families, again.

  • The attackers hope to destroy the freedoms people in the UK enjoy. As one by-stander said I am not going to change my way of life or treat those of a different background differently because of this attack.

  • Far from a fan of UKIP but even they can be right occasionally, democracy should not stop because of these muppets, the election campaign should have continued.

  • Bill le Breton 4th Jun '17 - 12:33pm

    FT twitter reports, “The UK prime minister warns there is “far too much tolerance of extremism in our country.”

    If she has said that it is an underhand and cynical reference to smears her election team has persistently made during this campaign against her main opponent and should be called out. If such a remark was made it should not be interpreted in isolation.

    How dare she.

  • O and we need more police; remind me again who cut them.

  • Shaun Young 4th Jun '17 - 1:07pm

    The attacks carried out by and those that peddle the vile incentive rhetoric to do so, again only show how cowardly they are.

    They know/knew that anyone targeted would be from a myriad of national/cultural/religious backgrounds – that is the nature of London and especially the locations selected. Any suggestion for the justification is as empty as trying to grasp smoke!

    What they are hoping to achieve is the knee-jerk reactions from those in power within Government – to introduce over-reaching legislation; which in turn will lead to the justification by those who peddle xenophobic rhetoric. They will then use the ‘excuse’ that such powers are being used to target and discriminate, feeding on and exploiting the divisions generated amongst everyone.

    The hardest part is, I know this constant drip of information is having a profound effect. I have a mixed-race background, I was born in the maternity unit only 20 minutes up the road from where I live. In my 50 years I have never felt so uneasy and yes, I will say it ‘fearful’ than I have in the last year or so. I have experienced a number of ‘derogatory’ remarks – The worst that I should “{expletive} off” back to my own country, another as a van drove by I felt something hit my head, and realised I’d been spat on and saw a raised finger out of the window as it drove down the road. I actually resorted to carrying an ‘amended’ copy of my P60 with me, and actually confronted a couple when they ‘commented’ about ‘…collecting his benefits…’ while I was in my local PO at the counter. The staff know me, and assistant had gone red. I actually whipped my P60 out and pointed out that in fact to the contrary my contributions were actually paying for their pension, and walked away with I know was smug look on my face! I’m sure I am not the only one who may have been subjected to similar, BUT importantly still love the beautiful, wonderful and diverse home I was born, lived and worked in called the UK! 🙂

  • YellowSubmarine 4th Jun '17 - 1:27pm

    Bill le Breton > “The UK prime minister warns there is “far too much tolerance of extremism in our country.” it is an underhand and cynical reference to smears her election team has persistently made during this campaign against her main opponent and should be called out.

    I do not think this is targeted at a political party, It appears to be aimed at members of Islamic communities who would not themselves participate in terrorist acts but are possibly sympathetic to their actions and are not coming forward with information they know about others activity’s.

  • One thought which came up in discussion with colleagues today. During the Troubles, the City of London had a series of checkpoints where traffic could be bottlenecked or blocked really quickly. I remember these being put into action even in the late 1990s during some protests in the City. However, these were removed in recent years as the terror threat from the IRA lessened and replaced instead by cameras.

    It may be quite simplistic, but it could potentially act as a deterrent – and it’s one which is tried and tested and doesn’t really impinge on the rights of others.

  • Phil Beesley 4th Jun '17 - 1:35pm

    As a young man, I recall arriving at railway stations in Liverpool and Manchester to hear over the tannoy that there was a bomb threat. On one occasion, there really was an IRA bomb outside the station.

    I don’t recall Thatcher, the Prime Minister, saying “enough is enough”. She spouted many platitudes but nothing that daft. Her words were few and apart from the broadcasting ban on Sinn Fein, she usually didn’t act daft. Away from the eyes and ears of press and public, spooks, civil servants and intermediaries were creating the environment for the Good Friday Agreement.

