My dad often talks about his “10% rule”. It’s basically that the population is made up of 10% <insert minority group here>.  He worked in prisons so he most often used it in terms of criminals. 10% of the population are criminals. 10% of the population are psychopaths (10% of criminals are psychopaths and 10% of psychopaths are criminals). Sure it makes no mathematical sense and it’s using a chainsaw to cut butter but it has a general, simple sort of logic.

Anyway, I use it here to discuss terrorists. If you think that 10% of the population have some terrorist potential we can see the scale of the problem. I just googled it: in 2015 it was estimated at 65.14 million people living in the U.K. So that makes 6.5 million people with the potential to be terrorists. Let’s apply the 10% rule to the 6.5 million potential terrorists to see how many actually might follow through with their tendencies: 650,000. That makes the 10,000 or so people on the terrorist watch list a drop in the ocean. 

“Watching” terrorists isn’t possible. Unless we dedicate 10% of the population to watching duties (and remember 10% of those allocated to watch will be potential terrorists themselves). 

What about locking up all muslims or immigrants or people who have recently visited Pakistan? Remember only 10% of those people are potential terrorists and only 10% of those might actually be dangerous. So that makes 99% of them totally law abiding citizens. 99% includes doctors, teachers, shop keepers, delivery drivers and every other sort of person who makes the UK work. Lock everyone up and they win by shutting down our way of life. 

Those sort of methods aren’t going to work. No one seriously thinks that will work. That’s why we have had such an increase in police presence recently. Because the police, MI5 and the government know “watching” and lock-ing up isn’t going to work. 

So here’s my two-penneth’s, no ones read this far anyway, worth: Let’s ignore them. 

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying we don’t continue the watching and the intelligence and the police in the streets. But we, the social media society, play our part, do our bit. We ignore them, don’t give their terrible deeds the airtime they want. 

I’ve said for a long time that the best publicity stunt is death. Look how much money is raised, how much education is created when someone in the public eye dies. If I can see that, the 10% certainly can too. 

Sure there were significant arrests and raids after Manchester but is it just me who is thinking those who knew would have been excited about being involved in such a high profile attack. Almost like being in the same restaurant as a celebrity. A terrorist claim to fame. I wonder if they discuss it beforehand as much as they discuss the actual attack? Like a “when we’re famous” conversation. Maybe that’s even part of the pre-gig warm ups. 

Lots of people refuse to give him a name, refuse to give him the fame. But he still has a name and he still has publicity, in terrorist circles he’s still A-list. 

But we CAN take away the publicity. 

Yes we care about the victims. Yes we feel for the parents and friends and families. Yes we are scared. Outpourings of love are something we all want to be part of during times of fear. But we can do things in our own way. We don’t have to change our Facebook profiles and pass on beacons of light. 

Can’t we just be sad? 

Check on your loved ones. Give your friends and family a hug. Go to church (or mosque, synagogue, temple, meeting hall, whatever) and pray quietly if you’re that way inclined. Privately donate money if you wish. 

Then go about your business. Don’t give them the satisafaction of scratching their publicity itch. 

Nothing to see here.