**************The Manchester Attack****************
Following the attack in Manchester in the early hours of this morning (23/05/17), all election campaigning has been suspended until further notice (minimum 48 hours). Though some Manchester Conservative activists saw fit to ignore this- and the candidate as it says ‘worked in counter-terrorism’. Nice showboating, Rozila! Reports are coming in of widespread Conservative campaigning happening across the West Midlands and in Gloucestershire too. And in Gateshead today (24/05/17) Conservative canvassers are asking voters if they thought a terrorist sympathiser as prime minister would be good for the country!
And now May has declared there must be no campaigning for SIX DAYS, leaving less than a week to the election to start up again. This cannot be borne! However, as this was not a cross party decision, the other parties are keeping to the 48 hours+ mentioned above. This is in the name of democracy NOT being thwarted by the act of a killer. I guess May will have to rethink her ‘six days’ then won’t she- as the other parties have outmanoeuvred her- again.
Both Corbyn and Farron went to the huge vigil held in Manchester. May did not. Her full speech after the events in Manchester however, is here. The part that seems of most import is this, making it clear that far from stepping down the aggression of UK foreign policy, that the opposite will be true if she gets her way.
But we can continue to resolve to thwart such attacks in future, to take on and defeat the ideology that often fuels this violence and if there turn out to be others responsible for this attack to seek them out and bring them to justice.
One person died at the scene who was believed to have carried the device (a 22 year old UK born man of Libyan descent) and nine more been arrested in Greater Manchester, Wigan and Warwickshire.
I will not be mentioning their names as they need to be consigned to the dust of history. But I will be providing context for why they might have done this.
22 died at the gig for little kids (Ariana Grande) and over 50 injured in this cowardly and hate filled act.
Here is their memorial wall, courtesy of the BBC:
May raised the ‘terror threat’ to critical for a day or two, but now it’s back down to severe, where it’s been since 2007 (and she can’t do that- it’s an MI5/ JTAC decision) and so the underfunded army are now out ‘on the street’ in ‘Operation Temperer’ (well that doesn’t sound sinister) with the underfunded police. Back in 2015 May attended the PF event and accused the Police Federation of scaremongering for saying spending reductions would mean we have to adopt paramilitary style of policing. In March Corbyn practically pleaded with May to stop the police cuts and give proper funding and resources after the Westminster attack. She lied and said they have access to sufficient funding and resources.
So here we are in May 2017…
and her privacy violating in the name of ‘security’ Snoopers’ Charter (or the The Investigatory Powers Act 2016 as Parliament calls it) did nothing to stop this. It was pushed through for this exact type of situation yet we’ve had two attacks in two months!
And hundreds of firefighters, who could have gone in and helped, were forced to delay while equipment was driven in from miles away due to lack of funding.
And let’s face it, a dissident of Libyan origin was perhaps inevitable after UK foreign policy was instrumental in bringing down Gaddafi, creating a power vacuum (having learned nothing from Iraq) and allowing British born, no, encouraging British born Libyans to join the fight against Gaddafi in 2011. A government Foreign Affairs Committee report from last and this year (chaired mostly by Conservatives) proves this and worse conclusively.
And only yesterday (24/05/17) we saw a boat of Libyan refugees, fleeing from violence OUR foreign policy helped to cause, sustain fatalities as many went overboard and drowned. 😞
All she has to do is ‘act prime ministerial’ said a Sky journalist in leaked sound footage, and the Manchester tragedy will totally ‘play into her hands’. Nice words less than a day later, before the bodies are identified, let alone cold.
How’s that cut to bereaved family help and funding looking now?
This is not May’s ‘Falklands moment’ and the she’s tried to make it so is rightly being ridiculed across most media platforms. On here are some examples of the British doing what they do best- utterly taking the p*ss out of her bombast and self-importance.
And to add to the issue, the US have twice now leaked details of the investigation to the global press, even after Amber Rudd officially requested they did not do so. So much for our ‘special relationship’ eh? Or is that what were meant to think?
That this has not been dealt with well by the Government, UK or US, despite the bravery and good works of so many others?
Here is a link to more on this, but this blog will not be covering it in any way that gives the oxygen of publicity to the killer.
Perhaps it is not so simple. There was not only
- local intelligence given to the UK government about the killer, not least by concerned Muslim leaders,
- and Conservative heavy governmental committees
- but also US intelligence from January this year.
The Conservatives ‘at the top’ ignored all three. So this could well be a ‘diplomatic’ show of anger by the FBI that our government dismissed such intel, cut services still further, and at least indirectly allowed such a terrible event to transpire. Even the Conservative lickspittle, the Daily Mail seems to think this, which shows maybe that even a broken clock may be correct twice a day.
This will be horrendous news for the families and friends of the victims.
Here is the GM Police statement released today (24/05/17) on the matter.
The people to remember are those who
- lost their lives,
- their families and friends and
- all the people at the gig, who must still be in such shock and despair
- all who helped whether they were emergency services or not,
- the people of Manchester- and further afield- providing food and drinks, lifts, comfort, a bed for the night, for free, dropping work to do it
- those who worked to get people to hospital
- those who sifted through the rubble to try and find everyone
- and get the news out to others on what had happened to their friends, sisters, brothers, mums and dads…
- The Holiday Inn who rounded up all the unaccompanied kids and kept them safe
- those who worked through the night to make the city safe again
- those who crowdfunded for the two homeless men -and friends- Steve Jones and Chris Parker who ran to help and were there offering comfort through some people’s last moments, so they could have a home
- those who deluged the blood bank centres so they could give blood for those still injured
- those who gave up their hospital beds so those gravely injured could be seen at overflowing, underfunded and struggling A&Es
- and last but so not least- the police, paramedics, ambulance drivers, firefighters, doctors and nurses.
Manchester is not beaten. Not even close.
The Manchester City Games went ahead yesterday (27/05/17) without a hitch and with record attendances. There were personal bests all over the place and every athlete from all over the world wore a yellow ribbon to show respect to those lives lost.
The MEN Arena managed to be ready for their next gig yesterday too, which is incredible.
The Great Manchester Run is happening today (28/05/17), with people asking to take part even though numbers are full, to show their solidarity with the people of Manchester.
But for our own Government to have put the boot into Mancuninans just to implement their arrogant austerity politics is reprehensible.