This could be the last time it write and publish a blog as British citizen. I am English but as I tap on the keyboard I am British too but after 18th September I could just be English, diminished in my identity and I have no say over it. Yet this is not the issue that drives the last week.
In the last week a Police and Crime Commissioner still refuses to resign despite a no confidence vote from the very body that holds him to account. South Yorkshire PCC Shaun Wright was charged with looking after children for five years at Rotherham Council, before being elected as Commissioner. Over fourteen hundred girls were abused when he was running the council department who were supposed to protect them. Wright claims he knew nothing about the abuse and South Yorkshire police are trying to explain why they DID nothing about it. There are now similar claims of police negligence and inaction in Manchester. Nothing else has happened.
Manchester is the city where this week a dog’s home was burnt down. The response? Over a million pounds was raised in 24 hours to help the dogs that survived. Do we care more about dogs, dead or not, than we do young girls who have been abused and raped? If those who gave money instead gave a home to the dogs wouldn’t that actually solve the problem? Yet this is not the issue that drives the last week.
Saturday night, as I closed my eyes to sleep, my phone pinged and the news that a third hostage had been ‘executed’ by Islamic State, now being called ISAL, the third name change in as many months. We can’t even get naming them right. The third victim is 44-year-old British Aid worker and father of two David Haines. Another British hostage was shown in the now familiar video as the probable next victim.
Those who are doing this hide behind their ‘religion’, a coward’s mask, the name of a Prophet and their warped version of ‘truth’ that is beyond any reasonable or intelligent understanding. The world and this country faces a real and present threat and what we need to hear are Muslim leaders, Imams, Islamic voices shouting from the rooftops ‘Not in my name’ ‘Not in my god’s name’ ‘Not in Mohammed’s name’. We all need to hear this now, loudly and clearly. ISAL, I S or whatever they want to call themselves need to hear this too.
This week we could all be diminished by a skewed nationalist ideal that has no real idea what a yes vote will actually mean. ‘Yes’ voters certainly won’t be more Scottish any more that I will be more English in seven days time. Yet there are bigger stakes to play for than this, real matters of identity and consequences beyond oil, shortbread and kilts. What is needed is a loud, clear, world wide Muslim voice condemning the actions of ISAL. This would be a good NO we all want to hear.