An officer down but a hero rises
Constable Keith Palmer paid the ultimate price for doing his job yesterday at the Palace of Westminster. Unarmed, he was fatally wounded as he confronted the crazed maniac who had caused senseless carnage on the bridge moments before.
I was one of the many officers despatched to assorted parts of the Metropolis as the event unfolded. My team were constantly checking for updates on our mobiles until, sadly, confirmation came through of his death.
I was watching Prime Minister Questions today and her speech to the House and the assorted back and forth as MPS from both sides tried to catch the Speakers eye. Much, and rightly so, was talk of the bravery of Keith Palmer and the police and emergency services in its aftermath.The event was clearly very close to home for those who work at the Commons.
Sadly, such is my innate cynicism regarding the political class that as I was watching each honourable member standing up and saying their piece, I was thinking, is this from the heart? or a scripted sound bite to tap into the national mood.There were clear exceptions. MP James Cleverly in particular, who knew Keith Palmer in his previous life in the armed forces.
One MP was present in the chamber but said nothing. He didn't need to.Tobias Ellwood. I would like to sincerely thank you, on behalf of my colleagues, of your help at the scene yesterday.
As the Prime Minister said yesterday, life goes on... we will not allow ourselves to be cowed by these events... we fully support our brave officers.. etc.. .Again my cynicism runs deep and the political machine has short memories.
Another fair weather friend is the media who are playing this line at the moment. I give it under a week and after they have squeezed all they can out of the current view will spin to the ...'police and security services fail to 'blah blah blah.....'
After all is said and done and the politicians and press have moved onto something else one thing remains...
RIP Constable Keith Palmer, you will not be forgotten.