MP’s and media fan the flames that burnt Oslo….

Politics was central to events in Oslo. Both set’s of victims were selected entirely for their political affiliation by a assailant with a overtly political agenda. Had any of those people on Utøya Island not been affiliated in the way they were politically; they would not have been at the event, and ergo would not have been killed or even targeted. True, a bomb is a bit more undiscriminating but nonetheless; the actual target of the blast was chosen for its political function. I therefore find it odd when people get on their high-horse about not drawing political conclusions and not making political points. If this was a random attack; although there would still be political issues springing from it, this position would be more logical and understandable. However, that is not the case, so calls to suppress politics; to not mention it are essentially hypocritical in nature, after-all why are we allowed to discuss the politics of a war, which will kill many more a day, but not this?

We now know that this was not an Al-Qaeda attack; that it was carried out by a Norwegian with political affiliations to the far-right. Yet the front page of this morning’s Sun call’s the Oslo atrocities ‘Norway’s 9/11’ and explicitly makes the link, now shown to be factually false, to Al Qaeda. The Times makes a similar  assumption and it is one that this was an Al Qaeda was rife through the media right-up to the point of BBC’s Newsnight refusing to rule it out. Sky, I beleive, performed less admirably than that and pinned it on AQ right-up to past Newsnight; it was certainly a long time before it allowed mention of the facts to dribble through. Meanwhile, Tom Harris made the assumption that AQ were responsible and thought the prudent thing to do was to use this as an opportunity to attack what he perceives as a leftish softness on these issues. He was rightly criticised for this.  Tom is entitled to his opinion and in some instances its true; the left can be soft on this issue but he proceeded from a totally incorrect assumption and he should acknowledge that as the facts have now invalidated that assumption.

Furthermore, it has to be said that the left’s occasional one-sidedness on this issue is the product of and reaction too the establishment one-sidedness in the opposite direction; something perfectly proved by both the media and Tom’s own reaction. It would be silly to think that this one-sidedness, the same Tom and others are guilty of, and yes they mostly are right-wingers, does not have ramifications. It has ramifications in fuelling the prejudice and hatred of the exact same kind that the Oslo attacker had as his prime motivation. It legitimises in their eyes, and in the eyes of others, their actions and therefore is dangerous and does need fighting.  A more fully-rounded approach is not going to be won by Tom making rash assumptions before the facts are established; more it will be won through a frank and open debate of all aspects of the tragedy.

David Cameron made a similar assumption in his reaction to the attacks; implying that Oslo was a reminder of the terrorism ‘we all face’ (thus by implication linking it to the ridiculous and counter productive ‘war on terror’). Some politicians however got it right; the Norwegian Prime Minister called for ‘more democracy and more freedom’. That is exactly the right, respectful response to the deaths of people who did die because of their politics. More democracy and openness means more free-flowing debate and discussion; not the jackboot of canting hypocrisy. We should fight against the lazy, ignorant prejudice reflected by the likes of the British media and Mr Harris and engage is serious and frank discussion without fear or fret; to do so is to give the best tribute you can to these people, after-all would they want the things that fanned the flames that led to their death left unchallenged? I rather think not.


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25 responses to “MP’s and media fan the flames that burnt Oslo….”

  1. Paul Perrin says :

    This appears to have really been an attack on unrepresentative politics.

    A voter decided that the political system was so broken that a violent attack on a political party was more likely to deliver a ‘good outcome’ than anything they could do at the ballot box.

    Politicians are always terrified of terrorist attacks on them by those they claim to represent – but I guess that is the result of politicians savagely under or misrepresenting some people.

    Because the left are committed to big government they will naturally be far more vulnerable (and scared of) attacks on politics.

    But given Cameron’s conservatives only difference to Labour is the speed of deficit reduction (5 years rather than labours 10) they may well be just as scared by such events.

    Camerons lack of representation of those that elected him was clearly demonstrated this morning – having spent months saying that the Euro and Eurozone was vital to the UK’s interests, he now says no referendum is required on EU treaty changes relating to the Euro and Eurozone because ‘it only affects Eurozone countries’ – he can’t have it both ways. In what way is he accountable for this duplicity?


  2. darrellgoodliffe says :


    You could well be right yes in your analysis of a strong contributing factor to this event. Something that makes it even more urgent we actually discuss it. It’s worth noting that not all the left is committed to big government; some it is but some of it isn’t.

    I agree, they are because they expose the fallacy of the functionality of representative democracy.

    Well I think we should join the Euro, so you can have your referendum then…how does that sound for a deal?


  3. gillig says :

    This would not have happened if immigration was sensibly controlled.
    Selective discriminatory open borders are the direct cause of this radicalism.
    Racist LibLabCon politicians need to start listening to the people and stop imposing idealistic socially destructive rules.
    If Gov’t is incapable of changing the rules; and LibLabCon are incapable, with their current subservience to the EU. Gov’t must allow the people to vote for what they want.
    An IN/OUT referendum.
    If you deny people the right to choose who rules them, they will rebel, and in some cases rebel violently.


  4. darrellgoodliffe says :


    Well if we enter the Euro there would have to be a referendum surely. This is not an In/Out referendum.


    If your so concerned about the ‘selective discrimination’ of borders the solution is simple. Open them.


  5. gillig says :

    How many people just died because of smart arses?


  6. darrellgoodliffe says :


    None to the best of my knowledge. They all died because they were the target of a far-right fanatic.


    No, I was just proposing an alternative to the one you want.


