Woolwich: Be warned, this is the calm before the storm


4:09 pm - May 24th 2013

by Sunny Hundal    


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The current mood is that of sombre reflection, calls to ‘carry on as normal’, anger at the killers themselves and a broad understanding that all Muslims should not be blamed for what happened on Wednesday.

This consensus won’t last long. Within a week, maybe even less than that, it will start to break down.

1) ‘Carry on as normal’
The likelihood of this happening is perhaps at zero. There have already been calls by John Reid (and encouraged by Jack Straw yesterday) to revive the Snooper’s Charter. Of course, Reid is the security industry salesman in the House of Lords so his calls is predictable, but what of the Parliamentary Labour Party? This is the time Ed Miliband should flash his pro-civil-liberties credentials, but I suspect he will be thwarted once again by Yvette Cooper’s department.

The Lib Dems may hold their nerve but it’s very likely Theresa May will revive the Snooper’s Charter and claim events like Woolwich justify it.

2) ‘All Muslims are not to blame’
By the weekend and almost certainly by next week, we’ll see a revival of editorials (led by Melanie Phillips) asking a variation of Why Do British Muslims Hate Us? We might even go back to 2005 territory when these sorts of editorials were at their peak. The English Defence League and their demonstrations this weekend will certainly keep the topic in the public eye.

There is a lot of money to be made by sensationalising and blaming all Muslims – and a lot of press commentators will certainly try. Some politicians too will be unable to resist this temptation. It won’t start immediately but will last the longest.

3) ‘Carry on as normal’ – Part 2
It’s been constantly repeated in the press today that the authorities knew of the Woolwich Butcher before Wednesday. Why should this come as a surprise?

I would hope they are tracking ALL the men when attend Anjem Choudhary’s rallies. The question is whether these men should be arrested before they commit a crime, and the answer is clearly no.

I’ve warned before that Al-Muhajiroun were a dangerous group and supported proscribing them, but I don’t believe the authorities should arrest people who haven’t committed any crimes. Neverthless, I expect the government and the press to push for a crackdown on protests anyway.

4) ‘All Muslims are not to blame’ – Part 2
The political implications are harder to ascertain. The English Defence League will gain popularity and will no doubt use this to ramp up their demonstrations.

As UKIP have recently moved away from focusing on Islamist extremism to the EU and immigration, they won’t immediately benefit from any backlash to Muslims. But I suspect UKIP are having discussions now on what outrageous things they could say to take the limelight and start a bandwagon. It’s in their nature. The question then is whether the Conservatives will follow or condemn them for being outrageous.

Obviously I don’t approve of any of this. But I can see it happening in the coming weeks. This is merely the calm before the coming storm.

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About the author
Sunny Hundal is editor of LC. Also: on Twitter, at Pickled Politics and Guardian CIF.
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Story Filed Under: Blog ,Realpolitik ,Religion ,Westminster

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Reader comments


“I’ve warned before that Al-Muhajiroun were a dangerous group and supported proscribing them,”

That’s not very libertarian.

Really, there’s no reason NOT to carry on as normal. This was a shocking incident, yes, but it doesn’t change anything or teach us anything we didn’t already know (there are some whackjobs around who want to carry out violent acts). All that needs to be done is for the perpetrators to be brought to justice.

Any crackdown on civil liberties would hurt us far more than one attack.

2. white trash

Sunny:

“I suspect UKIP are having discussions now on what outrageous things they could say to take the limelight and start a bandwagon.”

You are probably right. But are you and your liberal left cronies any less opportunistic with events?

“It’s in their nature”

Nice touch of patronising essentialism thrown in there Sunny.

“Obviously I don’t approve of any of this.

And top it all off with a dash of pomposity to finish. Lovely jubbly.

3. Shatterface

Apart from the uncharacteristic absence of the word ‘slam’ from the headline this is the most tabloidy article this week.

The EDL are a punnet* of bell ends who’s membership and influence have been vastly exaggerated. Whenever an atrocity is committed they are conjoured up so that people can (a) argue about a supposed backlash that never happens so they don’t have to talk about the actual atrocity that did happen, and (b) make spurious equivalences between actual murders and people posting their brAinZ out on Twitter.

The main danger of a ‘backlash’ isn’t from a handful of thugs, it’s from opportunist politicians resurrecting Blair’s authoritarian ‘anti-terror’ legislation or withdrawing us from the Human Rights Act.

*Yes, that is the collective noun for bell ends.

