I was asked to write a response to this appalling Huffpost article. I thought I was going to be writing about extremism and terrorism, and I am, sadly. But I am also writing that the amount of fake and inane journalism on Huffpost and Buzzfeed is a scandal. The article in question was written by some vacuous Yank, most likely without a passport, who knows sod all about Britain or its media. It’s about time these vacuous, one-sided liberalist ‘newspapers’ hired some British staff who know their back bottom from their front bottom. There is simply no point analysing the specifics of that piece further.

Now let’s get down to business.

It has finally happened. After months, years of provocation, someone has fought back. Vigilantism is a threat to all of us. And it is nothing new. But let’s not define the recent attacks in the UK as terrorism.

What is terrorism? It is the “systematic employment of violence and intimidation to coerce a government or community… into acceding to specific political demands.”

In such uncertain times, the dictionary is your friend. Nothing that has happened this year in the UK is terrorism. To call it such is to lift it above itself, to make it grand. There is nothing systematic about these attacks. They were almost totally random, and unrelated to each other. Each was unique. There were no specific demands made, no credit taken. The Islamic State group (Daesh) had nothing to do with any of it. Of course they tried to claim so, but nobody believed them.

These are all examples of wanton, senseless, criminal violence. Not terrorism.

To call these events terrorism is to demean the word itself, and once we do that, we will need a new word for the stuff we used to call terrorism. It just devalues our language and if we do that, we devalue our culture and ourselves. One of the misguided and illogical aims of daesh, of course.

We need to look above the horizon, lest it lower our humanity.

Daesh is virtually extinct, like Al Qa-Who? Whatever you think about our terrible mismanagement of affairs in the near desert, we have virtually wiped them out. No more YouTube trending for those black flag pirates.

We need to move on, and to see ahead.

What 2017 has already shown us is that extremism and bigotry and sexism and racism are rife. They have been hiding for a while, at least in public, but they are on the march once again. People like Bill Cosby and Jimmy Saville and Rolf Harris and Mohamed Amrani have been hiding among us for decades. But they belong to another generation. We are better than they are.

Life in any provincial town will show you very quickly that the source of much humour, especially male humour, is very obvious physical and cultural differences. It was ever thus. But for a while it looked like things might have improved. We thought we had become liberal. We thought we had beaten our genes. We were wrong.

If you want to fight something, if you want to improve society, look inside yourself. Get your cells under the microscope. For thousands of years, they have been making us wary of the stranger in our midst. Strange stuff, strange people, might be dangerous. It’s safer to assume they are dangerous, so nature assumes so. Better be prepared and later proven wrong than stabbed by a lunatic.

The recent attacks in the UK have put us on edge once again. We look twice at the backpack on the train. We look three times at the new person moving into the street. We appear furtive. We glance behind a lot. This is a mistake. Stand tall. Chin up. Never look back in anger. You are better than they are, and you are certainly better than the British tabloid newspaper in your hand.

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About Author

P. C. Dettmann is the London bureau chief and contributing editor at The Z Review. Born in Hull, living in London, he is the author of Locksley: A New Spy, Ernest Zevon, and as Paul Charles, From Beyond Belief and Kicking Tin.

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