    I have no doubt that spooks, civil servants and intermediaries are acting for Theresa May, in different ways owing to very different circumstances. There is no deal to be made with Islamic terrorists but a lot can be achieved to undermine them.

  • Alan Depauw 4th Jun '17 - 1:52pm

    Thank you, Caron, for this heart-felt article. Quite rightly, all parties (save one) have suspended their national campaigns to dedicate today to the sole expression of grief and respect for the victims.

    It is not a day for the formulation of political views.

    Therefore it is disgraceful for the prime minister to exploit the platform given to her by her role in the security process to launch political initiatives; and to seize the opportunity to dog whistle about an attack on ‘British’ values, when in fact they are taking place all over the world.

  • Peter Watson 4th Jun '17 - 1:55pm

    @frankie “we need more police; remind me again who cut them”
    Lib Dems and Conservatives in Coalition?
    As Jeremy Browne told us, “By making the police more effective and more efficient, we have achieved the ideal outcome: better value for money for taxpayers and better results.” (http://www.libdemvoice.org/jeremy-browne-mp-writes-the-liberal-democrats-are-presiding-over-falling-crime-35381.html)

  • Andrew Melmoth 4th Jun '17 - 2:12pm

    Philip Rolle
    Internment in Northern Ireland served only to strengthen the IRA and led to a huge upsurge in violence. Let’s not be panicked into aiding the terrorists.

  • Ruth Bright 4th Jun '17 - 2:46pm

    Particular thoughts to friends and relatives in Southwark Lib Dems who live and work there all the time.

  • Nearly everyone agrees that Internment simply made the situation worse. It created new support for the Provisionals. We also have to recall that several convictions for IRA atrocities in the 70’s were in fact overturned a few years later. I have some anecdotes from those days in the Prison Service but I will not bore you today.

  • Paul Murray 4th Jun '17 - 3:25pm

    @theakes – when I was a boy growing up in Derry in the 1970’s there was a very popular Republican song called “The Men Behind The Wire” (about internment) that contained the lines

    “Not for them a judge and jury
    Nor Indeed a trail at all.
    Being Irish means you’re guilty
    So we’re guilty one and all.”

    The implication was that internment is collective punishment. Does anyone expect any different outcome if it were used today? Even Nigel Farage cannot condone it.

  • Internment as practises in NI would achieve nothing. However, when we know that there have been 5 attacks prevented since Westminster and that the Seciruty Services are tracking 500 plots with thousands of potential radicals something needs to be done.

    The day after an incident is not generally the best time to consider what that action should be, but it is clear to me that we need to do something differently, quite possibly creating new (or enforcing existing) offences but increasing the potential penalties.

    Prevent has worked in some areas and it undoubtedly needs updating / relaunching or even replacing on others. But once prevent fails and individuals are radicalised and actively seeking to harm us action needs to be taken.

    Something that would need calm heads and cross party agreement. I doubt we’ll see either from the main two parties so perhaps it is time for a Lib Dem planning group to get in first with some suggestions…

  • Tony Dawson 4th Jun '17 - 3:55pm

    My niece was a regular on the bus which was blown up in London in the last big terrorist wave. Thankfully, she was running late for work the day the bomb struck. I also sat on the steps in the Manchester Arena foyer with my daughter a few years back adjusting her clothes as we came out of a concert. So it all comes home to me.

    i remember, too, the fiasco of ‘terrorist hunter’ police who hadn’t a clue what they were doing chasing and killing an innocent man in a tube station simply because his face didn’t fit.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/terrorism-in-the-uk/11761375/Remembering-Jean-Charles-de-Menezes-the-forgotten-victim-of-77.html

    And the person in charge of that botch up has just been put in control of the entire Metropolitan Police. So let’s have no knee-jerk reactions to this latest outrage, please.

