Monday 1 August 2011

Breivik and the Left

It’s just over a week now since that dreadful outrage in Norway, that massacre of the innocents in a nation of innocents. The sensible thing to do was to watch and wait before passing comment, but sense is no impediment to opinion, the more ridiculous, the more opportunistic and, yes, I have to say this, the more obscene the better, raking over tragedy to score political points.

Breivik is a cold blooded and calculating sociopath by any reasonable measure. But one could almost feel the sigh of relief that went up on the liberal left. Thank goodness he was not a Muslim; thank goodness that he is an Aryan. Now we really have a target; now we don’t have to make excuses. Attack; he is of the right, all of the right is tainted, all of the right is made up either of sociopaths or those who give intellectual succour to sociopaths.

There are two excellent articles in the latest issue of the Spectator reflecting on this issue, Breivik and the right by Douglas Murray and If you think the left is twisting Norway’s tragedy check out the neo-Nazis by Rod Liddle.

The essential point, as Murray says, is that there is a tendency – particularly strong on the left – to use any horrific act as a megaphone for existing prejudices. Even Tom Harris, a Labour Member of Parliament, remarked on something that was immediately obvious to me – “…a palpable relief…swept through the left when the identity of the terrorist was known…Here, thank God, was a terrorist we can all hate without equivocation: white, Christian and far right-wing. Phew.”

Within days of the attack the New York Times, the American version of the hyper-liberal Guardian, was insisting in a slightly sinister fashion that a “new attention” would have to be focused on “the subculture of anti-Muslim bloggers and right-wing activists.” Murray notes there was no qualification here, no reference to ‘far-right’ or psychopathic extremists, just right-wing activists, a category, incidentally, that includes me, a libertarian blogger, a conservative and a Conservative. Let the witch-hunt commence, the McCarthyism of the left

Beyond readers of the New York Times, people may not be fully aware just how hysterical comment became in Europe. There were those prepared to draw a line directly from the recent denunciations of multi-culturalism by President Sarkozy of France, Chancellor Merkel of Germany and Prime Minister Cameron of Britain to the Norwegian massacre. The Independent, possibly the dullest newspaper on the face of the planet, excepting only Granma in Cuba, turned its fire on Geert Wilders, the Dutch politician who has warned of the dangers of mass immigration.

There is no subtlety at all in this. It’s an attempt to silence debate over an important issue, damning an argument by perverse association. We saw this in England, where for so many years concerns over immigration were denounced as ‘racist’, ironically giving succour to parties and people who were racist. Now the issue is openly acknowledged right across the political spectrum.

Perhaps the most absurd comment of all on the Norwegian massacre came from a certain Lee Jasper, an aid to Ken Livingstone, the former mayor of London. I should say, by way of information, that Livingstone, when he was in office, played abject and fawning host to a certain Yusaf al-Qaradawi, a Muslim cleric who just happens to praise the virtues of suicide bombing, the beating of women and the execution of homosexuals.

None of this matters to Mister Lee, who immediately concentrated fire on Boris Johnson, the present mayor of London, unwise enough to defeat Livingstone in election. What was his offence? Is he an anti-Muslim blogger, is he a Knight Templar, did he encourage Breivik in his lunacy? No, none of this. Apart from the fact that he is a leading member of the Conservative Party his hair is the same colour as Breivik’s, justification enough, surely? Come to think of it, so is mine. I think I detect a pattern.

I would be surprised if many of the people who may read this have ever heard of Stormfront, although the name itself may give sufficient clue over the kind of territory I’m about to enter. It’s a website for a certain kind of political activist, not people one would expect to have anything in common with the New York Times.

But the Hitler-loving Stormfront – yes, if you have not taken the point, this is a site for genuine ‘right wing’ extremists – came out with its own knee-jerk explanation and call for a witch-hunt. One might expect these people to wave flags for Breivik. But, no; he was no more than a tool, you see. Need I tell you for whom? Well, for those who have not guessed, the Norwegian crackpot is an instrument of Mossad and the demonic Jews.

Now I’m going to let Douglas Murray speak for himself, an impressive passage in a particularly impressive piece of journalism;

Some comparisons between Islamist extremists and Breivik are useful. They are certainly similar types of sicko (a fact I hope he comes to realise one day). But there are also salient differences. At least one must be that, in the wake of Breivik’s atrocity, not a single Christian leader, right-wing journalist or right-wing politician (including those cited by him) expressed anything other than condemnation and revulsion for his actions. No ‘ifs’ or ‘buts’. No ‘important to understand the wider context’ or ‘driven to despair’ nonsense. Just horror. Unlike the suicide bombers who gets shrines and public squares named after them, Breivik (like the Brick Lane/Soho bomber) will only be memorialised among a sick and covert coterie of extremist loners who, though undoubtedly dangerous, speak for no one.

