Scent of hypocrisy and opportunism from Cameron and May

A horrendous physical attack took place in broad daylight recently on the streets of Britain, in which the attacker attempted to decapitate an innocent citizen who happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. The attacker was known to the authorities, but in spite of many obvious indications that the public was at risk, they failed to do anything about it.

There was, however, no mass media coverage of this tragedy; the prime minister did not cut short important international meetings to return home; and politicians did not clamour to re-instate draconian measures to spy on citizens. This was the death of  Sally Hodkin in Bexleyheath late last year at the hands of a known schizophrenic.

Compare this with the appallingly brutal  death of a soldier, Lee Rigby, this month. David Cameron immediately flew back from  meetings with the French premier, and Home Secretary Teresa May appeared on nationwide TV denouncing the crime and promising immediate action.

Why the difference over these equally violent crimes ? Sadly, poor Ms Hodkin had no political  value to the government, but serviceman Rigby presented an ideal opportunity for  Cameron to make grandstanding speeches about the resolve of the British people never to bow to terrorism etc., which were plucked straight from a phrase book of well worn clichés in the chapter entitled  ‘How to exploit opportunities to look statesmanlike’.

Teresa May was conspicuously quiet when the known mental patient who killed Ms Hodkin,  and who had called 999 to indicate her intent to slaughter someone,  produced no response by the very authorities for which she was ultimately responsible.

However, she was happy to exploit the media frenzy surrounding the tragic soldier Rigby incident (driven of course by the government)  to  cynically advance her agenda  to call for the reinstatement of  pointless and draconian legislation to the restrict personal liberties of  every citizen, which had already been democratically rejected; this from a woman who had failed during the whole of her period of office to extradite Abu Qatada, certainly in part from errors made by her own department.

Notwithstanding personal tragedies in these events,  and the acknowledged threats from Islamic radicalisation, it’s hard not to whiff the skin-crawling scent of opportunism here.

Sally Hodkin, Lee Rigby and their families deserved better than these mealy mouthed self serving responses.