    Mrs May is just about as effective on terrorism as she was on immigration. A total ‘chocolate teapot’ right across the board. Weakness and wobblyness personified. But she is ‘in charge’ and will make the ‘right noises’ which will satisfy the Daily Mail. meanwhile, the rich Wahabis behind the ‘Islamic terrorists’ will be delighted. 🙁

  • It’s hard to see why the situation demands political debate be suspended but the hugely important Michael Carrick testimonial football match goes ahead.

  • Sue Sutherland 4th Jun '17 - 4:20pm

    I think we should start national campaigning again tomorrow because it’s part of the democratic process that terrorists want to destroy. In spite of the fact that we were in Coalition when May was Home Secretary we should be attacking her tomorrow for the decline in police numbers, in particular community police and demanding an increase in numbers for Special Branch and the Security Services. It’s not a bit of use her keeping records on everyone if there aren’t enough well trained analysts to look at the information.
    For me this is the last straw. It’s the first duty of government to do everything in its power to keep its people safe and this government has failed. The police are having to deal with the fall out from other cuts, in social services and housing for example and we should be saying that’s enough. No more cuts in services or our society will be destroyed.

  • Phil Beesley 4th Jun '17 - 4:23pm

    Steve Way: “The day after an incident is not generally the best time to consider what that action should be, but it is clear to me that we need to do something differently, quite possibly creating new (or enforcing existing) offences but increasing the potential penalties.”

    Who believes that they can increase the penalty on suicide attackers?

    The way to beat the bombers and knife wielders is to convince people that THEY are wrong and WE are right — we are not perfect but lovely.

  • Jenny Barnes 4th Jun '17 - 4:34pm

    The attack was carried out using a van and knives. Carrying a large knife in public is already illegal, although not easy to spot.. but it would be possible to restrict cars, vans and hgvs in central London. They kill people regularly, even it it’s not called terrorism.

  • If you restrict vehicles in Central London they will mow people down in Birmingham or Leeds or …

    So we restrict vehicles there, and they target Brighton or Bournemouth or …

    Where does it end?

  • @Phil Beesley
    Clearly I wasn’t thinking of increasing the penalty on suicide bombers (and frankly your post is a bit insulting imply that), but those who support, encourage, provision them etc. That is where increased penalties can have an effect.

  • The response time was excellent, but what happens when the attack is in Tavistock Devon rather than Tavistock Square? If the attacks start to occur outside of our major cities it could take a substantial time for the mayhem to stop, increasing the potential casualty count.

  • Tony Dawson

    “Mrs May is just about as effective on terrorism as she was on immigration. A total ‘chocolate teapot’ right across the board. Weakness and wobblyness personified”

    At the moment we have a choice between Labour and the Tories. Given that choice it’s May by a million miles. Can you really imagine Corbyn and Diane Abbott as Home Secretary taking on the terrorists?

  • Malc.
    I can’t imagine they would be any worse. The thing about May is she has a proven track record of failure.

  • Phil Beesley 4th Jun '17 - 5:47pm

    Steve Way: “Clearly I wasn’t thinking of increasing the penalty on suicide bombers (and frankly your post is a bit insulting imply that), but those who support, encourage, provision them etc. That is where increased penalties can have an effect.”

    My comment was snide to encourage debate. I welcome your opinion.

    If we seriously wish the mums and dads of bomb builders to do the right thing, we need them to think differently.

  • Bill le Breton 4th Jun '17 - 6:27pm

    I agree Sue. This is a test for the leadership. We must show spine. This person is not fit to Govern our country or to keep citizens safe.

  • malc 4th Jun ’17 – 5:35pm………At the moment we have a choice between Labour and the Tories. Given that choice it’s May by a million miles. Can you really imagine Corbyn and Diane Abbott as Home Secretary taking on the terrorists?….

