Friday, 24 May 2013


Let’s not waste any time trying to find anything logical in this brutal murder in Woolwich – there is nothing logical to be found. This evil act  is utterly unjustifiable and a life has been lost. As Billy Bragg said on Thursday, “The barbarous murder of an innocent man on the streets of London yesterday is shocking. What he did for a living cannot be used to justify what happened to him”. Such unjustifiable violent acts periodically emanate from the more fanatical corners of some sections of our communities. As has been said elsewhere the Woolwich murder has no more to do with British government policy than the Boston Marathon had to do with Chechnya. Terrorists and want-to-be terrorists or jihadists thrive on coverage in the media; the perpetrators of the brutal murder on the streets of Woolwich don’t deserve the oxygen of publicity. Violent people will often try to justify their actions by claiming that they are "political" we don’t need to do it for them. They will only be encouraged to do so if politicians appear to agree with them over their misguided motivations. The police and security services are best placed to prevent it, not the politicians. Extremists and fanatics may be attracted to use violence; we can and should treat the perpetrators of such crimes as criminals. Hannah Arendt’s book ’The Banality of Evil’ about the trial of holocaust architect Adolf Eichmann, detailed the relationship between idiocy and evil – this same relationship can be found in the history and justifications of past jihadist attacks which have nothing to do with religion. Whatever their claimed cause there can is no justification for their actions. The life of Fusilier Drummer Lee Rigby has been lost in the most brutal of circumstances and a family left in mourning for their lost loved one. We would do well to remember that above everything else.

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