There is no justification for murdering journalists or satirists. No degree of offence legitimises the use of violence. The deaths of the journalists should be mourned for that particular reason, but no more so than the two officers or the maintenance man who were also killed in the tragic shootings..
I hear you marched in your thousands against my religion. Last week, and last month. You marched against immigrants, foreigners, and anyone a shade darker. I will not draw comparisons to Nazi Germany. I will not call you bigots, I will not insult you, and I will not label you. But we do have a problem.
I don't doubt many people would have found the Charlie Hebdo cartoons extremely offensive, and I'm not here to tell you that's wrong, but the insinuation that insulting/offending people may have invited this horrific tragedy on any level is tantamount in my eyes to the old age adage that a rape victim "asked for it" by wearing a short skirt. It's victim blaming at its very worst, and especially against people who fought in many ways for the rights of those who attacked them. So long as offence remains within the bounds of what is legally acceptable, then it is just that - acceptable - whether you personally like it or not.
Recent debates around the whole "local driver" issue involving a local taxi firm are illustrated beautifully by two buildings on Hull's Holderness Road. They are connected by real proximity, but separated by the passage of 70 years. Yards from 35 taxi's bustling taxi office stands the Boyes store, built on the site of what was the Savoy Cinema.
Liberals and leftists in the West are right to condemn the bigotry of the majority community, but the fundamentalism of the minority community cannot be spared from criticism. If those identifying as left and liberal fail to criticise the dangerous trends of Islamism, the right will step up for the task. That is a future no one wants and political correctness can do little to fight it.
It seems that week after week, we're hit with another story of Nigel Farage or one of his UKIP counterparts spouting racist, sexist and homophobic comments left right and centre. It's become worryingly predictable, and it seems that although there is a candidate step down here and there, a half-hearted apology and a tepid reassurance that this is 'not representative of UKIP', they continue to receive support.
The #illridewithyou campaign in a shining example of everything that's fantastic about Australia - even if as a Kiwi I have to say it through gritted teeth. Like the American cousins, they've got a lot of big, empty spaces, what is politely known as a 'frontier mentality' and a tendency to come across as a bit rough round the edges.