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, it is inconceivable we will ever be 100 per cent happy with our lot. As the last week has demonstrated, we are never that far away from tragedies which not only destroy the lives of individuals and their families, but do great damage to communities and wider society.
Countless words have already been written about the outrage on Westminster Bridge and outside our Parliament last Wednesday, and there is no doubt that the awful affair will be analysed for a long time to come. Prayers have been said, tributes have been paid, and a nation appears to have come together. Over the past few days, the response to the attack on London, which left four innocents dead and 50 injured, has made me proud to be British. It is fair to say I haven’t felt that sense of pride for a while, long before the Brexit vote which divided a nation, but I am starting to 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 attacker from getting any closer to the Palace of Westminster. I love the fact that, afterwards, all across the country, the overriding message was one of positivity. Everybody has got to love the fact that few people want to say the murderer’s name out loud, almost as a mark of respect to those he killed as well as a refusal to give him the recognition he sought. There will always be those who ask why it takes a tragedy to unite us but the vast majority have always shared a 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, who survived the Blitz, know the true meaning of the word spirit. Most of us do and the events of last week prove that. While there are still a 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.