Theresa May has declared that “enough is enough” following the terrorist attacks in London on Saturday night which killed seven people and injured 48.
The attack has propelled security to the top on the agenda in the final days of the election campaign, and May will no doubt take the opportunity to reinforce the ‘strong’ element of her widely criticised two-part slogan.
Britain’s newspapers have been more than happy to sing to her tune.
The Metro, The Sun, The Times, The Mail and the Daily Mirror all ran graphic photos of one of the terrorists lying dead on the street wearing military pants and an Arsenal shirt with a fake suicide device wrapped around his belt. The pictured had all the hallmarks of the “war on Britain” rhetoric most of the aforementioned titles have been happy to peddle to this date.
A little thread on #LondonBridge coverage:
Front pages are dramatic: pictures of dead terrorist and "stormtrooper" police dominate pic.twitter.com/vUyxFK1AhD
— liz gerard (@gameoldgirl) June 5, 2017
Elsewhere the i newspaper, The Telegraph and the Guardian ran pictures of armed counter-terrorism police. The Telegraph also proffered a few front-page suggestions of how to combat the threat of “Islamist evil”, including closing mosques and seeding out “Islamist sympathisers” along with a token gesture of balance from Juliet Samual on fostering better integration.
But here’s the rub. Getting tough on terrorism is an easy, knee jerk solution to a very complex problem. It’s like applying a plaster without rooting out the source. Going down the Winchester and waiting for it all to blow over.
It’s the sort of approach someone like Katie Hopkins would endorse as she shared frightening common ground with our own PM in her column declaring we must “incarcerate the 3,000, arrest extremist Imams, close Saudi founded mosques and drain the Islamist swamp”.
Get in the sea Katie. Get in the sea.
— Owen Jones (@OwenJones84) June 4, 2017
But one statement from Jeremy Corbyn was noticeably absent in today’s newspapers, namely because it is well-thought out and considered rather than banging the populist drum in an attempt to buy cheap seats.
On security, Corbyn said the reality is that Theresa May is cutting tens of thousands of police officers despite warnings from the Police Federation which she dismissed as them “crying wolf”.
On democracy, it is important that we remember that is it the terrorists plan to derail our inclusive society and derail one of the most important General Elections in a generation. We cannot let this happen.
And on extremism, one could do worse than drawing your attention to the link between Islamaphobia and terrorist attacks in the name of Islam – it is a direct consequence of a marginalised society. May’s cuts on social care have also and will also have a direct impact on the likelihood of this happening again, but the solution won’t be cheap.
Last week we got called an alternative news site in the Press Gazette following a feature on the General Election which was the most shared political post in Britain last week – so here’s an alternative angle.
Rather than getting pally with rich Middle Eastern allies, rather than cutting our police force and using incidents that are happening on your watch to gain political momentum behind your strong and stable campaign that is about as weak and wobbly as a flaccid AHEM, isn’t it high time we discuss real solutions to a real threat?
Or will you leave tough decisions to your tough opposition?