The impact of around 50 World Leaders amassing on the Streets of Paris to express their commitment to oppose the acts of terror such as the attack on the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo cannot be underestimated. This was a significant event. These individuals walked on the Streets of Paris in a manner that must surely call into question the usual preparations for events such as the G20 and G8 and other events beginning with the letter G. However my blog is not about how our leaders choose to protect themselves, but rather about the challenge for these people to know how to ensure they express solidarity with the right causes. How can the death of 2000 on Friday at the hands of Boko Haram in Nigeria have been so cruelly ignored whilst around 20 on the Streets of Paris has provoked such an outrage. I don’t disagree with the outrage that has been expressed, just with the apparent failure for these World leaders to continue their journey South to Harare or the tiny town of Baga which saw so much carnage. Of course Nigeria may not have quite the same cache amongst some voters here in the UK!
The Prime Minister was in Paris yesterday but does not appear on the above photo, it has been cropped to give the impression that these leaders are part of a much bigger crowd, as opposed to the truth that they are walking some distance from those in front and behind them. That true sense of distance carries with it some real challenges for all of those democrats. This morning it appears that Mr Cameron is back in London and due to meet with security chiefs to discuss what extra steps need to be taken in the UK to protect you and I still further from death and destruction from terrorists. Some of their conclusions may appear to be challenge to our own freedom to say what we wish. Sadly neither Mr Cameron or any of his Ministry of Justice Ministers appear to be planning to meet in a COBRA meeting to discuss the tragic news revealed in the Independent newspaper today that 88 people committed suicide in one of our prisons last year. That is an increase of 52 deaths compared to the 36 who killed themselves the year before. Whilst each of these took their own lives, it is surely a significant enough number and a disturbing enough increase for some response and comment by our media and politicians. As I have written recently the need for a COBRA meeting to resolve issues of foodbank use is also unmet.
Clearly a visit to Baga or discussion on prison suicides or foodbank use or the many other issues which I am not even aware of do not carry the impact of yesterdays event in Paris or todays discussion on security legislation. However in determining the issues that should get his attention, our Prime Minister must understand that not all of the people who observe his actions looking for their own domestic or overseas concerns to be acknowledged do so through the lens of general election, or the advantage of one Political Party. The appalling events from Paris can be linked by some analysis to Western Policies in other nations over many years. Our own prison population and hungry families creates an impact on future generations. Whatever the truth of these calculations, 14 years after the twin towers were destroyed, with one of the largest prison populations and unprecedented foodbank use, David Cameron and his advisers need to ensure that he and his successor act as Statesmen who bring Peace and an end of suffering into places which are currently experiencing conflict in a manner that few of us can understand.