Early reports were wild; Twitter and Facebook seemed to blow up with the news and the reaction has been as vociferous as the act was atrocious.
Apparently two men in a car, knocked another man over in a street in Woolwich and then killed him with a large knife and a meat cleaver. They then waited around for the police to show up and attempted to attack them too. Armed police were dispatched and the attackers were wounded and taken in to custody.
Because this is one of the many countries in the world governed by rule of law and the right to a fair trial, these men will be given hospital treatment and remain in custody during the investigation of the crime. It's pretty safe to say they're not going to be given bail so they will be incarcerated until their trial. If/When found guilty, a punishment will be handed down and it will probably be a pair of long prison sentences.
Those are the bare bones of what happened and what will happen.
It would take a braver man than I, possibly a man that could think his way through a corkscrew in a tornado, to argue that these men are innocent until proven guilty.
Well, technically, they are innocent until proven guilty but the eyewitness reports, statements from the police, news reports (although I'm loathe to completely rely upon them) and the pretty damning video evidence from mobile phone footage screams "Guilty as sin". Even so, they have a right to a fair trial and I welcome that.
I'm glad these men didn't die yesterday because due process has to take its course.
The crime has to be investigated and they have to be tried based upon that investigation. At the very least the victim's family deserve to know who murdered their man and why.
Whatever punishment is handed down, even if it were the death penalty, it will never be enough and will never fill the hole such a horrific event will leave in their lives.
If a member of the mourning family were to stumble across this post, then I would like to assure them that I in no way underestimate their loss. I'm trying to make some sense of it too. I may not have known Drummer Lee Rigby, but I know, as you do, what it is like to lose someone dear to you. Whether it was long before their time or after a damn good innings, the gut wrenching, soul draining feeling of loss is overwhelming.
I've been in the situation where I've grieved and vowed revenge. I've sworn that I would make it right.
I didn't. I could. But I won't.
It would only beget more bad things. I would be doing my missing loved one's memory a disservice if I let my gift of life be consumed by hate and be ruined because I sought revenge.
Nobody wins with revenge.
I know that time is a great healer, just as you do. You may well ask "what the fuck am I supposed to do while time's healing me? What am I supposed to do tonight?"
All I can tell you is 'nothing'. It's just time. I'm sorry.
I enjoyed this tweet:
The vast majority of humans are good, but we live in an age where we hear of every sick act of 6 billion people and try to make sense of it.
— Joe Rogan (@joerogan) May 8, 2013
For a blog post with the title "Enoch Had It Right..." you may be forgiven for thinking this has been a dry as dust summing up of the murder in Woolwich yesterday. As far as I'm concerned, that should be the only thing to say about what happened until the full facts are known. When that happens then a dialogue can be opened to attempt to stave off the likelihood of such events from happening again.
The key word there is "likelihood" but we'll come back to that later.
Instead, what we have is a population with a plethora of smartphones and access to the world wide web. We have Twitter, Facebook, Online Forums, blogs such as this splatter on your screen and, of course, the comments sections of online news articles.
A Muslim man or woman living and working in England, living an "English" life as you and I do, must have been quite worried about the news reports coming in.
The BBC and Sky were saying that two men "OF MUSLIM APPEARANCE" had murdered a man.
Not just any man, but a serving soldier of the British Army, on leave in his own country wearing a Help For Heroes T-Shirt.
That hypothetical Muslim person must have been thinking "Jesus Christ, here we go..."
Well, maybe not Jesus but you get what I mean. They must have been thinking "Here we go, some nutter who's been tagged as a Muslim has killed an off duty soldier and the rest of us are about to suffer because of it."
Before we go any further, I heard the phrase "of Muslim appearance" in my mind's ear and immediately thought of a few lads from my cricket team.
Of Muslim appearance though...
If it's one thing you can rely on, it's for events to spiral and for tit for tat idiocy to ensue.
Woolwich Machete Attack: EDL Clash With Police After Leader Calls For 'Feet On The Streets'
More than 50 EDL supporters gathered at Woolwich Arsenal train station, throwing bottles at police, before moving to a nearby pub. The group then marched to the town centre where they were surrounded by police. No arrests are being reported.
Fifty plus EDL supporters you say? Armed with bottles, strong language and a thirst for a pint? Wow, that's an impressive military force.
Fifty dickheads generated a headline. FFS.
This sort of mindlessness only serves to ensure that things never get better. That attitude in certain places has reached the point whereby both sides are so entrenched and so very convinced they are right, no lasting truce is likely to be seen our lifetime.
Israel and the Arab Nations, Ireland and Britain, Chard and Crewkerne, Wolves and West Brom to name but a few.
And I am not being flippant.
You only have to see the vitriol some football fans spout at each other to know that ugly things, committed by people with ugly expressions on their faces can, and do, kick off in a heartbeat.
People die during that shit too.
In the case of football hooliganism, the theatrics of a couple of millionaire ball kickers in competitions, competitions that mean fuck all when compared to the genuinely relevant things in life, an excuse is apparently granted to a moron to go too far by half.
And far more regularly than the sort of thing that is reported to have happened yesterday.
People are people. Not every Muslim is a terrorist, not every terrorist is a Muslim and not every black man has a large penis.
Again, that may sound facetious but some of the arguments that I've seen that attach large swathes of people, entire adherents to a particular religion or to a skin colour administered by dint of birth, attached and accused of being complicit to the unimaginable crime that was committed by two men yesterday, is insane in itself!
Send 'em all back! Bloody coming over here committing crime, taking our benefits and talking in that heathen lingo.
Jesus wept, in fact.
I've been in Wolves long enough to see the difference between the media portrayal of English life and the reality. People are people, which is equally awesome and shit. As amazing as it is disappointing, as wondrous as it is horrific and as mundane as this metaphor. Money doesn't guarantee manners just the same as the lack of it doesn't guarantee self righteous victimhood and crime.
Apparently Wolves is crawling with immigrants and ethnics. CRAWLING WITH 'EM!
Take a look out of your window. How many chimney pots can you see?
It's a pretty good estimation that the number of chimneypots in an area is, as near as damnit is to swearing, the number of people that live there.
Take that number and compare it to the actual number of people (bored teens/chavs/fishwives/whatever) causing any hassle. The ratio will be pretty low.
The squeaky wheel gets the most oil.
These examples you see in the papers; they're utter cunts. No doubt. But they do not represent everyone in that community.
The Daily Hate is among one of the worst problems this country has. They, like many other papers, muddy the waters with their rhetoric and make any reasonable conversation impossible. Righteous fury and indignation is all they aim for and because of that, nothing changes for the better.
I don't remember all of the sermons my headmaster, Mr Bryce, gave during assembly at the CofE Primary School I went to, but I remember the sentiment behind this one:
There are sixty million plus people on this island, each of us interacting with each other in a vast number of ways. Do not let this one horrendous act in a series of billions of successful interaction sully our humanity.
This act represents Islam as much as I do.
This country is built up of many, many people. People just trying to get through life. Some of them, a very small number, actively try to make this world a worse place. The majority of us, the rest of the sheet of paper, live without direct consequence of that blot. But we all fear it, and fear stains in the watermark.
We are better than that knee jerk reaction.
Enoch did not have it right.
My condolences to the family of Lee Rigby and Lee himself.
May he rest in peace.