MPs Meet In House Of Commons To Talk About Themselves In Wake Of Terrorist Attack
When Theresa May rose to her feet on Thursday to update the House on the terror attack on Westminster Bridge and Parliament gates she managed just the right balance between defiance and sorrow for the victims. “We are not afraid,” she copied from a Twitter feed. She also quoted from a Tube worker who had written, ‘we will keep calm and have a cup of tea’ on a Tube station noticeboard. Except that wasn’t true, it was a Twitter comment made to look as though it was written on a noticeboard. Truth is the first casualty of war, they say. Certainly true in the age of social media. Then came the MPs, one after another describing how they were only 100 metres away from the murder of PC Keith Palmer. They did not speak of how they then cowered in the safety of the House of Commons estate, protected by 10s of heavily armed Met police. Afterwards they were filling the airwaves with their stories; ‘Where were you when the incident happened?’, ‘I was three floors up, hearing gunfire and then we hid’. Few of them talked about the nurses and doctors who ran out of St Thomas’s hospital on hearing there were injured people on Westminster Bridge, little regard for their own safety. Or the civilians who stayed to comfort the injured and dying. Instead they called for one MP, Tobias Elwood, who did try to aid the stricken Keith Palmer, to be honoured for his contribution. Brave as he was he was not the first to reach him, a civilian was. No mention of honours for him, the paramedics, the police who protected the MPs, the House of Commons staff who looked after the MPs children in the crèche, keeping them entertained and calm or those brave civilians. One MP even cried as he gave a speech detailing how he knew Keith Palmer in his army days, I counted 27 ‘I’ in his diatribe. It’s not all about you James Cleverly. Our politicians then moved on to talk about how they might better protect Parliament (for which read ‘us’), not how the public could be made safer from extremists. The SNP and Labour, mostly, were keen to impress on the viewing public that the attack could not be blamed on religion but there are no Christian, Jewish, Hindu or Sikhs locked up in Belmarsh prison, just Islamists. As I said yesterday perpetrators of terror like Khalid Mahmood, formerly Brian Smith or something like, are not representative of Muslims but I do think when an attack takes place in the future the killer is very likely to relate to Islam. The Prime Minister did make the extraordinary claim that ‘London is the greatest city on earth’ – well, it certainly gets most of the money in this country, most police per head, most teachers, best social care, best transport, best child care facilities and biggest profile. The policing minister told us the Met police were an exceptional body but didn’t say the Tories have cut the armed response units by 900 in five years and chopped £2billion from the overall policing budget. Still, as long as the MPs were safe and coddled everything in the Commons garden is rosy. Jeremy Corbyn talked of his abhorrence of terrorism, two days after making a speech in praise of Martin McGuiness. What a complete *@$#.