At least 22 people, including children, have died after an explosion hit Manchester Arena at the end of a pop concert by US singer Ariana Grande. A further 59 people were injured in the explosion which Greater Manchester Police believe was carried out by a single male attacker. Supporters of right-wing political parties including the Conservatives have used this as an opportunity to attack their political opponents.

With regret, I’m with Tom Clark of Another Angry Voice – political debate should not be silenced for a day after the Manchester Arena explosion, because right-wing extremists are rushing to fill the void.

In his latest article, Mr Clark writes:

We know from experience that horrific incidents like this generate massive surges of hatred from the extreme-right, and that no amount of begging for restraint, consideration or sensitivity is ever going to stop these people from piggybacking on other people’s misery to spread their divisiveness, bigotry and lies.

So any moratorium on political discourse in the wake of such events just leaves the floor open for the most depraved, extreme and opportunist people to shout their mouths off and revel in all the extra attention they’re getting.”

He goes on to demonstrate, with this example:

Mr Clark responds: “Just look at the pictured tweet from a Tory supporter called Tim Dawson. If all the progressives, the left, the greens, the liberals, the centrists, and the moderate centre-right types bind ourselves to a period of political silence over the Manchester Arena attack, or any other brutal act of savagery, we’re just giving utterly depraved people like Tim Dawson a silence to shout their hateful and divisive abuse into aren’t we?”

Moving on, Mr Clark shows us this:

His response: “Look at this next Tweet from another anti-Corbyn ranter called Robin Marchesi. Look how he accuses Jeremy Corbyn of what he himself is guilty of. 

“Jeremy Corbyn clearly didn’t try to politicise the attack at all, he simply expressed his condolences and praised the emergency services (as pretty much all other leading politicians did too).

“This Robin Marchesi however clearly does politicise the attack by pretending that Corbyn’s Tweet is somehow offensive, and that it’s cost Labour a vote.

“A quick look through Marchesi’s Twitter contribution history reveals that he’s been spreading anti-Corbyn bile for months, and was clearly never intending to vote for Labour.

“This track record of anti-Corbyn abuse indicates that Marchesi is a sickeningly dishonest concern troll who was intent on politicising the tragedy by pretending to have lost faith with Corbyn when he had actually hated him all along.

“As is so often the case with extreme right-wingers, they’re accusing someone else of what they themselves are guilty of.”

There is more in the AAV article but you can probably see it for yourself on your own Twitter feed. I can.

For example – and it’s a big one – the leader article in today’s edition of The Sun. Look at what’s been going on there:

How about this, in response to Andy Burnham’s message of support:

The thread that follows is well worth reading, if you have the stomach for it; another person suggests creating concentration camps in response.

This Site – This Writer – is horrified by the incident in Manchester and my thoughts and sympathies are with the families and friends of those who have died or who have been injured.

But the way to answer it is to share important messages that provide support, like this one:

Nobody should answer hate with hate. That is what terrorists want.

And we should not shut down our political discourse either – they want that too.

Defy them. Drown their hate-filled messages. Offer hope instead.

(Note: Comments on this article will be moderated very carefully. If you respond with messages of hate, in any way, your comment won’t be published. So do me a favour and don’t send it, okay?)

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