Indeed, they speak for nobody; Breivik is nobody. It’s wretchedly sad that there are people so blinded by political and ideological prejudice that they are quite unable to appreciate this simple fact.


  1. Agreed. Melanie Phillips concurs with you. See her article about this at:

  2. Hi Ana,

    I agree that Islamist extremists and Breivik
    are similar type of sick persons who would do anything to reach their goals.

  3. I do not think we have evidence to show that the murder victims were innocent. Unprepared, unarmed, young, trusting of uniformed authority, yes. But not quite innocent.

  4. The Grauniad too attempted to accommodate that killer on the political spectrum, you know, as an especially uncuddly right winger. I registered a protest, pointing out that the key term employed - "continuum" - was a weasel word. Unusually for that site, I got a dozen or so recommends, suggesting that the author's pitch was too nausea-inducing even for many guardianistas who - in other circumstances- have show few qualms or scruples when it comes to demonising the right...

  5. In every great published tragedy (converse to the horrors so many endure privately)there is a second atrocity; the conscription of the events to serve the interests of demagogues and bigots. This does not exclude sensible and practical responses. The Norwegian event is very similar to the massacre performed by Martin Bryant at the Tasmanian tourism site, Port Arthur. Bryant was heard to say that he was disappointed in the lack of East Asians among those he intended to kill. There were then attempts to portray him as a tool of the anti-gun lobby.

  6. BNA, thanks; I shall have a look.

  7. Anthony, more of a traitor, I would have said.

  8. Harry, thanks. I know the damage such people have done in your own country.

  9. Calvin, all I can say is that I have some close Norwegian friends. I’ve been to Oslo on the country’s Independence Day, watching the parade of children. The whole spectacle seemed wholly innocent, in what struck me as a rather innocent country. But I suppose we are all guilty of something or other. Still there are greater and lesser degrees.

  10. Colin, first of all let me say what an absolute delight it is to see you after such a long time! Do you still go to MyT? I’ve checked your blog from time to time but I think you have more or less given up. I would be pleased to see you back in circulation.

    So you are a habitué of CIF? Have a look at a site called CIF Watch; it’s a very useful antidote.

  11. Retarius, is that a recent case? I hadn't heard of Bryant. I'll go off and Google in a bit.

  12. Everyone, I actually wrote this article as a response to a piece elsewhere that tried to associate my own right wing and libertarian views with this tragedy, going so far as to quote passages from my articles, though without mentioning me by name, just as the ‘young blogger’! Well, the ‘young blogger’ never shies from a fight!

  13. I have no idea as to the truth of this piece, and I know nothing of its source, but it stands in contrast to the MSM reports of the mass murder in Oslo. Much has been made of the youth of most of the victims, but they were not children, and they were not a random set of young holiday-makers.

    In my time I have seen dozens of young activist vipers commit acts of terror, assassination, and war in Europe, the Americas, the Mideast, Asia, and Africa. The average age of those engaged in political violence for the past 50 years has ranged from mid-teens to mid-20s. Some young vipers survive to regret their youthful acts; others grow into dragons. Most of the violence was by groups and individuals promoting international communism and socialism.

    I know nothing of Norwegian politics. I have no knowledge of the killer's agenda, and no real interest in finding out more. But I believe today's MSM commentators rarely tell the truth, unless it serves their own agenda.

  14. Hello Ana.It's good to see you continuing to illuminate the blogosphere.

    Nope, Ana, I no longer frequent MyT - and will spare you the reasons. Most of my comments these days are on the DT main site and Independent - as newsjunkie. Sciencebod survives only on CIF - generally to chastise, not so much for the politics - I'll engage with anyone who's prepared to listen - but for the user-unfriendly format.

    The sun has finally made an appearance again here in Bratislava. Sheona and I are off to see the Neusiedlersee (what the geographers call a steppe lake, fed by no surface rivers, but what I call the big puddle).

  15. Calvin, thanks for that link. I may come back to this issue at some point when some of the fog clears.

  16. Colin, thanks. Please give my best wishes to Sheona.