Is Rt Honourable Tobias Elwood MP right?
After the tragic events in Westminster where a loner took it upon himself to take the lives of innocent people going about their normal day.
The Government and the Police advice is to follow three simple steps
The sole purpose of this advice is to afford protection to you the public. Today during the inquest and quoted in various media sources Mr Ellwood saying
“But I find myself countering the advice somewhat because as we saw in the Manchester attack, London Bridge and Westminster as well the message gets through that no terrorist is going to win”
Mr Ellwood during this attack ‘Stepped Up’. He did this with the deep and terrible knowledge that with terrorism there is always a threat of a secondary attack. Doing what he could to save the life of PC Palmer he did not hesitate he refused to leave and refused to give up.
The current UK threat is such that we pretty much live in a society where a terror attack is ‘highly likely’ these are sad times but it has become the norm. Do the words of Mr Ellwood undermine the advice? In short NO.
I have very little doubt in my mind that although in a ideal world when fighting terror we would all stand up and show them that they will not win.
Tragically this is not practical, during a terror attack you will experience a number of natural instincts these are;
Until you are in this situation where your life is in danger or a significant event has occurred you wont know which of these it will be. I know what mine is and this comes as a result of significant hostile training and the ability through exposure to assess the dangers. This is however subject to change as this is the purest and oldest of human instincts and key to survival.
If a car is being driven at you, should you stand in the way? NO
If someone is armed with a weapon and you are unarmed untrained should you intervene? NO
If someone is going to blow themselves up….? the answer is NO
The locations of recent terror attacks have been in locations where the emergency service response has been minutes. It is there job to put their lives before yours yes that is their job, they then will have contingencies in place to manage the incident and protect and preserve life.
Now I have the utmost respect for Mr Elwood he reached the rank of Captain in the Royal Green Jackets, to get to this level you dont just turn up at the recruitment office and say
“ I want to be a Captain”
You have to work hard, train hard and learn fast. These skills are drilled into you so that in any given moment you are steadfast in adversity. When I joined The British Army the saying was;
“Be The Best”
I have no doubt I was and I am, as I am sure Mr Ellwood will be, with the standard caveat we are humans we make mistakes and we learn.
Although I have digressed slightly the facts remain I do not believe Mr Ellwood’s words should be interpreted in the direct literal sense. He does not expect you to stand in front of a terrorist and put your life at risk. If he does then this will be one of the mistakes he will learn from, to that end you should follow the advice above from Government.
Finally I wish to thank the Emergency Services, Mr Ellwood and the other members of the public in the numerous attacks that have happened over the years for doing your bit