Try this in the news on Friday night:

Jet diverted to Stansted after two passengers ‘tried to storm’ cockpit

Two men who tried to burst into the cockpit of Pakistan International Airlines flight from Lahore to Manchester Airport are in police custody.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/10079685/Jet-diverted-to-Stansted-after-two-passengers-tried-to-storm-cockpit.html

Dangerous people have frequently passed through Anjum Choudharry’s group and left finding them to be not extreme enough. Like dangerous people passed through Sinn Fein. This isn’t a surprise is it.

Generally with “the News” in Choudharry mode and Choudharry in “the news” mode we learn nothing.

If I was a responsible journalist, and I took the safety of my country in anyway seriously and I heard someone like Choudharry who was respected by Islamic Fundamentalists talking about a “Covenant of Security” I might just ask them to repeat themselves a little louder.

Just a little personal comment. Yes, I know, all of my comments here are entirely personal, nothing to do with anyone who employs me to write anywhere else. But I really do want to point out that this is just me. About this:

” As UKIP have recently moved away from focusing on Islamist extremism to the EU and immigration, they won’t immediately benefit from any backlash to Muslims. But I suspect UKIP are having discussions now on what outrageous things they could say to take the limelight and start a bandwagon. It’s in their nature. The question then is whether the Conservatives will follow or condemn them for being outrageous.”

I was at a UKIP candidate selection meeting once. One of the people hoping to be selected (which I was). And one of the questions from the floor was (and I paraphrase) “These Islamic nutters. They’re a danger to our way of life, right?”.

The answer I gave (and I paraphrase again) is that “absolutely, various bearded nutters who try to kill various of us are a danger to our lives. But the danger to our way of life is what the nutters in government might do in response to this.”

Anyone who has read me over any period of time will know that this is my view anyway.

The reason I tell the story though is because the audience (ie, those UKIP members of the London party that cared enough to come to a candidate hustings. Or, if we’re going to be cruel, were young enough and mobile enough to do so) not only liked the answer, there was serious danger of a standing ovation.

“UKIP”, in the sense of the members of the party, is vastly more worried about what government might do to “protect us” from Islamic extremists than it is about what such extremists might do directly.

8. douglas clark

Sunny,

I think the people that did this lack humanity. I think there are other, far more powerful people, who lack humanity too.

For it to become a ping pong ball in a ridiculous East -v- West agenda is to preclude our disgust at what was done and collude in separating people of all sorts who are equally disgusted.

Sure, the looney’s of this world will make it news, another ‘point’ in their agenda to split humanity into ‘us’ and ‘them’.

It will not happen. Let the EDL and the BNP and UKIP make waves. It is frankly ludicrous. The people that perpetarated it tried to horrify us, and in that they succeded. There is little or no evidence that the English are other than unaware of the games that both sides are playing. They will remain unconvinced, despite the more hysterical commentator you appear to attract these days. The people who do things like that are few and far between.

Best wishes.

“I would hope they are tracking ALL the men when attend Anjem Choudhary’s rallies. The question is whether these men should be arrested before they commit a crime, and the answer is clearly no.

I’ve warned before that Al-Muhajiroun were a dangerous group and supported proscribing them, but I don’t believe the authorities should arrest people who haven’t committed any crimes.”

But they HAVE committed crimes – as long ago and as publicly as in February 2006 when Choudary led a march of protestors carrying placards to ‘kill’, ‘behead”exterminate’ and ‘annihilate’ those hwo insult Islam. Plus warning to ‘Prepare for the real Holocaust’.

Those are all breaches of the peace and incitement or threat to murder or terrorism.

The police that day should have arrested and charged scores of people. They should have been prosecuted and jailed. They weren’t. In fact the only people arrested were two protestors AGAINST Choudary.

Now one of the followers of Choudary has gone on to do exactly what his comrades were urging that day.

There should be numerous arrests and prosecutions, plus sackings of the police who failed to their job and enforce the law.

No need for snoopers charters, no need for blaming all Muslims, simply for the actual law to be enforced – and for people like yourself, Sunny, to stop pretending that the behaviour on that and other days was not criminal. It was. Blatantly.

No one else would have got away with it. A soldier this week has paid with his life because the police and authorities have kept allowing Choudary to blatantly break serious laws.

Try this Channel4 documentary on: Islam – The Untold Story
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dm8xKh8eQqU

It casts doubt on whether the historic roots of Islam were located in Saudi Arabia, as widely believed.

