Having now seen the numerous bits of video being shown across the various Breakfast news programmes, Manchester should be very proud of itself. The audience were quite remarkably orderly leaving the arena. Of course there was a certain amount of panic, but much less than you would normally expect in such a situation. The discipline and stoicism are much more remarkable than the areas of panic, especially given the age of the audience.
It also bears repeating that the social media picture is heart-warming amid the terrible sadness. So many messages last night from people offering rooms to stay, cooking food for strangers in the middle of the night, the almost universal offers of a “brew” and a landline, the reposting of countless images to help parents re-unite with their children, the people (including taxi drivers) getting their cars out to offer free transport. In the immediate aftermath of an apparent bombing, it is plain people were much more concerned to offer help than worried about putting themselves in possible danger by opening their homes or moving into the crowds.
Finally, I have been heartened by the contempt Manchester people are showing online for those seeking to use this dreadful apparent atrocity to promote racism, intolerance or a political agenda.
If it was a home made bomb, it was a remarkably powerful one. It would be very unusual for a lone terrorist to be able to make a bomb this powerful. It is hard to think of any incident where an individual acting entirely alone has successfully done that.