  7. John Reid says :

    Cameron saying htat we all face terrorism avery day ,dones’t mena that he’;s comairng a roight wing fanatic to the 7/7 or 911 attacks,a fterall theres still terrorism in NOrthern Ireland by breakaway UDA groups, remember the bloke who stormed stormont and trie dto Kill Adams a couple of years ago,
    and after 911, Most americans were told by the British we had that every day for years during the blitz, and America felt it was like pearl harobur, so compairng it to 911, is more lie comparing an attack rather than comparing a rioght wing extremist to the so called war on teror, as for Tom Harris, don’t know anything aobut that ,but if its true then he’s a very silly boy,


  8. gillig says :

    Dear Labour Party.
    If you deny people the right to choose who rules them;
    They will bomb you.


  9. darrellgoodliffe says :


    Excuse me, are you saying you agree with this?


    It was striking, the contrasting response by the two PM’s; Cameron was all security and scrambling frantically to increase the states control where as the Norwegian PM was rolling back freedoms frontiers. I salute the latter response and condemn the former because Cameron’s whole attitude was wrong.


  10. gillig says :

    A sentence stating an opinion as fact. QED.


  11. darrellgoodliffe says :


    I asked a question. All you have to do is answer it. Do you support the actions of this person and think they were justified?


  12. gillig says :

    I have given you a precise answer defining exactly what I have stated. Any inference is your addition. Do you understand that?
    I do not support killing and injuring innocent people.
    I despise people who refuse to acknowledge the circumstances which could lead other people to justify such actions.
    You have a right to indignation at this attack on your political group, do not direct it at those who tell you why it happens.


  13. Paul Perrin says :

    @darrellgoodliffe Oh gotcha… I support referenda in general – notwithstanding cost/impact – but I’m really interested in whatever it takes to get us out of the EU.

    And, you didn’t ask me but, ‘were his actions justified?’ – he clearly thought so. As for asking if killing innocent people ever be justified, that’s the old runaway train question: “A runaway train is going to run over a dozen men – you can change a set of points so it takes another route and runs over two different men – do you change the points?”. i.e. Do you let a dozen men die ‘by chance’, or take responsibility for saving a dozen but also responsiblity for killing two others?

    It isn’t all killers you need to be scared of, but killers whose motivation you don’t understand…


  14. darrellgoodliffe says :


    Well you have only just made that clear and it took an awful lot of effort to get this far. Yes, these actions have explanations but none of them are justified; none of them are the product of real oppression for example, they are the product of a psychopathic social chauvinism which seeks to cleanse the world of any accept those the beholder considers ‘pure’.


    Your right. He clearly did think so. I think there is broad agreement on his motivation and therefore understanding is not the problem but more yanking that motivation out at its roots and combating the forces in society which reinforces the likes of his legitimacy when they have none.


  15. Paul Perrin says :

    @darrellgoodliffe So if he had called you the day before, what would you have advised him? ‘The politicians have your beat, just let it go’?


  16. darrellgoodliffe says :


    No, I would have told him he is a horrible reactionary bigot who should take a long walk off a short pier.


  17. gillig says :

    I have made it quite clear, time after time on this Blog.
    I am not saying anything I don’t say every time you trumpet your warped view of democracy.
    It has taken a terrorist act just to make you notice that “if you deny people the right to vote for who rules them.” Does that ring a bell?
    Probably not.


  18. darrellgoodliffe says :


    Well you didnt make it clear – so that is why I asked. Actually, this has very little to do with the EU but even if it did he has a vote in his national elections so he was not denied a vote in who rules him.


  19. amy1 says :


    f we are sincere in your wish to challenge the EDL politically thereby to expose the politics they espouse, then surely we must allow them to speak and we must allow them to demonstrate.

    I dislike the EDL intensely – BUT unlike my previous condescending blanket amusement at them, I was on this occasion given pause for thought when their representative(whose name I forget) attempted to explain how he represented a growing proportion of the working class.

    I do not know if his statement or its implication was hyperbole or not, but I do believe this : we must not allow the BBC to become an organisation for only the well educated and well spoken.

    For that reason alone, well done to Paxman & co for allowing the EDL a few minutes. And if 9/ 11 or yesterday in Norway could have been avoided by our journalists and news channels giving occasional space to unheard thugs and extremists – then we should have talked.


  20. amy1 says :

    we should talk
    … to quote post by jamie p


  21. darrellgoodliffe says :

    @Amy 1 & Jamie P

    Talk, yes, demonstrate in many instances no. Communities have an absolute democratic right to exercise sovereign rights over their own space. In Northern Ireland, that means Catholic communities have the right to bar the Orange Order. In Britain, it means communities have the right to ban the EDL if they so desire.

    The EDL represent the most lumpen, reactionary, bigoted sections of our society. They have no ‘legitimate’ grievance as I heard on the radio today and it’s fallacy to say they do. The issues they are ‘sore’ about have nothing to do with immigration and everything to do with the structural inequities of capitalism.

    Therefore, their intimidation of immigrants; targeting of ‘Islam’ has no legitimate groundings and we should quite plainly say so. Not pander to them and legitimise them by saying they ‘represent’ anything substantive (they really don’t)….


  22. icba naaaaaaaaaaaaaaah says :

    well think 9/11 was a load of ……. and it is was a conspiricy, the USA goverment just wanted oil and would do anything to put their grubby little hands on it !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    yes yes i am the internet TROLLL!!!!


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