    May and Johnson takes some beating… At least with Corbyn we wouldn’t have turned most of the ME into a melting pot for extremists….May cut 20,000 police and told them that they were ‘crying wolf’ when they had the temerity to suggest that it would impact on their performance…
    As for your obtuse linking of Corby to these attacks (Corbyn and Abbott have a track record of supporting terrorist groups) I can’t believe that anyone could be so crass…
    I don’t know what part of the LibDems you support but “IT AIN’T ANY I RECOGNISE”…

  • Jenny Barnes – “It would be possible to restrict cars, vans and hgvs in central London.”
    Then how would London shops, pubs, restaurants and other traders bring in their stock? Or transport their products to buyers elsewhere? All this would achieve is massive economic displacement, loss of jobs, inconvenience etc. Meanwhile, as others have said, the terrorists would just shrug and go to outer London. Or to Birmingham, Newcastle, Edinburgh…
    Sorry if I seem dismissive. I don’t have any solutions myself. In fact I tend to think there aren’t any, other than to continue to live our lives as normally as we can. Preserving our freedoms, valuing our way of life, making sure that this includes tolerance, respect, diversity and goodwill. That’s all I’ve got.

  • I had to turn the news off and not listen for the rest of the day and not because of the sickening and depressing atrocity, rather it was the speech by the PM that left me so appalled. There was always an anti-democratic cabal that would do absolutely anything to prevent Corbyn becoming PM and today we saw their ring-leader. There now has to be a serious doubt as to whether the result of the election is valid if May is returned.

  • Eddie Sammon 4th Jun '17 - 8:57pm

    So Angry Steve wants an election where the only realistic valid result is Corbyn becoming PM and then calls others undemocratic.

  • @Eddie Sammon

    No, I want an election where all parties respect a pause in campaigning, not one in which a serving PM uses a terrorist atrocity to silence other parties whilst making a political statement that is directly aimed at getting herself elected. May has already undermined democracy and decency. The result will not be fair, because she did not play fair.

  • Corbyn is talking sense for a change. He’s said we need to have difficult talks with the Saudis about them funding hundreds of mosques that are pushing an extreme Wahhabist interpretation of Islam. If there are hundreds of mosques teaching people to despise western values that is indeed a very serious problem, because if they cause people to hate our values and way of life it probably doesn’t take to much more for the likes of ISIS to contact them on the internet and push them over the edge and create a murderer out of a hater. During their time in government the Lib Dems, to their credit, pushed David Cameron into ordering a report on this very subject but the report has never been made public. Sadly, lots of good that the lib dems did in government has gone under the radar and is not noticed.

  • @Eddie Sammon

    If you were to look at my comments on her you’d soon realise that I’m quite anti-Corbyn. However, my feelings regarding Corbyn’s suitability for the job are almost insignificant in comparison to my sense of revulsion at May’s attempts to undermine democracy.

  • @Peter watson

    I have seen neither hide or hair of Mr Browne in this election I have however seen a lot of his boss Mrs May who proclaims how strong she is. i think it is only fair we point out her strength seems to be of cutting the police and other emergency services.

    As to malc I’m not sure he’s a Lib Dem, if he is he’s a rather strange one. Still you can’t pick your members,if you could perhaps a few of us would be asked to leave.

  • Richard Fagence 4th Jun '17 - 10:53pm

    So, BBC cancel Leaders’ Question Time for Tim Farron and Nicola Sturgeon until tomorrow. Under whose orders? Net result; Terrorists 1, Democracy 0. I shall continue regardless. Theresa May says ‘enough is enough’? Which party has been in charge at the Home Office and 10 Downing Street during the last seven years? Who cut police and border staff numbers? Does anyone know?

  • Peter Watson 4th Jun '17 - 11:14pm

    @frankie 4″her strength seems to be of cutting the police and other emergency services”
    But how much of that is the responsibility of the Home Secretary acting alone? During the Coalition years, in their wisdom (!!!) senior Lib Dems chose to pursue a form of collective cabinet responsibility which sadly leaves the party in no position now to blame the Tories alone for the consequences of cutting police numbers during that time.

