Of all the disturbing photos, live video reports and sensationalist news accounts of the shocking events at Westminster yesterday satirist site News Thump was the rag that got it right this morning. The people of London, it reported, showed their defiance by “stoically remaining unfriendly and really quite impatient” on their way to work, with one woman heard shouting ‘Oi, do one you cycling dickhead’, as if it was a normal day.
In times like this it is important that we remain considered and calm in the face of other people’s inconsiderate and reckless actions – and I’m not just talking about the terrorists. It was with dismay that I had to watch Tommy Robinson parade around the terrorist scene like it vindicated his racist beliefs, and I wasn’t surprised to see our old friend Caolan Robertson there with him showcasing precisely how not to react to events such as this.
Far-right proselytiser Tommy Robinson is somehow down at Westminster with another far-right activist: pic.twitter.com/N83sOTh77e
— Alex MacDonald (@AlexJayMac) March 22, 2017
Robinson stuck to the usual “England under attack” defensive rhetoric, which is gold-plated BS if I’ve ever heard it. The events at Westminster yesterday were not “the reality” – they aren’t the norm, and Britain hasn’t been under attack since World War II. As for “inviting more of them”, who is them? And how are we inviting them?
But the really concerning angle is the one been peddled by Robertson. He has got it in his head that for some reason the liberal left-leaning press, of which we count ourselves part of, are somehow to blame for this, like because we attack bigots and racists and xenophobes that we invited a terrorist incident to happen.
So here’s our apology:
We apologise for not jumping to the conclusion that it was a terrorist attack or attempting to guess the motives before we knew for sure.
We apologise for not prancing around the site of a terrorist incident within hours of innocent people being killed in a bid to blame the actions of one person on a religion of 1.6 billion.
We apologise for not trying to guess at the culprit as Channel 4 did – immediately binning it on hate preacher Trevor Brooks, known as Abu Izzadeen, even though he’s currently in prison.
We apologise for not publishing graphic images and videos – clicks for gruesome pics is not our style.
We apologise for not politicising a tragedy.
And we apologise for not preaching hate, because in a time like this we believe that unity is a far stronger message than division, and the young and impressionable Robertson would do to take note. Poor show.