Saturday, 6 August 2011

Like all terrorists, Breivik is an example of arrested emotional development

The Norwegian flag was flying at half-mast in Dumfries when I was there recently - the town served as the Norwegian Army’s headquarters during the war, and the area has other connections with my homeland. I got back to London to find that a friend had emailed  me to ask why I had been so strangely quiet about the recent slaughter in Norway. He wondered if it was because I was disappointed the killer wasn’t a Muslim, and because Breivik and I weren’t a million miles apart in our basic thinking.

Fair points.

Yes, the number of opinions I share with the mass murderer Anders Behring Breivik is unsettling. Much of his analysis of what’s wrong with Western Europe, and who’s to blame, strikes me as spot on.  But people don’t deserve to die for being left-liberals, whereas they do deserve to die if they use their political views (of whatever stripe) to justify killing other people. 

Those of us lucky enough to live in a democracy really must stick to trying to persuade fellow-voters to see our point of view by using the available legal means.  Using violence to terrify your fellow-citizens into accepting your political agenda is pure fascism. Islamist terrorists, IRA bombers – in fact, anyone who uses violence in order to scare their opponents into acquiescence – is a fascist: “left” and “right” have no meaning in this context. 

I’m convinced terrorism is invariably a symptom of severely arrested emotional development: watch a child throw a tantrum in a supermarket because the world won’t instantly rearrange itself to accommodate its desires, and you just know that, if it had the power, the little sod would gleefully destroy everything in it’s path. There’s a deservedly celebrated 1950s science fiction story called “It’s a Good Life” in which a limitlessly powerful five-year old boy tortures, kills or maims anyone who gets in his way. For all his creepy coldness, Breivik is Anthony from Jerome Bixby’s story. So was Hitler, Pol Pot, Stalin, Sadam Hussein, Osama Bin Laden, Lee Harvey Oswald and John Wilkes Booth. 

Not one of us, even in the most benign democracy, likes everything that’s happening in our countries. Fortunately, the vast majority of us are either too lazy or too grown-up to think our dissatisfactions give us the right to do anything illegal – let alone murder anyone. You grumble, wait patiently for the next election, and then cast your vote, or stand for office yourself. Or, if no one is advocating the policies you support, you form your own political party. 

Like most people, I leapt to the conclusion that the slaughter was the work of an Islamic terrorist cell.  Strikes me as a perfectly sensible assumption: after all, Islamic extremists have quite a bit of form in this area.  My first reaction was to worry in case any of my relatives had been killed in the Oslo bombing. Then I wondered what possible reason Islamofascists could have for attacking a country as universally popular and as wetly liberal and pro-Islam as Norway - even your average terror-supporting lefty polytechnic lecturer might wonder whether the Caliphate should naturally be extended to a such very Nordic country, full, as it is,  of blue-eyed, blond people. 

On hearing that the killer was a blue-eyed, blond person - and a right-wing Christian Norwegian to boot, I i felt distinctly uncomfortable – my hair is mousy brown, my eyes are grey-green, I’m not much of a Christian and I’m only half Norwegian – but, well, you know… Then I felt an odd sense of relief – partly because it would have been disheartening if Bin Laden’s followers had been operationally capable of launching this sort of atrocity so soon after the vicious old turd’s death, and partly because the Norwegians are so terribly nice and trusting it would have come as a terrible shock to them that anyone could hate them this badly – and they’d probably have ended up blaming themselves for it in any case (They’re just like that.)

Apart from the general psychic shock the killings will have caused – and, of course, the suffering of the relatives of all the victims – the awful thing about this is that the Norwegians were already waking up to the dangers of multiculturalism. A Norwegian client of mine – a convinced left-winger – told me four years ago how he had been forced to remove his son from an Oslo state school because the Muslim children who’d basically taken it over were busy teaching his boy that all that mattered in life was revenge: that was certainly the Vikings’ approach a millennium ago, but Norwegians have moved on a bit since then. And, of course, the second biggest party in Norway – which Breivik left because it wasn’t sufficiently radical – is against multiculturalism. 

Now, I suspect, anyone voicing even mild criticisms of incomers who refuse to adapt to the local culture will be accused of being fellow-travellers of an evil, inadequate, narcissistic, obsessive mass-murderer. And the Liberal Left will have got what it wants – a population afraid to speak out against a disastrous and quite unnecessary experiment in social engineering. 

Interestingly, one of my relatives also expressed relief that the killer had turned out to be a Norwegian - they said the public was so sick of mass immigration, that, if the murderer had been an Islamist, things would have turned really ugly. I just hope the Breivik effect won’t stop them expressing their justified exasperation at the next election.


  1. Excellent post. Sensible, sober, well-argued.
    Sunday, August 7, 2011 - 07:29 PM

  2. Gosh! Thanks!
    Tuesday, August 23, 2011 - 12:09 PM

  3. Ingen årsak, gutten min. Alt for Norge.
    Tuesday, August 23, 2011 - 07:52 PM