While there is a slight scattering of diversity among the newspaper headlines there is only really one story. I’m sure that the papers that were put to bed prior to the terrorist attack will redress the balance tomorrow. A coward blew himself up in the foyer of a Manchester arena at the time filled with predominantly women and young girls. Terror isn’t as far away as we can sometimes trick ourselves into believing.
Was it a failure in the venue’s security? Did the intelligence agencies allow the bomber to slip the net? At the end of the day, it probably doesn’t even matter. Well intentioned protocols are already in place, there are networks of hard working individuals keeping us safe in ways we’ll probably never hear about. That doesn’t mean it’s impossible for anyone to get through. The cruder methods I heard all about on the radio (vehicles and knives) are incredibly difficult to protect everyone against all the time.
So you have to lay the blame at the feet of the perpetrator rather than the authorities or venue staff and operators. The person in question, as has been pointed out, deservers no glory, no build up. I could start with some wild speculation about his intentions or how he managed to get himself to the point of killing himself and murdering those around him. But that’s not useful.
All you can do (well, not all. If at all possible you can get yourself up to the scene to try and help out but that can be a tall order. If you’re someone with social media influence and reach – i.e. not me – you can spread the word about missing children in the hope of reuniting them with worried parents) is try and be sensitive, thoughtful and constructive. And do your best to spread a little joy amongst the sadness. Don’t let the bastards grind you down.