11. John Reid

White trash is right, there’s no proof that there’s going to be retaliations, the last time a white bloke has his head cut off by black men, due to the colour of his skin and the job he did, was 27 years ago at Boadwater farm, there wasn’t revenge attacks against black people then, not everyone then thought that all black people were anti white racists,

12. Chaise Guevara

@ 7 Tim W

For what it’s worth, I’d say that’s genuinely interesting insight. I would have guessed the opposite – that while the leadership of UKIP might be more concerned with the big picture, the general membership would be more small-c conservative. And your priorities are right, if that even needs saying.

13. douglas clark

Tim Worstall,

Thanks for your post @ 7.

How will that work out for you exactly?

You have the, ahem, amazing Mr Monkton right by your side, who says things like this:

“The Scots are subsidy junkies whingeing like a trampled bagpipe as they wait for their next fix of English taxpayers’ money.” This is believed to be the first use of the now well-known phrase “subsidy junkies”

Subsidy junkies is demonstrably untrue, His other fav is climate change denial, which, let’s be honest here Tim is shit.

Still feeling comfortable in the UKIP fold Tim?

Republicans-r-Us.

Next on the agenda, young earth creationists are right!

When do you get off this insanity?

14. So Much For Subtlety

13. douglas clark

You have the, ahem, amazing Mr Monkton right by your side, who says things like this:

“The Scots are subsidy junkies whingeing like a trampled bagpipe as they wait for their next fix of English taxpayers’ money.” This is believed to be the first use of the now well-known phrase “subsidy junkies”

And what is wrong with that? You have a problem with honesty?

15. douglas clark

SMFS,

No. I have a problem with you being a complete utter idiot.

16. douglas clark

Tim?

On Saturday morning’s international news:

The Nigerian army says it has destroyed a number of well-equipped camps used by the militant Islamist group, Boko Haram, in the north-east of Nigeria. [BBC website 25 May 2013]

France is set to begin the first major stage of its military withdrawal from Mali, four months after sending troops to push Islamist rebels out the north. A convoy of 80 lorries will leave a French base outside the capital, Bamako, and drive south to Ivory Coast. France began withdrawing some of its 4,000 troops from the country in April. [BBC website 25 May 2013]

I picked up the Metro yesterday. Full sized pic on the front of Lee Rigby in dress uniform. Page seven – big pic of bearded Muslim in mosque in Kent boarding up window that was broken by vandals. I know that Choudary & his disciples are itching for a sectarian war, as are some of the EDL. I doubt it’s going to happen.

Murderous ideologue:- ‘We want to start a war in London’

Cub scout leader : “It is only you versus many people, you are going to lose.”

That seems the sane attitude – and I hope it will prevail.

“the general membership would be more small-c conservative.”

In England at least, small c conservative is surprisingly liberal on civil rights and the law type stuff. Could call it the Whig view of history…..that it’s all been, since the Conquest, a long struggle to improve the civil liberties of the average chap. The King’s Justice, trial by jury, JP’s and magistrates, evidence, innocent until proven guilty and all that.

They may not have been conservative actions when they were implemented but they’re all sufficiently old and “English” that they are part of the small c conservative set of things about how the world should be, what should be preserved of this green and pleasant land.

The people who really rage about legal innovations (removal of double jeopardy, implications of witness or accused remaining silent etc etc) are actually those old Tory buffers who have spent decades as JPs out in the shires.

In this context small c conservative really is (well, according to my prejudices anyway) protecting something valuable from the old system.

Another way of putting this is that the small c conservatives are the liberals here: precisely because that English judicial system is surprisingly liberal and much of the modern movement is to make it more illiberal.

“You have the, ahem, amazing Mr Monkton right by your side,”

The Viscount Monckton is indeed interestingly nutty. I’ve met him and swear I would see his eyes revolving. I share few views with him it is true. But then every political party has people that one would prefer not to share much with. I would, for example, be highly embarrassed to share the Labour Party with Harriet Harman given her repeated lies and untruths over either or both prostitution and or the gender pay gap (that latter so bad that the Statistics Ombudsman had to publicly upbraid her). Or the Lib Dems with Ed Davey (anyone ever tried to drill down into a DECC report about the costs of renewables? It’s really quite startling the way they lie with the numbers). And I’m sure you guys can come up with a handful of Tories you wouldn’t want to share a committee room with either.

As to climate change denial you might want to look up my own views on it. Very definitely not in accord with Monkton (which is why his eyes started revolving when I explained them to him).

