Yesterday at about 2pm gun shots were heard in the vicinity of London Bridge. A sense of deja vu. On 3 June 2017 in a rampage lasting little over eight minutes, the terrorist gang stabbed and slashed at innocent victims with 12-inch blades. And here we were again this week. The area was on lock down and those not lucky enough to be snuggled inside at a desk were once again running away, down London Bridge, hoards frightened in the knowledge of what happened last time. It was happening again.
I am mad. Furious. A man is let out of jail even though a judge at his trial explains how dangerous he is. He ultimately serves only 8 years for planning with his friends to blow up the London stock exchange, the American Embassy, the home of then London Mayor Boris Johnson and, wait for it, two Rabbis.
Yesterday he’s given permission to attend a conference at London Bridge, yes that same London Bridge where previous Jihadis hideously slaughtered members of the public with knives. It’s known he wears an electronic tag and it’s known he has a history in the Jihadi business, that he was planning to set up a Jihadi training farm in his home country Kashmir where he’s spent much time. He’s at the conference to share his criminal experience at the Learning Together criminal justice conference at Fishmongers’ Hall on London Bridge. He’s said to be wearing what looks like a suicide vest. Ever seen footage of someone wearing such a vest? Michelin Man springs to mind. Yet, he’s there, in Fishmongers Hall, all vested up, carrying not one, but two large knives, a known Jihadi, one who’s spent time in jail having been caught red handed, and nobody does a security check? Excuse me!!! No security at the door? Anyone who organises an event where groups of people are to attend have a duty of care to provide security, to monitor who comes in and who goes out. Who organised this Conference?
A simple google found the Cambridge University Learning Together enterprise. The conference is believed to be the ‘Learning Together Five Year Celebration Alumni Event’, organised by Cambridge University’s Institute of Criminology. The event started at 11am and was billed to run until 4pm. The London Bridge attack Mark 2 happened just before 2pm.
What is it that academics don’t get about criminology? Surely the first step in Learning Together would be about security, about protecting those they invite into their Learning Together spaces, given on the guest list would be some with a certain past in the business to hand?
I am sick of enterprises with grand names, ones that embrace words without meaning, that imply togetherness, hope, interfaith, communities, good neighbours, harmony, organisations delivering courses, issuing statements, making judgements in the sanctimonious certainty that should they huddle together talking enthusiastically about harmony and love, evil will simply wither away in the slipstream of their words. They ignore ideological terrorism, they don’t understand that an electronic tag is not a solution, but an inducement, as it shows the ideologue a certain penetrable weakness through which ideological expansionism can thrive.
Learning Together clearly fails in the learning and the together doesn’t matter to the dead.