This is something I hoped I wouldn’t have to even think about, let alone write down. The people of Norway have been so dignified in the aftermath of Friday’s terrible events that to comment further seemed somehow to reduce their grief to a commodity, something to be picked over and analysed. However the media have no such qualms and I detect a gleam in the eyes of politicians so here I am, just for the record and as brief as possible.
For quite a few months now Cameron and May have been pointing up “right-wing extremism” as a threat comparable to that of the 7/7 bombers, the Glasgow bombers and un-named Islamic groups “with links to al Qaeda”. They’ve gradually introduced the notion that right-wing groups are a high security threat to the country and will be targeted in much the same way as, for example, Hizb’ut Tahrir, the self-appointed Muslim Council of Britain or Muslims Against Crusades. Hizb’ut Tahrir, by the way, for all Cameron’s demands for them to be banned whilst he was in Opposition, is still not proscribed; apparently the group is technically legal and cannot be banned. Oh, the things you discover once you’re in Office.
As well as the increased references to “right-wing extremists” we also have the growing mood for regulation of the media in the wake of the NotW phone hacking. Social media networks and the internet will be included in the Judicial Inquiry being set up under Lord Leveson. Regulation is censorship by another name.
In this morning’s papers you can already see the wolves circling here, here and here. The Cross of St George is once again being openly linked with lunatics, Geert Wilders has been named, The Gates of Vienna blog is being targeted, and the EDL have been forced to issue a denial. It seems the gunman did meet EDL members but left empty-handed; he didn’t like the multi-racial make-up of the organisation and was disappointed with what he called “an anti-racist party”. I doubt the govt or msm will pick up on that as they continue to search for links proving the EDL should be banned. And people will go along with it; if you whip the people up into a frenzy of hate and condemnation they’d vote for their own hanging.
I see only one outcome from these threads and that’s further tightening of security ‘to keep us safe’ and removal of whatever civil liberties we have left, which, in theory, are many but, in practice, are few. Public marches will be banned more frequently, in the public interest of course, and determined attempts will be made to close down blogs. The actions of a Norwegian loner will have severe repercussions for us all across Europe as our political leaders try to ensure their own protection against freedom of speech by curtailing ours.
Is anyone taking bets that the EDL will be banned before any of the muslim extremist groups mentioned above?
UPDATE: Archbishop Cranmer says it so much better and has the links to prove it. Definitely recommended reading for a better in-depth view.