The world needs to change. How often have those words been uttered throughout history? It doesn’t matter how advanced we become as a civilization in the future, it is inconceivable we will ever be 100 per cent happy with our lot. As the last week has demonstrated, we are never far away from tragedies which not only destroy the lives of individuals and their families, but do great damage to both communities and wider society.
Countless words have already been written about outrage both on Westminster Bridge and outside our Parliament last Wednesday and there is no doubt that the whole awful affair will be analysed for a long time to come. Prayers have been said, tributes have been paid, both by loved ones of the victims and complete strangers, and a nation appears to have come together.
Yes we have the pointless act of people modifying their profile pictures on social media, this time with a tiny Union Flag, but over the past few days, the response to the attack on London has made me proud to be British.
It is fair to say that I haven’t really felt that sense of pride for a while, long before the Brexit vote which divided a nation, but I am starting remember why I love this beautiful island of ours.
I love the fact that in just 24 hours more than £500,000 was raised in memory of PC Keith Palmer, the officer who was murdered as he fought to prevent his lunatic attacker from getting any closer to the Palace of Westminster, the heart of our democracy. I love the fact that, afterwards, all across the country the overriding message was one of positivity and that the usual vessels of negativity, the likes of Farage and Hopkins, were derided loudly for their unhelpfully gloomy responses.
Anybody who was up late enough to watch This Week will have loved the opening monologue from the pugnacious Andrew Neil, during which he described the killer as a ‘Poundland terrorist in an estate car with a knife’. We all loved the especially upbeat messages written on London Underground notice boards less than a day after the atrocities.
Everybody has got to love the fact that very few people want to say the murderer’s name out loud, almost as mark of respect to those he killed as well as a refusal to give him the recognition he so clearly sought.
There will always be those who ask why it takes a tragedy such as this to unite us but, as I have come to realise this week, the vast majority of us have always shared an innate sense of decency, one which comes to the fore when we are confronted with the sad realities of life.
An MP summed it up for me when he dismissed the notion that only our grandparents, those who survived the Blitz, know the true meaning of the word spirit as most of us do and the events of last week prove that.
While there are still an awful lot of problems for our decision makers to solve, we must remember that at the heart of this great nation remains a lot of good people. We really have to love that.