ON Friday, terror once again came to the capital as a 28-year old man in a fake suicide vest went on the rampage, fatally stabbing two people and injuring three others.
But that body count could have been so much worse had members of the public not shown such incredible bravery in pinning Usman Khan to the floor and wrestling the knife from his grip.
So this piece is not about Khan, although questions do need to be answered about how someone previously convicted on terror charges can be released early on licence with an ankle tag and still manage to carry out an attack that has robbed two families of a loved one and put three others in hospital.
No, this is about the ordinary people going about their own business on London Bridge who suddenly ran towards danger and selflessly risked their own lives to tackle someone who had already stabbed five people. I doubt any of them can explain exactly what pushed them to act on the spur of the moment, they just did.
One witness said that the man filmed walking away from the tussle with the assailant’s knife had run through traffic and vaulted the central partition to help.
These passers-by had no idea that the suicide vest he was wearing wasn’t loaded with real explosives and a live trigger mechanism yet they still disarmed him and held him down until armed police arrived – within minutes that must have seemed like an eternity for the civilians wondering if they were about to be blown to kingdom come – and did what had to be done, professionally and efficiently.
They also had no idea the vest was fake so taking him out was the only option to protect the public and themselves.
The public’s actions will, I’m sure, receive much deserved official recognition in due course, I would hope anonymously to protect them from reprisals. They are true heroes – the best of us – as were the people who took on the evil perpetrators of the 2017 London Bridge attack.
Khan’s fake vest was obviously to ensure his martyrdom and I hope he’s left wondering around somewhere in an afterlife wondering where all the virgins he was promised are.
Neil before the new Paxman
Watching Andrew Neil tear into politicians on an almost nightly basis would be approaching tedious by now if they all didn’t deserve it so much.
The former editor of The Times has jumped into the absent Jeremy Paxman’s shoes as the rudest inquisitor on television and it’s must-watch stuff because his outrageous style is backed up with facts.
By Thursday morning I was starting to feel a bit sorry for Barry Gardiner. Neil had utterly demolished him on Tuesday evening – reducing him to rubble as he had already done to Jeremy Corbyn, Jo Swinson and Nicola Sturgeon days earlier – then at a time when I usually have a problem opening my eyes there he was again, still wounded and sent incandescent with rage on The Kay Burley Breakfast Show to the point of where he probably needs to step back for a little while.
It’s torture, but so entertaining to see them wriggling on that hook when their creativity with the truth – and even basic arithmetic – is exposed.
They are all guilty of it yet they will still try to bluff it out, arguing that 48 per cent is bigger than 52 per cent, or that 50,000 minus 19,000 is still 50,000 and we’re the ones in the wrong for not understanding that.
Is it any wonder Boris is being kept away?
But if the PM’s advisors think Andrew Marr is a safer option they are very much mistaken, although I was under the impression that the deal with the BBC was that he couldn’t do one and not the other.
Stupid TV quiz answer of the week
Once again Tipping Point attracts the thickest of the thick.
Question: The Honourable Schoolboy and Smiley’s People are sequels to which 1974 John le Carre book?