21. John Reid

Te only thing that makes me question SMfS, inteligence is why he wastes time talking to people with such closed minds that when even when presented with the facts they can’t see that their views are unintelligible, and proved wrong, but still stick to them,

22. Chaise Guevara

@ 21 John Reid

I’d love to know your reasons for thinking that the claim that the Scots are “subsidy junkies whinging like a tramped bagpipe” has been proved right.

Perhaps you are confused over the meaning of the word “proved”?

23. douglas clark

John Reid @ 22,

Fascinating. What ‘facts’ would these be then?

The English Defence League and their demonstrations this weekend will certainly keep the topic in the public eye.

Only because people like yourself and the SWP have been so keen to make the pathetic EDL look like a really high profile threat.

By the weekend and almost certainly by next week, we’ll see a revival of editorials (led by Melanie Phillips) asking a variation of Why Do British Muslims Hate Us?

Yes there may be some of them. I saw one by Douglas Murray already.
But that’s hardly surprising when there have been so many cases of Islamist extremist speakers being invited to speak to British Muslims at mosques and other meetings.
There’s something really wrong with countries like Pakistan – and we are pretty exposed to Pakistan – as we saw yesterday with the flight coming from Lahore.

“There’s something really wrong with countries like Pakistan – and we are pretty exposed to Pakistan – as we saw yesterday with the flight coming from Lahore.”

A fascinating insight – the Essex Police are saying that was just “criminal” and not a terrorist event.

By the weekend and almost certainly by next week, we’ll see a revival of editorials (led by Melanie Phillips) asking a variation of Why Do British Muslims Hate Us?

It would, of course, be nonsense to behave as if all Muslims hate the rest of their compatriots but one should ask why popular clerics working in Britain have said we deserveenmity and hatred”; inspirehate in [their] hearts”; should not be taken as friends; should not be greeted; should not have our deaths lamented.

One could also ask why such clerics maintain that living among us is a sin, though this raises the question of why they don’t go away.

Bob B, I never suggested it was terrorism – I just meant that we are quite exposed to Pakistan because of all the back and forth contact we have with that country. Plane loads of arrivals every day. Quite a few of them will be ”fundamentalists” – as Pakistan is quite f*cked up.

“[Gordon Brown] said the Iraq war had cost Britain £8bn and the total cost to the UK of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan had been £18bn, on top of what he repeatedly stressed was an increasing defence budget.”
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/8552593.stm

I’m surprised that Tony Blair, the Great Charlatan, hasn’t popped up to make some inane comment about all this, like: You can’t stop modernisation, or that he won three elections.

29. John Reid

23 almost everything that those who criticise him say, when one would look on Wikipedia, or analyse why people had voted a certain way in the past,

30. Charlieman

@17. Bob B: “France is set to begin the first major stage of its military withdrawal from Mali, four months after sending troops to push Islamist rebels out the north. A convoy of 80 lorries will leave a French base outside the capital, Bamako, and drive south to Ivory Coast. France began withdrawing some of its 4,000 troops from the country in April. [BBC website 25 May 2013]”

It is really difficult to complain.

France used its muscle to push unwelcome people from Mali. Hopefully the Mali forces and government will maintain their nation.

The UK pushed its nose into tiddly wars around Sierra Leone. They were liberation wars. UK intervention, on occasions, was brilliant.

Force by western countries is not necessarily bad.

Charlieman: “Force by western countries is not necessarily bad.”

I agree. My purpose in posting the current news reporting the run down of the French army in Mali, where it had been supporting the Mali government against Islamic insurgency, was precisely to show how widespread is the problem of the militant Islamisists.

Posting the report of the army cracking down on Boko Haram in Nigeria was to show that the Nigerians also have problems with violent Islamisists.

With all that and the terrorist bombing at the Boston Marathon in mid April, I find it hard to believe it is just coincidental and that the Woolwich atrocity was a uniquely British event. Violent Islam is on the march – just as Zawahiri proposed.

French anti-terror soldier has throat slashed in Paris by ‘North African man in Woolwich copy-cat attack’

The attack on a soldier in Paris was being treated as a ‘terrorist incident’, said a source at the Paris prosecutors office.

