The inconvenience caused to our daily lives is managed ? it would be churlish to grumble after all, but the sense of fear is palpable and I resent that very much.
The tragedy of lives lost, of people damaged forever and hurt so raw it may never heal, is one predictable and desired outcome of those who perpetrate these deeds of desperate inhumanity. But there is another more insidious aim and we have to be careful not to walk into their trap.
What price our freedom, our culture, our ?way of life?, if that too is swept away in this climate of fear.
Increased security should be balanced with the thoughtful and honest assessment of its worth against its cost.
If we feel safer for seeing policemen with machine guns so be it, but do we?
If we feel safer for seeing young Asian men subject to stop and search so be it, but do we? Do we really feel safer? Actually, are we really safer?
In a leafy suburb of Liverpool a young black man has been savagely, needlessly, despicably killed by young white men full of hate and loathing. He died for nothing and his death will cause an innocent honest family to be condemned forever to a life of hurt and torment.
The men who hated so much they could snuff out an innocent life in Liverpool are no different to those who killed on the tubes and on that bus last month. They were not radicalised by a misguided religious or political zeal, but the hate was the same and so was the consequence of their hate.
Is the answer to this tragic death in Liverpool to have policemen with machine guns outside pubs and clubs? Is the answer to stop and search young white men in case they might have an axe to attack others of a different skin colour to their own?
Is this the price to pay for black men and women to feel safe on our streets?
Perhaps, for some, it is. The reality, however, is that it will not make anyone safer. What it does is to potentially drive a wedge through our society that will increase tensions and resentment in whole communities.
The protection is illusory and the consequences of the protection is more fear, more suspicion, more intolerance.
When terror grips us, therefore, we must ensure that we see things very clearly.
I am a nervous tube passenger at the moment. I cannot help but see who is on the carriage with me, and I hate the terrorists for making me like this, but I don’t want my country to give up freedoms for a level of scrutiny (and potentially such a divisive scrutiny) that probably does not protect me in reality in any event.
Governments want to act because the public and the media seek action. Not to act risks accusations of incompetence and complacency, but to act in haste and badly, risks much worse.
To stop and search, to show an overwhelming presence on the streets, to be armed to the gunnels, to close off sections of cities, to move people from their homes and demand instant unquestioning compliance, is scary. These surely are features of a country at war. But we are not a country at war with ourselves and we should not act in ways that might suggest that we are.
As a temporary and urgent expedient we acquiesce. We all understand and we all seek to do our bit? but let?s not make this in any way normal. Let us value what we had before the bombers struck and let us work to restore our way of life as soon as we can.
Governments rule us with our consent and the judicial system protects us from excessive reservations of power and control. Do not be afraid to want what we value and do not give away any of our freedoms based on emotional responses to terror.
The legacy of the bombers must not be a Trojan horse that batters our freedoms, but a restatement of our values and an optimism for our way of life as it was before all this ghastly nonsense began.