Friday, November 29, 2019, began as a normal day in the general election campaign.
Tom Harwood, who works with Guido Fawkes, ably outlines what the political parties were up to until the afternoon, when a terror attack took place on London Bridge, effectively halting the campaign for 24 hours:
Guido’s accompanying column received a lot of comments, including the following.
On Brexit, a reader quoted an MEP on the necessity of No Deal (emphases mine):
Ben Habib MEP: “There is perhaps only one way the Conservative Party could comply with its pledge to be out of Transition by the end of 2020 with a deal along the lines set out in its manifesto. That is if it is prepared to take the UK out of Transition without a deal. It remains as true today as it did in 2016 that, to get a good deal, the UK must be prepared to leave with no deal.”
Labour pledged more madness. Only a few days after they promised to plant 2 billion — yes, you read that correctly — trees in Britain, they came up with a massive housing pledge. Another reader discussed Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell’s plan:
John Mcd threw the kitchen sink in with his environmental pitch today not only Labour building more houses than their is bricks on the planet, every house will have solar panels and heat exchangers. No longer grasping, just saying anything because they just ignore the facts.
Another reader discussed what would happen if Labour’s — McDonnell’s — plans for corporations came to fruition:
McDonnell intends to steal 10% of a company’s share capital and give it away. Either he steals existing capital or a company creates more shares. Either way the value of the company remains the same but now everyone’s shares will be worth less either because there are more shares or the shares have been given to someone else. So, anyone paying into a Defined Contribution Pension Fund and there are millions doing just that, will suddenly find that their savings are worth a lot less than before the capital restructuring. Someone tell the voters.
Another comment examined the Liberal Democrats‘ Jo Swinson’s perorations on climate change:
‘Climate Change’ – we can’t “fight it by leaving the EU”.
What won’t we be able to do as an EU state in relation to climate change – that we otherwise can do as a member ?
Given the fact that China produces more C02 emissions that the EU Britain and the US combined – what is it that we are supposed to do ?
Has Swinson thought this through ? Or is it just a risible hollow slogan for yoghurt knitters in the middle classes ?
Someone pointed out what the 2017 terror attack — also on London Bridge — did to the Conservatives‘ chances days later in the June 8 election:
… the problem is that the Tories are allowing Labour and the others to constantly raise the NHS, climate, trust, WASPIs and everything else besides, in an effort to sideline the Brexit debate. And I’m worried that it’s working! Tories need to get the agenda back on message ASAP. Also, I presume that I don’t need to point out the disturbing similarity to the 2017 campaign in what we’ve witnessed unfold on London Bridge today, and that it signalled the beginning of the end for Theresa May’s majority as soon as Labour used those atrocities to introduce reduced police numbers into the debate. I’m nervous. Very, very nervous!
That concerns me, too. However, Boris Johnson is not Theresa May. He’s campaigning across the country every day.
Moving on to Twitter, someone pointed out that a fatal incident has occurred before each of the last three plebiscites in Britain:
Friday afternoon took a dark and bloody turn as events unfolded at London Bridge.
Cambridge University was holding a conference at Fishmongers’ Hall near London Bridge. The subject of the conference was prisoner rehabilitation.
Attending the conference on day release wearing an electronic tag was 28-year-old Usman Khan, who, as the Press Association (PA) reports:
was a convicted terrorist released half-way through a 16-year prison sentence for a plot to bomb the London Stock Exchange.
Usman Khan killed a man and a woman in the knife rampage on Friday afternoon and injured three other people, who are being treated in hospital.
The 28-year-old, who was on licence and wearing an electronic monitoring tag, was attending a conference on prisoner rehabilitation organised by University of Cambridge-associated Learning Together at Fishmongers’ Hall and reportedly “threatened to blow up” the building.
Armed with two knives and wearing a fake suicide vest, Khan was tackled by members of the public before he was shot dead by police on London Bridge next to the Hall.
Video footage posted online shows Khan being taken to the ground as one man sprays him with a fire extinguisher and another, reportedly a Polish chef, lunges towards him with a narwhal tusk believed to have been taken from the wall inside the Hall.
Metropolitan Police Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu said he had been living in the Staffordshire area and that police were “not actively seeking anyone else” over the attack.
Why do police always say that? Often, in the weeks that follow, it turns out there was a plot involving more than one person, including some that had no prior police record but were aiders and abetters.
What about the attack that same day in the Netherlands? This is what happened in The Hague:
Returning to London Bridge, no doubt this is the first time many of us have heard of a narwhal tusk, but you can see below what they look like in nature on this species of whale, also known as the unicorn whale. The tusk protrudes from a canine tooth. The narwhal lives in Arctic waters.
