There have been two occasions in recent weeks on which I’ve woken early and arrived down in the kitchen to discover horror stories all over social media concerning events of the preceding evening.
Thank goodness that this morning, as I step out into the back garden and take in a lung full of the fresh (and somewhat damp) Manchester air, there is nothing other than the imagined echo from last night’s concert, just down the road at Old Trafford cricket ground.
I sat through the televised proceedings and, at some moments, cried for the memories of the innocent lives lost or changed. Just the simple emotions of a sentimental bloke, bewildered by the hate that exists in the world and outraged by the arrival of that hate on our local streets.
During the last 7 days I have felt insecure in public places, especially walking through Piccadilly Station up here, along the Haymarket in Newcastle and across Euston and Waterloo later in the week.
I have also feared for my children. My eldest daughter was close to Borough Market (a favourite haunt of hers) on Saturday evening and too scared to walk home by herself.
These events play beautifully into the hands of those in power (and likely to remain so) who want to move us further to The Right – the Prime Minister’s speech outside Number 10 indicates a move towards legislation against thought-crime that will, no doubt, find a receptive audience.
This week we vote to decide who will represent us at home and on the world stage. Here in Altrincham and Sale we have a hard-working constituency MP who rarely seeks publicity or national office and has served his community well for a very long time. Irrespective of his political persuasion, Graham Brady is the epitome of who an MP should be.
Today we individually vote to get up and go to work – to go about our normal business, with our hearts affected by terror but with our collective soul committed to the way of life we cherish.
I’ll be off to the airport to catch a flight to Scotland, you will be doing what you do.
That’s how we show the “haters” that they haven’t achieved anything and never will.
I pray that we will be safe.