Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

London Grieves for the Dead, and Remains Open

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

London Grieves for the Dead, and Remains Open

Article excerpt

TODAY London goes about its business as usual. The Tubes and buses are running; tourists are still visiting; Parliament is sitting; the flow of commuters into work is undiminished; there are more police in evidence but life goes on as it did before a suspected Islamic extremist mowed down a succession of innocent civilians on Westminster Bridge and stabbed a policeman to death outside Parliament. As the Prime Minister says today, London is showing "the greatest response" to extremism by simply carrying on as normal.

In one respect, though, we are a little changed. Most people in London already had the greatest respect for the police and for the emergency services; now that respect has increased enormously. The bravery of officers at the scene notably the attacker's victim, PC Keith Palmer was conspicuous; the response of the ambulance service and medics was magnificent. We are proud of them. Indeed, ordinary people showed their best qualities yesterday; the passers-by who hastened to comfort and help the unfortunates injured by the suspected jihadist were exemplary in their compassion and public spirit. If there is one small practical moral from the attack it is that we should all learn emergency first aid; Tobias Ellwood MP, who did his best to resuscitate PC Palmer, had had an army training which stood him in good stead. He too was brave, quick-witted and compassionate.

There is no denying, though, that this was a grim event. It was as low-tech and unsophisticated as it could have been; the alleged jihadist was equipped with a car and knives rather than elaborate bomb-making equipment. It is this that made the attack, like that in Nice last July, so troubling; we can never be safe from terrorists who use ordinary vehicles as lethal weapons.

What we can do, of course, is keep Islamist suspects under close surveillance. As the former government adviser on terrorism, Lord Carlile, said, we already have good laws to deal with terrorism. …

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