On 19 January 2001, I arrived in this country for the very first time. My flight landed in a cold winter evening at Manchester airport. I could never explain why, but it was love at first sight. Britain has been my home since and my love for my country has grown over the years.
What happened in Manchester last night was barbaric and heartbreaking. Only a monster is capable of something so cruel. There were kids at that concert, mostly young girls, and as a mother of three daughters, my brain goes numb thinking about the victims and their parents.
It is incomprehensible for me to see an act of such hate and cruelty for fellow human beings. Being a doctor has never been a vocation for me but I have always seen it as opportunity to serve other people. As Ahmadi Muslims the spirit of compassion and service to humanity is drilled into us from a young age.
Leader of our community Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad said “We Ahmadi Muslims sympathise and love humanity and so wherever mankind suffers in any way it leaves us grieved and pained"
People of Manchester have shown such great spirit in a truly British manner. Communities have come together to help each other and that's why terrorists will never win. As for the rest of us who carry on their normal lives with a heavy heart perhaps we should do something good for humanity today, an act of kindness even if it is as little as smiling at someone you don't know.
Our thoughts and condolences go out to the family and friends of those who've lost their loved ones in the devastating attack at Manchester Arena.
Seeing a second incident just two months after the Westminster attack brings questions of public safety, intelligence gathering and suitable response to the fore. Cooperation between government agencies, police and private security teams is paramount in identifying threats and developing strategies to interrupt and mitigate the danger they present. The focus for upcoming public events should now be reviewing risk assessments and importantly practising the crisis response plans and mass evacuation drills in light of this tragic incident.
Authorities and private security companies continue to play a vital part in ensuring public confidence is maintained.
No words are able to describe our national grievance, express our deep sorrow and mourning for the victims of this atrocious calamity that has befallen our nation. Our deepest sympathy, thoughts and prayers are with victims, their families and their loved ones. This is surely a vile act of terrorism incompatible with the noble truths and teachings of Islam.
Munjed Farid Al Qutob
Weak and wobbly
Theresa May's "rallies" have been micro-managed to avoid meeting "real" members of the public (as opposed to the party faithful). She cannot cope with even the mildest form of heckling. Accusations from a fairly mild press of being "weak and wobbly", rather than the insistent mantra of the party ideologues of “strong and stable", rattled her pretty badly. In fact, just being accused of doing a U-turn on her social care policies, threw her. What will she do when faced with tough European negotiators? No wonder she is threatening "no deal rather than a bad deal" – because either may be all she is up to.
Is Theresa May trying to lose the election?
Your 23 May editorial (May's ‘dementia tax’ U-turn is a study in incompetence) makes eminent sense. However, there is another interpretation to May's seeming incompetence. What if, having seen the labyrinthine problems that the Brexit negotiations will produce, she really wants to lose the election!
Why else would she risk antagonising the previously almost guaranteed grey vote by proposing the so called “dementia tax”, reducing the pension triple lock to a double lock and scrapping the winter fuel allowance for better off pensioners, who commentators have suggested are those that do not claim any supplementary benefits?
It seem inconceivable that the Tories, who are past masters at Machiavellian manoeuvring when it comes to harvesting votes, would be so utterly incompetent as to put in jeopardy the support of the older voters unless there is another reason which they will not share with the public at large.
By losing the election someone else has to drink from the poisoned chalice that is the Brexit negotiation. Then, when it all goes pear shaped, as it undoubtedly will, they can emerge saying they would have secured better terms but the electorate rejected them and then aim for a landslide at the next election in 2022.
When it comes to incompetence, the PM has form
Your Tuesday editorial suggests that the PM's muddled social care policy is not very 'brand May'. On the contrary, it is precisely brand May.
This is the Home Secretary that was unable to appoint a chair for the historical child abuse enquiry. This is the PM who rushed to welcome Trump, a president on the edge of impeachment, to the UK. This is the woman who left Croydon burning for lack of front-line police and whose management of the prison system has left it in crisis.
A cursory glance at her CV would have any recruiter reaching for the thanks but no thanks letter.
Care costs – a solution
I would love to pass on savings to my three grown-up children right now to help ease their housing situations. But I feel inhibited in case I need to my money for personal care in old age. So here is one way of addressing the inter-generational wealth gap and meeting the costs of care which I consider far better than May's hastily devised and even more hastily revised “dementia tax”.
I propose that for each child, a non-taxable, capped amount – for argument's sake, £50,000 – can be passed across as long as it is used for either a deposit on a house or to help repay a mortgage. That transaction is further enhanced by a pound-for-pound government credit against any social care costs subsequently incurred by the parent. After that, let the health lottery do its worst to pay the rest, or not, if I'm healthy until I die. And for those with a house but no savings, maybe a government-run equity release scheme.
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