I was in central London on Saturday night with friends until the terror attacks forced us to leave. Half of us wanted to stay and carry on drinking, otherwise we were letting the terrorists “win”. But the other half were worried about seeing their children again, or had wives who wanted them somewhere safe. We had to leave. Sometimes our gut reactions are more right than we’d like to admit.
London will, of course, carry on with grit and determination, as it always has, but it’s not enough to just call for solidarity and not giving into fear. We need to recognise that people need to feelsafer than they do now. Calls for unity and tolerance are no substitute for feeling safer; in fact, you cannot have one without the other.
In other words, we need a debate on how to improve counter-terrorism without name-calling. So far, that has proved beyond our wit.