Lightbulb Moment

The Government is committed to improving the safety and security of public venues, as outlined in its 2019 manifesto. This consultation considers how we can work together to develop proportionate security measures to improve public security. It also considers how those responsible for publicly accessible locations are ready and prepared to take appropriate action, were a terrorist attack to happen.


As a historian I am deeply conscious of the inertia that government has exerted over the past half millennia. A centralising tendency which has gone well beyond a Hobbsean utopia, or dystopia depending on your preference, and created a near universal sentiment of ‘what is the government doing about this?’ What this is varies, but today this is anti-terrorism initiatives.

While I am not keen on the idea of self-policing, lest we go the way of some American states, I do wonder if society may not be better able to protect its citizens if its citizens were more involved in that self-same protection. Be it physical, intellectual or cyber.

If society, in reaction to recent calls to ‘defund the police,’ does take such bold and original action, something will, unless you are a committed anarchist, need to be put in its place. Perhaps the Protect Duty initiative might stimulate some solutions.

If not, then maybe it will be able to add some responsibilities to match the rights many of us demand in a democracy.

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