A week of riots called for some exceptional public response from our political leaders. Sadly it was not in evidence. Late back from holiday, Cameron was always on the back foot. He was ‘professionally’ angry but that was all. Milliband unlike Harman refrained from too much point scoring, but politicians were all put in their place by Sir Hugh Orde dismissing them as “an irrelevance”.
Fortunately for all of us “cometh the hour, cometh the man” and he was not a politician. The truly remarkable Tariq Jahan.
Here is what Bryan Appleyard interviewing him for the Sunday Times wrote : “Faith gave Tariq, a 46 year old Currys delivery driver, the strength and composure to make a magnificent speech from the heart just a few hours after his son had died. In just 490 words he consoled a convulsed nation”
The Chief Constable of the West Midlands said the impact had been decisive. “Those words were so powerful, so heartfelt and so spontaneous and generous that I think that anyone who heard them must have been moved. Certainly, anyone that felt there was any mileage from continuing a cycle of violence in the name of those young men that died will have thought twice about it.”
In his interview with Appleyard, Tariq Jahan said this: “There is never a situation on earth, I believe, that you can’t communicate with someone and calm the situation down. You don’t have to use violence.”