The Guardian today demanded a "full inquiry and published report" into the Whitehaven tragedy, followed by "new laws" to plug any loopholes.
I would be surprised if former ministers David Blunkett and Charles Clarke were not penning articles claiming that Whitehaven "proves" the need for identity cards and wider criminal checks. Goaded by the media, officials will be drafting papers requiring all guns to be banned, all taxi drivers tested for mental instability and all disputatious families reported by their solicitors to the police. That way we can dump all our cares and woes on the state and claim they are no responsibility of ours.
The public should be invited to reject the politics of fear, that sees life as a perpetual terror of what might happen and a perpetual investigation of what has. It should not be asked to regard every child as a victim and every adult a paedophile, a terrorist or a mass murderer. The government should stop spending stupid amounts of money on a security lobby now running amok through the public sector.There is no such thing as safe. There is only safer, and safer can require the greater watchfulness that comes with taking risks, witness new theories of road safety. Removing risk lowers the protective instinct of individuals and communities, and paradoxically leaves them in greater danger. But there is no government agency charged with averting that danger. There is no money in it.
He's spot on. These things happen from time to time; let's just get on, shall we?