    It is astonishing to think that is the Labour party which can court the young and radical and anti-establishment vote in this election with a relatively elderly leader who was lukewarm in the EU referendum but crucially, who has also opposed much of the controversial government policy over the last 15 years or so. It is also a sadly missed opportunity for the Lib Dems who replaced Nick Clegg with a new leader who was semi-detached to the Coalition years but who has not capitalised on that. I don’t know whether Tim Farron is to blame for that or if it is the responsibility of those around him (advisers and fellow MPs) but it must be gutting to see the party languishing in national polls and relying on narrow targeting just like in 2015.

  • Peter,

    Getting over the coalition is hard, ridding the party of the harm done by the Yellow bookers will be hard too. The one thing they have in their favour on the damage BREXIT will do they have the right view, the other two pretend it won’t be an issue going forward. When the results of Brexit start to occur as the elephant in the room starts to dance, which ever party is in power will suffer badly. The danger then is if the Tories are in power the electorate will rush to Labour forgetting they too wished to continue down the path of Brexit or if Labour are in power they will rush to the Tories who will proclaim we could have done it better. In an ideal world both parties would be in power and get to deal with Brexit, however that won’t happen. My bet is the Tories will scrape in and in two years will be in dire straights. I suspect they will run for as long as they can, then perhaps the Lib Dems have a chance but I’d suspect labour with wild promises will win. That will end badly and after ten years in the school of experience a badly battered UK or what is left of it might have become less likely to trust snake oils salesmen; a bit late for me but perhaps not for my children. Does this mean we should sit back and eat popcorn, no we should proclaim our case even if we are the Cassandra’s of our time.-

  • Paul Walters – I want robots to be used for support roles like identification.

    And polices should be trained to shoot at the head and the limps of the enemies.

  • Theresa May responds to London Bridge attack with anti-terror laws promise..( Prime minister accused of politicising atrocity as she says there has been ‘far too much tolerance of extremism’)……

    After 7 years in power “Just more promises”!

    The public seems to have forgotten that the facts do not support her rhetoric…She, as home secretary cut 20,000 serving police (including 1300 ‘armed’ officers) She told them they were ‘crying wolf’ when they warned her of its impact..
    Her government cut the border force, food inspectors (horsemeat burgers/pies), hospital beds, etc. etc. They remove regulations and manpower and wring their hands when the inevitable happens…

    May has the BBC running her ‘Strong and Stable’ Downing street response whilst at the same time running Laura Kuenssberg’s disgraceful misrepresentation of Corbyn (an interview which the BBC trust described as unfair and dishonest)…

    May will bluster her way back into No. 10 but, after 5 years, I wonder how much of what we now take for granted will remain?

  • With Caron’s mention of her ‘day out’ in London..My favourite responses, showing that we won’t be cowed, were those highlighting the man fleeing but still hanging on to his beer…As one ‘tweeter’ put it ….”It’s London bridge ffs he’s paid £5.50 for that pint”…I know the feeling!

  • Richard Underhill 5th Jun '17 - 8:00am

    Philip Rolle 4th Jun ’17 – 11:43am: Internment was tried in Northern Ireland. It was not a good idea.
    The news that a member of the public has been accidentally shot is regrettable. This is a brief report on the BBC red button which does not include information about the extent of injury/ies or circumstances.

  • Daniel Walker 5th Jun '17 - 8:07am

    @Richard Underhill Thankfully, the member of the public’s injuries are “not of a critical nature” and they are expected to make a full recovery.

  • Denis Loretto 5th Jun '17 - 10:27am

    As a Lib Dem activist in Bermondsey & Old Southwark who was heavily involved in Northern Ireland politics during the worst of the quaintly named “troubles” I have a distinct sense of deja vu – without in any way saying that there is congruence between these distinct situations. How for example can anyone can seriously advocate internment without trial after the disaster of its introduction in Northern Ireland? Prior to its imposition on August 9 1971 about 100 people had been killed since violence started in the late 1960s. Between 9th August and the end of the year a further 143 people had been killed including 46 members of the security forces. Internment is regarded by most historians as the biggest single error by the authorities in the entire 30 year conflict.

