I've been asked to act as a "Single Point of Contact"
for Leicester Council of Faiths, receiving hourly emails from Leicestershire
Constabulary and frequent tweets from officers on duty today, updating me on
the situation. If any urgent information needs to be communicated, it's my duty
to pass it on to my contacts in the Council of Faiths. Of course, many of them
are involved in this day in their own right. There's a criss-crossing of
networks, which should ensure that no one gets left out.
We're taking Harry and Grace out of town today, as we've decided it's
best to keep their minds off events in the city centre. Yesterday evening, when
the kids were dropped off for the weekend, they could hardly wait to tell me
that we have to stay out of town on Saturday afternoon, because something
terrible is going to happen. When I asked them what that might be, Harry told me
that the word around his school is that Muslims are going to set off a bomb
in the city centre. He's indignant about this, to put it mildly. He tells
me that he was angry with his schoolmates for saying this, that he knows
Muslims, that he knows I work with and for Muslims - and that they're good
people, who wouldn't do such a thing ("Would they Dad?") How do these
stories get started? That's rich, even for schoolkids.
So we go to a comic book drawing workshop with professional artist
Kev F, being held at Countesthorpe College.Kev F Sutherlandwrites and draws for The Beano, Doctor
Who, Match, Marvel Comics, Viz, 2000AD, Funday Times, Red Dwarf and more. He's
appeared at Leicester Comedy Festival with the Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet
Theatre. He's full-on, funny and a very entertaining turn. You'd think
he'd been engaged specifically to keep all our minds off events in the city
centre (though I'm checking my messages regularly of course). We all (children
and adults without exception) have to write and draw a page to be included in a
comic book that we create today and is printed in the school, so we all get to
take away a copy.