We went to see Handel’s Tamerlano last night. Beautifully sung and performed but perhaps not the easiest of Opera’s to comprehend, it ends, not in the bloodshed and torture that seemed probably half way through Act three, but with Tamerlano the tyrant, deciding to turn away from violence and become a dutiful lover.
As we walked away into the night time, with the final strains of the music and the excited chatter from the departing audience fading away, a thousand miles away on a warm and barmy Mediterranean night a madman in a truck was deliberately weaving from side to side killing people. Mums, Dads children, lovers, couples just out to enjoy the Bastille day celebrations. Knocked down, crushed, deliberately. A witness reported that he targeted a carousel where children were playing.
Unlike Tamerlano he did not turn away but carried on, until, with the cries of his victims, the wounded and the dying ringing in the air, he was stopped by a hail of bullets and some brave Gendarmerie.
Why he did this remains unclear at the moment. It is likely that it was an act of terror inspired if not directly instructed by IS. But no one is really sure. That it was an attack on the very heart of French values is unarguable.
Cowardly, vile, horrific, all these things describe this wanton act of terror.
And It will achieve nothing, because the people of France will not let it. It will achieve nothing because we will not let it.
There are so many of us who do not hate people for what they believe or for who they want to be, rather who accept and celebrate people for who they are and what they believe.
So carry on with your day, do the things you were going to do, do not change a thing because of this senseless act, celebrate instead the freedom you have.. Stand up and be counted and remember, liberty, equality, fraternity, is stronger than wanton violence, stronger than the bitter twisted doctrine of hate.