On Monday night I saw a brief note on some news websites about an explosion in Manchester. There was a lot more on Twitter from eye-witnesses but it was not until waking up the next day that I realised the extent of the atrocity. A bomb, detonated by a young man, killed 22 and wounded some 60; mainly young people leaving the Arena after a pop concert.
There is no point in knee-jerk reactions to such an event. Deranged people like to to hurt others. It might take the form of someone thinking that violence will benefit a cause of which they approve or it might simply feed a personal gratification. Describing the Manchester bomber as an 'Islamic terrorist' is false - he obliterated himself without a message, and (as the newly elected Mayor of Manchester, Andy Burnham said on BBC radio this morning) he represents nobody but himself, no matter which other groups of deranged individuals claim responsibility.
There will be more police, perhaps reinforced by troops, on the streets, just as we saw in London in 2005. It was not very clear then how they would prevent another such attack and no doubt, if there is no repetition and the threat level can be reduced, the numbers currently being deployed will return to normal.
There are no adequate words to comfort those who are suffering; all we can do is express support and solidarity, with defiance and contempt for those who celebrate the perpertration of such violence.