Today is another sad day for France (and for the world), and it pains me to see how many people are reacting with hatred on social media. To defeat terrorism one must first understand it and then address the problem, in an appropriate way. Voting for extremists and retaliation is absolutely not the answer. Revenge begets revenge, and the problem then goes on for generations.
Alas, I feel we are in one of those dangerous phases when the world becomes more extreme. History never repeats itself, but the patterns do and I think it is important to say it. Some point out that I’m just a Formula 1 journalist and that my opinions on anything else don’t matter. Does this mean that butchers can talk only of meat? Or paper-pushers should care only about red tape? No, we all have a right to an opinion, whether it is stupid or not. In theory, we elect intelligent people to make sure the right decisions are made. Often we are disappointed, as I am currently over the Brexit disaster.
Ironically, today, the head of the regional council of Nice, the former mayor of the city, Christian Estrosi, is playing a lead role following the attack. He used to be a racing driver, competing in a Mike Rowe Racing Ralt in the European Formula 3 Championship against the likes of Gerhard Berger, Johnny Dumfries, Davy Jones, Adrian Campos and other well known names in the sport. I knew him and wrote about him. He wasn’t a good enough racer, but then he went into politics and has held roles as important as France’s minister of industry.
Against a background like Nice last night, the world of motor racing may seem frivolous, but the sport is just as powerful a weapon as a truck or a gun. How? Because the fact that racing goes on is important. It is a middle finger to terrorism, telling them to go screw themselves and that we will not give in to their disgusting tactics. The best response to terrorists is normal life.
Thus, on we should go with the our silly rumours and quibbling over rules or whatever… And if we can bring some happiness to the world, then good. Let’s do it!