Following the barbarous attack on Monday I was, like most, glued to the television. I listened and watched with sadness and, at times, tears. Thankfully, and proudly, the British public are never cowed by terrorism, are not and never will be willing to submit to it.
This was one of those times for politicians from all sides to come together and speak out on behalf of all of us and, for the most part they did just that. Tim Farron, Nicola Sturgeon and Theresa May all eloquently described what most of us were feeling. And yet Jeremy Corbyn's words were for me questionable to say the least, the phrase he used to call what happened was "an act of violence". Monday was not a pub brawl or mugging, it was terrorism and murder.
Now, some might say I'm being distasteful by bringing this up, I am using what happened to make a political point but I don't believe I am. The words Corbyn used highlight one of the many concerns I have with him as a possible Prime Minister. Some seem to think that these are just the type of phrases he uses, but I believe it to be something much more calculated and insidious than that. He has a long history of showing a very, shall we say, sympathetic attitude towards terrorist organisations.
I am not in any way saying he approves or supports their actions. However, when the leader of the Labour Party has defended members of the IRA during the height of the troubles and has in the past sat quite happily down and shared a forum with members of Hamas, an organisation that celebrates suicide bombers, the words he uses at a time like this must come under the spotlight.
Only a few days ago Corbyn refused point-blank to single out the IRA atrocities. Instead he said "all bombing is wrong" not "I condemn all terrorist organisations" nor "what the IRA did was horrific, I condemn outright the murderous atrocities they committed". No, Corbyn once again was very calculated in his response to a question relating to terror attacks and those that commit them. Corbyn's pacifism combined with his political beliefs lead me to believe without hesitation, that when it comes to dealing with terrorist organisations such as Islamic State, the single method he would be willing to undertake is sitting down at the negotiating table in some form or another i.e. appeasement.
Present and past heads of the armed forces and some in the intelligence agencies have over the past months, expressed deep concerns over the possibility of Corbyn as Prime Minister - not a Labour government but, specifically Corbyn. I know that many took issue with this and I can understand why but, for this to happen in a country where especially the military has rarely, if ever, openly expressed concerns about a leader of a particular party, their concerns must indeed be grave.
Thankfully, we don't live in a country where our military dictates the outcomes of elections but that does not mean that the heads of the military etc. should not be listened to. I do not believe Corbyn as Prime Minister would have in any way the ability - nor, more importantly the convictions - needed to deal with the continued terrorist threats that the leader of this country must face on a daily basis.
I'm no fervent Lib Dem or Conservative, up until very recently I had only ever voted Labour. So those reading this who think I'm some Daily Mail- reading warmonger plant, you are, I'm afraid simply wrong. Anyone in their right mind would prefer not to have to be faced with a terrorist organisation like Islamic State, but we are: it is here, its murderous actions were seen on Monday in Manchester and one of the factors I as a voter have a responsibility to take into account when walking into a voting booth on Thursday 8th June 2017 will be, who can best deal with the consequences of their existence.
The change of foreign policy Corbyn has today suggested, is nothing more, than his opening gambit, towards appeasement of terrorists and murderers.