Monday, 12 January 2015

Terrorism: This is not a New World

The terrible atrocities that took place in Paris last week have sparked the usual response that occur whenever the world is faced with the murderous actions of extremists who seek to use terror to impose whichever ideology the espouse.

At one point over the weekend I heard one commentator state “it is the world we need to get used to living in” and it was that comment that prompted me to write this blog because, in actual fact, I have been living it that world for as long as I can remember!

Terrorism is not new and, even though the reasons for the terrorists’ actions are different, the threat of terrorism has hung over the world for decades.

Is it so easy to forget what happened at the Munich Olympics in 1972? The massacre of 11 Israeli athletes by the Black September group was an atrocity that should not simply be consigned to history and forgotten. Equally should the murder of 21 people in the Birmingham pub bombings in 1974 be accepted as a part of an “old world” to be differentiated to the terrorism of a “new world”?

As someone who worked in London’s West End in the early 1980’s I, along with all those in London, lived with the threat of terrorism every day. Many younger people probably do not realise, and many older people have conveniently forgotten, why there are no rubbish bins in the major London train stations, it is because of the threat of bombs being placed in them. We should not forget the London Park bombings of 1982 which killed 11 soldiers as well as the other incidents outside London, such as the Brighton bombing.

That decade also so the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie which took the lives of 270 people.

Terrorism is not new, we are not in a new world, in fact, it seems in this respect, we are firmly stuck in a world where some individuals would prefer murder rather than peacefully attempting to impose their ideals.

The atrocities committed by these people are wrong and we must not pander to their egos by pretending they are any different to those who committed the same atrocities in the past. We must not allow them to dictate the political agenda or allow politicians to use terrorism to impose restrictions that curtail the liberty and freedom that those who commit murder through terrorism are so against.

The world will carry on as it has done over the last few decades, the impact of terrorism will be as fleeting now as it always has been. In forty years time no doubt a terrorist attack will elicit the same response as today and the memories of Paris 2015 will be consigned to an “old world” but it is important that people remember that terrorists, ultimately, have little impact on the world over time and we should never allow them too.

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