Diary: Manchester – 23rd May 2017

Ugh! Days like today make my heart ache. How the actual fuck can someone think that detonating both themselves and a device in order to kill people will make us sympathetic to their cause? Will make us stop and listen to what they have to say? Will make us sit up and pay attention and say ‘well actually, you may have a point’. And what is their ideology anyway? They use the name of Islam to cause destruction, but they’re not Muslims. Not in the true sense. I just don’t get it.

I don’t really know if pushy door-to-door double glazing sales people exist these days (we don’t really get cold callers thanks to living in an apartment block). They were rife in the 1980s and the common stereotypical image was of them wedging their foot in the door as you tried to close it and tell them you’re not interested. To compare these terrorist to double glazing sales people obviously isn’t fair on the sales men, but hear me out. Realistically you’re never going to purchase something from someone who is pushy. Someone who tries to ram something down your throat. Someone who won’t take no for an answer and will stop at nothing to get what they want. On the flip-side if someone takes the time to have a reasoned debate with you, to highlight the advantages to their product, their way of life, their whatever it is, you’re more likely to listen and make a reasoned choice. ISIS, lone wolf attackers and anyone else who think mass destruction is the answer are so deluded. All it makes us want to do is mute them and focus on the good people in the world.

Sure, their actions get us angry, mad, livid. But how do you reason with someone who has so little respect for themselves, for the religion they’re allegedly fighting in the name of and for the innocent people – including children – who they mindlessly slaughter? I want to be angry, but I can only feel pity.

I looked at Elliott tonight and thought that terrorist was a little boy once. Trying to spoon his pudding into his mouth, dropping crumbs on the floor and probably asking for ‘More milk, mummy!’. What the fuck happened to him to make him carry out that mindless, vile attack? And that’s why, rather than pointing the finger at people who are nothing to do with these atrocities, we again need to pull together, spread the love, hold each other close, help each other and make sure that love conquers.

As for Manchester. I have a deep love for the city. I was a massive Take That fan back in the 1990s and had many trips up there to see them play what was then the Manchester Evening News Arena. I’ve since been there for hen dos, shopping trips to the Trafford Centre, business trips and conferences, to see Peter Kay, George Michael and Robbie Williams. It’s a lovely and ever-changing city. It mixes old with new so brilliantly and the people are some of the friendliest people you will ever meet. One things for sure, Manchester will mourn the loss of the innocent victims with the sombre respect it deserves, but it will not cower in fear instead it will saunter on with a Brit Pop swagger.

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