Tragedy in Manchester

I woke up early this morning to the awful news of a cowardly suicide bomber murdering and injuring a lot of innocent people at the Manchester Arena late yesterday evening.

I’m relieved all the politicians have decided to suspend campaigning for the General Election for a time while a thorough investigation takes place and hopefully any accomplices will be caught and punished to the maximum available within current law.

Huge admiration also for the emergency services as well as local people there who responded immediately to help the dying & the injured not knowing if there would be further danger.  They form the very best of humanity while the sick terrorists involved reflect the very worst.

Of course the usual public announcements such as “this won’t change our way of life and the terrorists won’t win” are being made, but surely just maintaining the status quo response during such an ongoing severe terrorist threat is not an option either?

I don’t know what the right answers are to deal with this threat, but surely we do need a more radical response to protect the general public going forward, even if this means a curtailment of normal civil liberties as well as a reinforcement of civic responsibilities for all in the UK, both citizens and visitors.

I personally don’t think this is letting the terrorists win, despite understandable protestations from the more libertarian amongst us, enough is sadly enough.  Even if the following suggestions wouldn’t have prevented last night’s bomber, it might have made some difference and we need to do something or these attacks will increase in frequency.

I’m also no politician or lawyer, but I do think internet sites and applications that enable and encourage radicalisation by helping the losers who plan such attacks should be targeted with significant fines.  That includes internet service providers and social media firms who should face being closed down or blocked if necessary.

Encrypted or anonymous messaging, be it on the web or through cellular mobile conversations, should be disabled or at the very least give the intelligence community back door access in real time.

Regarding human rights law, the judicial response should be strengthened in favour of protecting potential victims and weakening the legal protection afforded to the perpetrators of such heinous crimes.

Easier said than done in getting the right balance I know, but surely we need a more radical technology and legal response to radical terrorism going forward.  I’m sure the vast majority of law abiding individuals amongst us have nothing to hide?

My final thoughts go out to all the victims and their families involved in last night’s tragedy. 😦

Tragedy in Manchester

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