On the ideology of Anders Breivik

If my experience of the time it takes to read a 1,500 page book is typical, not one of the myriad opinion pieces so far penned on the ideology of Anders Breivik can possibly be based on close textual study of the ideas advanced in his now notorious manifesto.

As the rush to blame Islamists for last Friday’s atrocities in Oslo underlines, it is always wise to regard instant punditry as at best preliminary judgement, offered only until a considered opinion can be reached. Continue reading

A warning shot

It’s five days since one of the blackest days in recent Western European history. The time for mourning is far from over. For the parents of the murdered Workers’ Youth League activists, the nightmare will never end. But if we are to stop such an unbearable atrocity happening again, it is not only right – it is crucial – that we draw lessons from Friday’s barbarism. Continue reading

The dangerously ignorant Tom Harris

What happened in Oslo was horrific beyond belief. On that, there is agreement across all the political divides.  However,when it comes to the cause and the consequences, there is little agreement. For many, Tom Harris MP has epitomised the crassness of the right-wing response to the tragedy. As the events unfolded, he waded in with a silly tweet assuming that the perpetrators were Al-Qaeda — something he has, today, at least acknowledged was wrong. However, his apology is laced with the caveat that ultimately, although he was totally factually wrong, he is in fact, in the abstract, totally right. Continue reading

Solidarity with Norway – an example to us all

I can recall few events that have devastated me as much as Norway’s terrorist atrocities. I’m far from alone. I confess that I cried when I saw the island where dozens of young Norwegian socialists – as young as 13 years old – were gunned down by the right-wing extremist Anders Behring Breivik. As soon as you see that tiny island – with no escape but the water surrounding it – you can instantly imagine the horror and desperation of the nightmarish 90 minutes of Breivik’s murderous rampage. Continue reading