    As Northern Ireland showed the only effective approach is to isolate the terrorists as far as possible from the sections of the community they claim to represent and infiltrate their ranks with intelligence officers acting with tacit support from that community. At the same time it is crucial to reach out to the said community and encourage clear statements of opposition to the terrorists (“Not in my name”etc). One of the few bright points emerging particularly in the wake of the Manchester abomination was the escalation in statements of this sort.

  • Lorenzo Cherin 5th Jun '17 - 3:55pm

    Denis and Ian, like Caron, rightly avoid party political or even anything approaching it, comments.

    It is a shame more do otherwise so soon after this outrage.

    I believe those only criticising one side , whether May or Corbyn, are taking our party and country where it cannot keep going , down the road of division.

    I criticise both these leaders and am no fan of either.

    But there is a time and place for both and the aftermath was really one for neither.

  • @Lorenzo,
    “But there is a time and place for both and the aftermath was really one for neither.”

    The problem with that statement is that it does not take into account cause and effect. May made her statement first, several hours before Corbyn. Corbyn was put in a position where May was using extremely dirty, underhand and despicable tactics to campaign when the other party leaders were unable to abuse the position May has as PM. What was he supposed to do? Keep quiet? Corbyn would never have spoken out if it wasn’t for May’s earlier behaviour.

  • angry steve 7th Jun '17 - 5:38am

    And… the Telegraph comes out as openly supporting the anti-democratic forces I referred to earlier in this thread. They are championing the true enemy within:

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/06/06/exclusive-special-branch-monitored-jeremy-corbyn-20-years-amid/

  • Peter Watson 7th Jun '17 - 7:47am

    @angry steve “And… the Telegraph comes out…”
    On the last day that any such newspaper stories might get repeated to a wider audience by the BBC/ITV, and with insufficient time for anybody to respond before the election, it should be no surprise to see the Mail/Express/Telegraph/Sun and their siblings smearing Corbyn today, probably with a bit of vitriol thrown at Farron as well (but only enough to influence marginal seats without putting off anti-Labour tactical voters). A biased press is one thing, but in election campaigns it does sometimes appear to be colluding with the Tory campaign team and their preferred timetable in order to manipulate the outcome. Paranoid, moi?

  • Paul Murray 7th Jun '17 - 8:38am

    @Angry Steve – You’re hardly surprised by this, are you? You will recall that after the Cleggmania surge in 2010 the Torygraph ran a front-page headline in 32-point which said Clegg had received “payments into his private bank account” from “donors”. But when you read the story it turned out that these were £250 per month from each of three wealthy party donors to fund the salary of an extra member of staff in his office and every penny was fully declared. Totally innocent but it got the desired effect of a huge front page headline implying something seedy was going on.

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Recent Comments

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    Peter - I dont know what gave you the idea that the Koruna and Krone are effectively pegged to the Euro - this really couldnt...
  • User AvatarTony Greaves 23rd Sep - 9:56pm
    Basically the people who run Uber are capitalist cowboys. The role of the democratic Liberal state is to regulate the competitive sector to make it...
  • User AvatarJennie 23rd Sep - 9:46pm
    There are photos on the Lib dem LGBT history project website!
  • User AvatarMick Taylor 23rd Sep - 9:44pm
    Let's be very clear on this. 1. TFL not the Mayor made this decision. Whatever you think about the decision making blatantly racist attacks blaming...
  • User AvatarLiberal1234 23rd Sep - 9:34pm
    The comments here are couched in terms of a 'ban' or 'proscription'. Yet what has happened is simply non-renewal of Uber's licence to operate until...
  • User AvatarLaurence Cox 23rd Sep - 8:26pm
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