In an op-ed piece in a Sunday newspaper titled ‘The Return of the Terror’ Philippe Val, the former director of Charlie Hebdo, eviscerated the media class for their moral cowardice and intellectual dishonesty. Noting that they are always quick to criticize anyone who questions left-wing movements, Val wrote, ‘on the other hand when a teacher is threatened for doing their job, there is silence on the radio and in editorials. This silence is insupportable. It threatens us all.’

What will be the response of Macron to Friday’s killing? France wants action; they are fed up with empty rhetoric. The right are calling for deportations, and even Jean-Luc Mélenchon, the leader of the far-left France Insoumise, is questioning the wisdom of giving asylum to so many Chechens (the suspect in Friday’s attack is Chechen, as was an Islamist attacker in Paris in 2018 and scores of Chechens rioted in Dijon during the summer).

There are no Chechens in my ex-wife’s school; 65 percent are of Sub-Saharan origin and 30 percent North African. Last year she invited me to talk to three of her classes about my life as a writer. I found them attentive and inquisitive, curious and rather gratified that an English writer was talking to them. The fact I was white was also a factor — outside the classroom they have little contact with white people.