Is It Just Me: Wondering What We Can Actually Do To Stop the Constant Attacks?

I’ve thought very hard before I’ve written this post. I didn’t write it yesterday as, like most people, I was angry and heartbroken at the sheer level of destruction and death caused to youngsters in Manchester.

I was angry as a Mum who has children who are getting to an age where they want to go to concerts, and indeed, have been to festivals to see all manner of bands since they were in nappies in Littlest’s case. I know the excitement before, during and after a longed for concert that these kids would have experienced as I’ve experienced it myself and seen my kids experience it too.

I am angry as a woman. Its widely been discussed that this was very much a targeted attack- it was the fourth anniversary of Lee Rigby’s brutal and very public murder, this was a concert by an American female singer known for her skimpy costumes and her female empowerment message and her support of LGBT rights, and the audience was mostly young, Western females of different ages who wear the types of clothes that the Extremists would see outlawed.

I am angry as a Britain who, time and again, hears the same nonsense from the Politician of the day. That yet again, this was a male known to Authorities, who was allowed to leave the country and enter a known hot bed for Extremist training, come back here and walk into the Foyer of the Arena. Why? Why do we just simply watch and wait? When did we become so scared to do something to stop these nutters seeing through these campaigns?

So, what do we do?

I know the consensus is we carry on. We don’t let them win. We don’t stop going about our daily lives because of one bad penny.

But this is a multitude now of Extremists, the threat level is critical. We must, as parent’s, make a judgement call.

We can’t trust the Authorities to protect us- elsewise this guy would not have been walking the streets, jumping on planes and then coming back and killing 22 people.

Its an uncomfortable truth now, but we aren’t safe. We aren’t safe at concerts. We aren’t safe on holiday. We aren’t safe in our capitals.

Instead of, yet again, voicing he was known (without the added, but yet we know it’s true “but we did nothing because we are too scared to offend anyone in case we get it wrong and they sue the backsides off us), it’s time our Police and courts are given powers to tag people. We need to bring in a “Persons of Interest” law, which enables the authorities to monitor the activities of people just like the Manchester Bomber.

No doubt, you would tag the odd person who has nothing to do with any of these people who seek to ruin our freedoms. Yet those with nothing to hide would submit to it, without fear.

We need an outright ban on these watched individuals being allowed to travel. And an outright ban across the board of any travel to any of the known countries where these types of attacks are planned and practiced. And anyone using gateway countries to go needs to be put on the banned list and not allowed back in under any circumstances.

We aren’t fighting a war the way we have in the past. It’s not a situation where we can, as many were stupidly voicing yesterday “nuke” or “bomb” the shit out of one country and hooray, peace is restored. They are everywhere. They are across Europe. They are in America, and, as we’ve found out to our cost, in the UK.

So, whilst I’m sure many will react to tell me I am wrong, I shouldn’t stop going out to gigs and places I’ve formally gone to without a second thought, I wont be going, and, definitely will not take my children.

As a Mother, it is my job to keep my children safe.

We haven’t had the TV on since the attacks. I don’t understand it myself, so I can’t begin to explain it to an 8 and ten year old who look to me to keep the bad people away.

I have cancelled a planned trip to London.

If Reading go up to the Premiership, I wont be watching the parade in town.

I wont be catching a train anytime soon.

And sadly, it will continue until someone in power actually does something other then watch and wait until these thugs blow themselves up.

Strength is needed, but it needs to come from the law makers, not us citizens.

My thoughts and prayers go out to the victims and their families, to the injured, and to children who, instead of going in to school to brag about an amazing concert by an artist they love, full of happy stories of music, and dance and lights and a naughty school night late night to bed, are shocked and silenced by visions their young eyes should never have seen, and screams their ears should never have heard.

Whilst the threat remains amongst us, where crowds of people gather, I will not.

And yes, it is sad. And yes, it is uncomfortable to feel I have to take that stance.

But I see no other option until our Police, our secret services and, most importantly, our politicians, do what we all know they should and take direct, full and no nonsense action against those they currently take a soft approach on, and merely watch the odd time.

Yes, we are strong.

We will hashtag, and start funds, and hang our heads in reflection.

But are we strong enough?

As awful as it is, I fear the answer is no.

Don’t Be The 33! Register to Vote!

I’m joining up with a social media campaign to ask you, quite simply to be part of #NotThe33 come June 8th.

TODAY is your last to chance to register to vote in the coming General Election in the UK, and whatever way you vote, don’t sit on social media come the big day, get out, put an x in the box and have your say.

I see so many people with opinions online about politics- some of them don’t even realise that the thing they are complaining about could have been changed if they had of voted in any of the elections that we’ve had in the last ten years alone.

Don’t like the crisis in the healthcare system?

VOTE!

Don’t like the fact that children are going hungry?

VOTE!

Not a fan of bonuses and tax avoidance for big name companies?

VOTE, VOTE AND VOTE!

We are so lucky that in our society, so long as you are:

  • 18 years or over
  • A citizen of the UK, the commonwealth and Norther Ireland
  • Have a registered address in the UK or you have been a UK resident in the last 15 years but are now living abroad
  • and be REGISTERED TO VOTE BY THEN END OF TODAY

…. then you can fill in a very quick, very simple form online, receive a voting card or ask for a postal vote and your little mark in a box can change the way things are done politically for the next 5 years.

So, how do you register?

You can go to gov.uk/register-to-vote and fill out the form there (and don’t worry, it’s as simple as asking where you live in the UK, your name and date of birth).

But be quick as you only have until 11.59pm TONIGHT to do it.

I’m not going to tell you who to vote for, I know who I am voting for (Labour, which I think is obvious), if you aren’t sure then go online, look for the Manifestos of the parties, or you can fill in a few questionnaires online which will tell you which way you lean to from your answers- it’s like Tinder but for something really bloody important to the entire country!

notthe33

As you can see, in 2015, if the 33.9% had of voted, they could have completely changed the whole outcome. Maybe they didn’t think it mattered. Maybe they didn’t think their voice would be listened to? Perhaps there was a Game of Thrones boxset they’d meant to get up to speed with so they did that instead? Whatever the reason, your vote can make a massive difference.

I’m especially talking to the under 25’s here, you all love voting for singers, dancers and the like on any number of shows like The Voice, Britains Got Talent and I’m A Celeb. But it’s you guys who are the most directly effected by the outcome from the last general election.

So, if voting for a has been eating kangaroo bits is worth a vote, so if voting for a party that wont continue with zero hours contracts, university fees, and no housing benefit for under 21s, then you especially need to make sure you register. If Stormzy can do it, you can too.

I shall be bringing you some of my thoughts on why I’m voting Labour this time around, and I’m sure plenty of other bloggers will be giving their thoughts on all the parties too.

Get informed, but first, say no to being the 33% and go register to vote!

And a big thanks to @Helsieboo and @every1PR for setting up this word spreading initiative amongst the UK Blogging community 🙂