Paul Stainton: We need action as well as words

Peterborough Telegraph's Man behind the mic column by Paul Stainton, BBC Radio Cambridgeshire host -
Peterborough Telegraph's Man behind the mic column by Paul Stainton, BBC Radio Cambridgeshire host -
Have your say

Terrorism wins when the populous becomes scared of behaving normally and retreats into its shell. When an atrocity causes you or me to change our behaviour or to alter our perception, it is a small victory for those that cause such outrages.

Whether it is the lunatic fringe of Catholicism or the warped edges of Islam, their goal remains the same.

Last week’s brutal and cold blooded murder of holidaymakers in Tunisia, which also injured a local woman from Thorney, only serves to reinforce that theory - their aim, to scare away the tourists and bring another country to its knees, so that the radicals can then fill the vacuum and spread their poison still further.

They want you to think twice before booking your holiday to that region.

They want you to remember the horrific images that were beamed around the world of people being gunned down in cold blood, whilst they lazed, quietly, on their sunbeds.

They want you to be afraid, but we must not let them have their victory - I for one will not be frightened off planes, I will not be bombed off the tube and I will not be bullied off the beach by the barrel of an AK47.

But our defiance on its own will never defeat such an indoctrinated enemy.

In the aftermath of the carnage in Tunisia, many have called for troops to be sent to Syria and Iraq to deal with the threat from ISIS, conclusively, once and for all.

Others argue that it’s those sorts of actions, in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya that have helped fuel this radical fire in the first place.

Tony Blair and George Bush told us of course that invading these countries would make the world a safer place for our children – both have a lot to answer for, whatever their machinations at the time.

Time and again, following recent atrocities here, in France and America, the same old arguments are ignited and the same platitudes are issued by our governments, but all the while ISIS grow stronger and their sympathisers, both at home and abroad, become more emboldened.

As David Cameron said just this week: “They have declared war on us, they are attacking our people at home and overseas and whether we like it or not, they are attacking our way of life and what we stand for.”

He’s right, this has become a war, but it’s a war like no other we have ever witnessed.

The combatants and their sympathisers are not easy to identify, the front lines are undistinguishable and we don’t seem to have any semblance of a co-ordinated, allied plan for victory.

Those that would attack us and our way of life know no mercy and have no morals and whilst the west dillies and dallies, their crazed followers plot yet more murder and mayhem on our streets.

It is supposedly the duty of our leaders to keep us safe from harm and protect the interests of our nation, something which they are patently failing to do in the face of such a complicated adversary.

I won’t pretend I have any idea of how to change an ideological mindset or how to turn around those that have been brainwashed into believing that you and I are evil, but then I am not paid to.

What I do know is that another attack is almost certain and we as a country cannot just sit around, waiting for it to happen.

Words alone will not defeat this foe, we need action, too.