Warren Morgan: We stand in solidarity with Manchester

Warren Morgan, the Labour leader of Brighton and Hove City Council SUS-170126-092210001
Warren Morgan, the Labour leader of Brighton and Hove City Council SUS-170126-092210001

Those of us online or watching the news on Monday night realised straight away that it was likely to be the kind of attack we have all dreaded.

All will have shared the horror as the realisation of what had happened unfolded. The deaths of so many young people out at a concert, enjoying themselves and doing what most of us have done in venues in city centres around the country. It was a heinous and evil act.

The Union Jack flying half mast at Hove Town Hall

The Union Jack flying half mast at Hove Town Hall

Yet what we should not forget is the spontaneous and positive reaction of thousands of people in Manchester and beyond on Monday night and in the ensuing hours. People offering those who could not get home shelter, a bed and, as they say in Manchester, “a brew”. Hundreds of taxi drivers offering rides home for free because the train network was shut down. Queues at blood donation centres, donations of food and drink to the emergency services and families of those injured. This was people of all faiths, all backgrounds, and all parts of society doing something to help in the face of unspeakable tragedy, it reflects the best in all of us in the face of the worst in a tiny minority. This was a thousand acts of humanity in the face of one act of inhumane violence.

The police and security services do an incredible job in preventing attacks, but they cannot stop them all. If a lone attacker is determined to carry out an atrocity on the edge of a secure zone then there is little that can realistically be done. Nonetheless the regular reviews of security in our public places will continue, we will learn and adapt. We should be reassured that there are good people there to protect us, that statistically the risk is small and that there is no reason to stop doing the daily things we all have the right to do.

Brighton and Hove stands in solidarity, compassion and unity with the people of Manchester, just as we did with London, Paris, Orlando and elsewhere. We must not give in to the seeds of fear and anger that terrorists seek to sow. Our best response is the humanity that was evident from those who sought to help on Monday, in the heroism of our emergency services , in the values that we as a city and a nation have always stood for.

Warren Morgan is the Labour leader of Brighton and Hove City Council.