A narwhal tusk was hanging in Fishmongers’ Hall. A quick-thinking Polish chef grabbed it and went outdoors to deploy it against the terrorist:
Here’s a dramatic video of events as they happened. The second tweet shows where the tusk was hanging in Fishmongers’ Hall:
Here is a video of what happened on London Bridge when the police arrived. Fishmongers’ Hall is pictured in the second tweet:
Understandably, everyone would like to see the men who subdued the terrorist given an honour or reward of some sort. However, one of them was also a prisoner on day release, attending the Cambridge University conference. James Ford had committed an horrific murder in cold blood in 2003 and was given a life sentence in 2004. Hmm:
The Mirror reported:
James Ford, 42, was jailed for life in 2004 for the murder of 21-year-old Amanda Champion, who was found strangled with her throat cut in Ashford, Kent, in July 2003 …
… Ford found himself embroiled on the London Bridge attack as he helped bring down the knife man while out on day release from his life sentence.
Ford is understood to be in the final days of his sentence at HMP Standford Hill, an open prison in Kent.
It’s believed Khan was tackled by ex-offenders inside Fishmongers’ Hall – who had all been invited to a conference on rehabilitation.
Source say Khan began “lashing out” in a downstairs room of the hall but was grabbed by the conference-goers and bundled out of the front door as he tried to go upstairs.
Those who tackled Khan on the street were not ex-offenders.
Ford’s victim’s aunt Angela Cox has told how she was contacted yesterday by Kent Police who informed her Ford had been involved in the terror attack as a member of the public, reports the Mail.
Angela, 65, said she was “angry” Ford was out on day release after the horrific murder of her niece – who had the mental age of a 15-year-old.
She said: “He is not a hero. He is a murderer out on day release, which us as a family didn’t know anything about. He murdered a disabled girl. He is not a hero, absolutely not.
“They let him out without even telling us. Any of my family could have been in London and just bumped into him.”
Angela described how a police liaison officer had called her yesterday asking if she was aware of the London incident before revealing Ford had been captured on TV.
The still-heartbroken aunt said the officer told her “don’t worry” before saying Ford was at the scene and “being classed as a hero”.
Former factory worker Ford has never revealed his motive for killing Amanda.
At the time of his jailing, a judge told him: “What you did was an act of wickedness.
“You clearly have an interest in the macabre and also an obsession with death including murder by throat cutting.”
On to people who should be classed properly as heroes, we have the Polish chef employed at Fishmongers’ Hall who grabbed the narwhal tusk:
It seems the tusk got broken:
Not surprisingly, questions arose about the terrorist’s early release:
As with Labour (1997-2010), the Conservative government has had its part to play in law and order failures:
You can see from the following that Usman Khan did not act alone in 2010. Several other men were involved, some released since their 2012 conviction:
On that basis, I do wonder if police did the right thing in saying they are not looking for other suspects at this time with regard to Friday’s incident.
Again, what about the attack in the Netherlands that day? This RT article has one description of the suspect; Euronews has another. Dutch police said then there is no terrorist motive. On November 30, with a suspect in custody, they said it is ‘too early to speculate’ as they are investigating ‘several scenarios’.
Perhaps these statements are meant to keep the public calm while police investigate further.
Yet, we find time and time again that terrorism is the motive and that, especially in France, more than one person is involved somewhere along the line.
Sentencing and law enforcement soundbites should be reviewed.
Cambridge University was not left unscathed Friday afternoon. Sadly, one of their employees, Jack Merritt, was the first fatality. My condolences go to his family and friends:
The Guardian reported:
Merritt worked as the course coordinator for Learning Together, a programme run by the University of Cambridge’s institute of criminology which had been running a course at Fishmongers’ Hall next to London Bridge on Friday.
Two people were killed and three were injured when 28-year-old Usman Khan launched a knife attack. Khan was arrested in December 2010 and released on licence in December 2018, wearing an electronic tag.
David Merritt posted on Twitter on Saturday: “My son, Jack, who was killed in this attack, would not wish his death to be used as the pretext for more draconian sentences or for detaining people unnecessarily.”
His words came as Boris Johnson, said the system of automatic release from prison was flawed.
This was the Prime Minister’s column for the Mail on Sunday:
The early release of dangerous prisoners — terrorists, murderers and the like — needs a thorough rational, not emotional, discussion.
Many of us have been wanting this for several years.
If not now, when?
How many more people, including those who advocate for prisoners, will have to die?