As Europe goes to bed tonight we do so in the knowledge that, once again, we have been visited by the scourge of terrorism.
Earlier today the Russian Ambassador to Turkey was gunned down in Ankara and tonight, as Berliners laughed and sipped their mulled wine in anticipation of the week of festivities and faith ahead they were callously and deliberately murdered. At the time of writing nine people lay dead, their lives cut short at the happiest time of year by an ideology with nothing to offer the world but its inherent barbarism.
Many commentators have remarked that events like today’s are ‘the new normal’ and we must simply come to see terrorism as a risk that we must personally mitigate. We disagree. While we favour a small, unobtrusive state we believe, as all Conservatives do, that the primary role of government is to do what we cannot do individually – defend the nation.
The only ‘new normal’ is the nature of the threat we face – ideological and indiscriminate. Our focus must be on fighting the enemy on these two fronts by defending our liberal values and protecting our borders. We will do neither by meekly apologising for the way we live or for our role in the world. Nor will we rid the planet of this evil by eroding the liberties of our citizens who are the intended victims of the terrorists.
In the past Conservatives for Liberty has ceased activity in the wake of a terror attack. Following the Paris attacks last November and the Nice attack this July, in acknowledgement of the scale and suffering they caused, we ceased to operate our blog as a mark of respect. Our part may be small but our voice can be deafening, as long as we carry on using it.
This does not mean we seek to minimise the impact of these events – members of CfL been directly affected by terrorism and are in no doubt as to its effects – but if we are to practice what we preach then we must, in the words of Margaret Thatcher following the Brighton bomb, “carry on”. Because, to paraphrase further, if all attempts to defeat democracy by terrorism are to fail then we simply have no choice.
In tribute to today’s victims and in defence of our way of life, we will carry on. We encourage others to do the same.