Death – not the Great Equaliser

A policeman standing outside the Houses of Parliament is stabbed before he can move. No intervention, no attempt to prevent the murdering Adrian Elms, above all no time to move, no heroic actions, “just” a sad violent death.

Four civilians walking on Westminster Bridge are mown down by this same man. “Just” four sad violent deaths.

The dead man in uniform who did nothing is feted nationally as a hero, lies in honour, indeed lies in state in the Palace of Westminster for 24 hours, has a funeral guard of honour of 5000 policemen, black horses with a hearse, a flotilla, wreathes galore, tributes from the PM and the Head of the Met, the Last Post played by a soldier, two minutes silence. Oh, and an online fund set up for his family. Of course. No Spitfire flypast. Mustn’t overdo the symbolism.

The four dead people NOT in uniform who did nothing are completely forgotten by the rest of this country, hysterically held in thrall as it is to the overblown, cheap, betraying belief that the idea of terror can be countered only by eulogising those in uniforms, and that civvy deaths are regrettable but not worth public time, public effort or public money. Heroism and the big send-offs are for dead uniforms only. Foreigners don’t count, nor does an 75 year-old retired window-cleaner from S London.

So – KURT COCHRAN, AYSHA FRADE, ANDREA CRISTEA, LESLIE RHODES – Rest in Peace. You deserved as much recognition as the policeman. I’m ashamed of my country’s hysterical overblown reaction, shallow pomposity and warped values. And equally ashamed that in all this cheap vulgarity to gild a policeman’s death at the hands of a soi-disant terrorist we forgot about yours.



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