On the eve of a generation-defining election, the UK still mourns over the tragic events that unfolded in Manchester and the more recent attacks in the heart of London.

The UK is at a crossroads. We have the power to decide what path our country go down and the results are likely to impact Britain for years to come. However, the biggest decision lies outside the polling station; it lies outside the houses of parliament and it lies outside the power of politicians. The decision is made by us, and how we react to these cowardly acts.

By us, I mean the common population. Whatever happens at the top, the people still represent the beating heart of this great nation and we still have the power to make a difference, however insignificant. No matter who you vote for come June 8th, our mentality towards these horrific events will impact this country the most.

We enter a predictable chain of events following any terrorist attack. The same arguments carry on year after year, and yet we get no further towards making a change for the better. We have a tendency to fuel a “us vs them” attitude instead of understanding that life is never that black and white. The most important thing is to remain unified as a nation and not give in to the one thing the terrorist try to nurture, fear.

Terror so close to home promotes inner conflict between the people who feel aggressive retaliation is necessary, and those that believe a peaceful approach proves more effective. I won’t try and tell you which one is better, only you can decide, but what I will highlight is fire is never an effecting means of fighting fire. Hate only fuels hate, and the thing these terrorists despise is a unified and positive response to such heinous acts. We have a nag for standing together in times of trouble, and this is easily the best means of fighting back.

Despite this, I will agree that drastic measures need to be taken. The fact these radicals have been known to the police is a very worrying thing, and it’s recently been revealed that one of the attackers even appeared on program aptly named “The Jihadis Next Door”. If that isn’t an indication of what they might have been up to, then I don’t know what is.

We need to stamp this out, but I don’t think banning refugee’s, bombing the middle east or condemning Muslims has any place in today’s world. I don’t believe in accepting avoidable collateral damage in the pursuit of terrorists. You must remember, the countries hit hardest by terrorism are the countries that we all believe to spawn them. If you start condemning whole nations and races over the actions of a minority group, then you’re heading straight for destination that’s hard to return from. We need to remain calm in such situations, refuse to give into fear, and utilize the most effecting means of fighting back. The most effective tactic is to stand united against the overwhelming minority who believe these acts will further their cause.