The attack on Westminster

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I admit to being pretty shocked by events at Westminster today. The loss of life is appalling: I can only offer condolences to the families of those involved. My best wishes go to all who are injured.

Part of my shock is because I spend a fair amount of time in Westminster: enough in fact for people to have checked my well being this afternoon. I was nowhere near as it happened. But for there to be an attack on a place you know so well is shocking: I wilfully repeat the term.

That a policeman has died is equally upsetting: the police who work at Parliament do so regularly. It's not possible to be around the place on a regular basis and not be on at least nodding terms with some of them: I am, and have long been used to their carrying guns whilst exchanging banter on the day. These are decent people doing their job: I applaud them.

I make no claim to be a part of the 'bubble'. Equally, many I know treat my easy acquaintance with the place as odd: it's a familiarity I have got used to. And for all the contempt many express for the whole Westminster process, and despite the frustration I often feel for it, this is where our democracy is based. And that is why I value it. And that is why this event was something that so obviously challenges that democratic process.

It is deeply upsetting that people have died and been injured today. But we need to remember how important it is that our democracy survives all challenges. That is why I, like so many others, will be at Westminster again soon. This place is at the core of our democracy.