Calm before the storm? We seem to have forgotten all about these previous cases of Islamic terrorism:

Five men have been jailed for a bomb plot linked to al-Qaeda that could have killed hundreds of people in Britain. [BBC website April 2007]

Three guilty of airline bomb plot bigger than 9/11 [Telegraph September 2009]

Britain’s largest and longest running terrorist investigation has come to an end with the conviction of three British Muslims for planning to become suicide bombers in an al-Qaeda plot to blow up trans-Atlantic airliners. [Telegraph July 2010]

A gang of Muslim extremists inspired to launch a deadly UK terror campaign by hate preacher Anjem Choudary were jailed for a total of nearly 95 years today. [Telegraph February 2012]

Three would-be suicide bombers who plotted to carry out an attack to rival the 7 July and 9/11 atrocities have been found guilty of terrorism charges. [BBC website February 2013]

For further details, try googling.

34. John Reid

What bob b, said

@32

“Calm before the storm? We seem to have forgotten all about these previous cases of Islamic terrorism”

It isn’t “Islamic terrorism”. These acts were carried out by Islamists, not by the majority of Islam’s adherents.

“For further details, try googling”.

Yes and people can find all kinds of crap on Google.

@31

Would you care to provide a link or am I supposed to accept your word as “gospel”?

“Yes and people can find all kinds of crap on Google.”

Which is why @32 I give the mainstream media sources of the reports of the series of convictions for Islamic terrorist offences. I could post all the links but the spam filter would suppress the post. Googling the quotes from the reports will yield more of the details of each of the cases.

Btw the Somali Pirates are rewoking a centuries old business model. Try this from the BBC website on: British Slaves on the Barbary Coast
http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/british/empire_seapower/white_slaves_01.shtml

@36
Your link leads to a Google search engine with a blank field.

Your link leads to a Google search engine with a blank field.
—-

Yes its a tool, learn to use it. Im sure you can manage to find headline news thats just hours old, all on your own..

Another, earlier al-Qaeda case we have forgotten about:

An Algerian man with suspected al-Qaeda links has been found guilty of downloading information on how to blow up a passenger jet. [BBC website November 2005]
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/northern_ireland/4467640.stm

IMO we need to keep track of all the convictions, not least to show where the security services have been successful in protecting us from Islamic terrorism.

‘All Muslims are not to blame’

That’s obvious. However, it is a fact that far too many Muslim scholars promote and far too many British Muslims believe, interpretations of Islam that are anything but moderate. For example, that non-Muslims are ‘inferior’ beings to Muslims or that in an ideal ‘Islamic’ society, the death penalty should apply for a Muslim who leaves Islam, for anyone who insults the Prophet, has sex outside of marriage or takes part in an homosexual act.

According to several polls, a third, yes a third of British Muslims support the death penalty for apostasy. Yes, that may be in an ‘ideal’ Islamic state, but that is still a hateful position.

In every other aspect of our society, an ‘extremist’ is defined by both their actions and their personally held views; it is perfectly reasonable to label a racist a ‘racist’, whether or not they carry out illegal acts or promote law-breaking.

For some reason, however, it seems that all a Muslim needs to do is say that they oppose violence and support obeying the laws of the land in order to be accepted as defined by default as ‘moderate’, by a large section of our media and political class, without regard to whether he or she might hold some views that are very extreme and unpleasant indeed.

Stating or even believing that non-Muslims are inferior to Muslims or that people should be killed for leaving a religion or having gay sex is simple hate speech. The fact that hate speech is illegal under English law recognises the fact that hateful speech can sometimes promote hateful action.

If people such as Mr Hundal, our media, politicians and especially the various anti-fascist movements would really like to do liberal, democracy-loving Muslims a favour, then they have to face up to the fact that these hateful views exist and that they are held by a sizeable minority of British Muslims.

Once that’s done, they should apply the same rigour to challenging those people as they do to anyone else who holds bigoted and hateful views.

Imagine if, we’d had British people who supported the ideal of Apartheid, sympathised about it being implemented in South Africa, but aso said that they ware opposed to violence, accepted the laws of this country, accepted that it was multicultural and only dreamed of a racially segregated Britain as an ‘ideal’. Would you have gone easy on them Mr Hundal, UAF, HnH et al?

What if they’d said that t was part of their sincerely held religion or belief system. Would that have made a difference?

Of course not.

Mr Hunal, our media, politicians and especially the anti-fascist organisations should take inspiration from the early campaigners against racism, anti-Semitism and homophobia. They didn’t balk at having difficult conversations out of a desire to avoid giving offence to white men with ‘old-fashioned values’.

Taking the politically convenient option of pretending that this isn’t an issue is not only void of integrity, but it actually allows evil to continue, unchecked, harming the majority of decent Muslims who are becoming more and more bullied and affected by it, whilst also suffering the increasing and unfair backlash against them from non-Muslims who do not comprehend the complexity of what is happening.

