I was planning to write about the various manifestos today, analysing them for what each of them offers when it comes to food, farming, the environment and rural communities. However, in the light of the Manchester attack, it doesn’t seem right to do this at the moment.
The events in Manchester on Monday night have been a shock to us all, a reminder that we continue to experience deep divisions, both in terms of global ideological frameworks and within our local communities. The thought that somebody who called this country home for their entire life, their parents having been granted refuge, could turn against their local and national community in such a brutal way will encourage much reflection. It was an attack on innocence, on youth, on simple pleasures and was utterly barbaric, from the planning to the horrific deed itself. My thoughts are with all of those directly affected, the family and friends of the victims and the people of Manchester more generally.
It shouldn’t take events such as this to bring people together, but it does bring out the best in people. It has been humbling to watch the news report on people doing simple good deeds, such as providing the emergency services with tea and coffee and offering support to victims by offering to drive them back to their homes.
There has been a lot of talk about division over the past couple of years, with Brexit and IndyRef2 at the heart of it. We have been so focused on what draws us apart that we seem to have forgotten what we have in common and our shared ideals. It is vital that we remember them. Manchester has reminded us that there is something much worse that we should unite against.