Why doesn’t the right want to talk about the politics of Oslo?
When is the brutal murder of political activists, selected as victims solely on the basis of their political affiliation, by another political activist not a subject for legitimate political discussion and debate? Answer? When Dan Hodges says so, or at least so he would like to think. Ironic, for somebody who says we should not ‘score party political points over Oslo’ to spend a whole column doing exactly that, some would say.
The whole approach of the right to this terrible occurrence is highly telling about where a full and frank discussion of the politics behind this tragedy would lead. We should dismiss the dishonest compassion-babble about respect because we know that, had this turned out to be an Al Queda attack, the same people who now prate about ‘respect’ would have been very hot n heavy to talk politics until the cows come home. Indeed, in previous instances they have been more than willing to talk about the political implications of these events. In politics, every day we talk about wars and conflicts that cost lives daily, including those of the young, – are they off-limits too?
They know however, any discussion of the politics will lead to a critique not just of the far-right politics of the attacker himself but those who legitimise and provide a cover for their actions – the ignorant, respectable face of the prejudices espoused by Anders Behring Breivik. Furthermore, the dignified and correct response of Norweigien Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg and his pledge to fight back with “more democracy and more humanity”, which Hodges is right to draw attention too, should be contrasted with the responses of George W Bush to 9/11 and David Cameron to this attack because, put simply, one is right and one is wrong. Hodge’s knows this and that is why he wants to smother all discussion of this by emotionally blackmailing the reader, insisting that if they ‘talk politics’ they ‘don’t care’ or are ‘insensitive’ etc, etc.
It is precisely the people who ‘talk politics’ who do care the most because not only are they effected by what happened but they want to do something about it to stop it happening again. Listening to the likes of Hodges is a dead-end and we should not be fooled by his appeals to ‘human nature’ and ‘respect’ because they are a smokescreen to conceal an overtly political agenda; a cowardly political agenda which can’t face the truth of its own complicity in the events in Oslo.