43. Richard Carey

@ Mehri,

wise words

It is a depressing truth when amidst the sea of blinkered conformity, rational expression is left to a few journalists who have somehow bucked the trend of their profession and maintained integrity and critical faculty joined by the odd lone blogger to say what very few wish to hear.

We live in a violent society. Capitalism is a violent system of exploitation. Drummer Lee Rigby was in fact machine-gunner Lee Rigby whose job was to fire bullets expressly and carefully developed, re-designed and improved to rip human tissue to shreds and leave a human body in a bloody pulp on the ground. Violent; abhorrent; normal.

A society that can, collectively and quietly, forget the stomach-wrenching horror of two psychopaths in an Apache helicopter machine-gunning an un-armed man and two children hiding in a van below them whilst passing jovial comments to each other and refusing requests from their own colleagues to cease and allow an ambulance to approach is a society sleep-walking into delusion. This happened in Baghdad on July the 12th, 2007. To find the details you will need to navigate the many other similar reported instances that your search will return.

The response of the British media has been predictably un-concerned with understanding and brimming over with moralistic cheerleading; they are the guides who provide an ever-narrowing path along which to sleep-walk. For the most part their contribution is to tell people how they are feeling and how everyone else is feeling; how we are all feeling the same thing together because nothing else is permitted. They choose the event, they dictate the reaction. A bomb killing three in Boston is really bad violence, be disgusted. An avoidable industrial accident by a greedy capitalist killing 15 workers in West, Texas and threatening a primary school; not such bad violence, no need to be indignant and horrified and outraged. And all the while observing the golden rule of the sleep-walk: don’t remember what happened last month or last year. Don’t try to understand or to make sense of it all or, heaven forbid, try to work out how it can be stopped. No, just wake up, listen to today’s shock event and listen to how you must feel about it and by inference which shock events you may, with herd-endorsed moral impunity, pretend don’t matter. And while we, as a nation, comply, the instigators of the violence go about their foul business unhindered. The war-criminals Tony Blair and George W Bush are allowed to remain amongst us while the far right call for the killers amongst us to be routed out. Killers being men with beards and dark skin.

The response of the British left has been little better. The SWP’s official statement is dull. Uninspiring and timid in it’s ambition it makes the same equation as the mainstream media; the death of a single British soldier may be regarded as deserving of equal space – first – as a quick nod toward the holocaust of British and American violence visited on the civilian population of Iraq resulting in the death of at least one hundred thousand men, women and children in addition to any soldiers killed.

The Anti-War Coalition has a better grasp of the context but makes the same equation in it’s joint statement with CND.

If it makes any sense at all to declare with whom your thoughts are, mine this week are with the emerging trade union consciousness of the Dhaka garment workers. The violence they and their families have endured belittles the event in Woolwich. For them no national outpouring of grief, no state sympathy, no police-protected Spenceresque shrine. The state holds their lives in such contempt that heavy machinery is brought in while injured workers are known to remain alive in the rubble. Garment workers now face destitution by walking out of factories which threaten to kill them whilst police guard their abusers. They can be proud to re-discover the slogan: Don’t mourn, organise.

It is the responsibility of the left to speak out for rationalism, equality and justice. To maintain a focus on a sane society, especially when the madness threatens to engulf us all. No matter how unpopular it makes us it is precisely now that we must insist that a man who prefers, for payment, taking a gun to someone else’s country than to remain with his partner and help bring up his child is not to be commended, either in life or in death.

This failure is the more inexcusable since we have faced this test so recently. Thirty-nine years ago the Provisional IRA bombed a pub in Woolwich killing soldiers and civilians. The event provoked the same indignant disbelief; a genuine inability to comprehend that our civilised, cultured, compassionate, fair and law-abiding society could suffer such an inhuman violation. It was the mostly unpopular lot of the left to point out that this bliss could not coincide with maintaining an army that could use an armoured personnel carrier to knock down a civilian in Derry and then reverse back over the unconscious body. It can neither coincide with the brutal, slow and savage murder of a Baghdad hotel receptionist by British soldiers. Have so many people really forgotten the difference between approval and explanation ?

The Capitalist world is in economic crisis in a way not seen since the 1930’s. If the left cannot deal in a distinct way with the kind of violent repercussion that now, as then, is likely to become more commonplace then the only alternative to the violence, a Socialist society predicated on the rights, health and dignity of all human beings rather than their subordination to Capitalist profit, is deferred. To hitch a ride on the coat-tails of liberals is to prolong, not shorten the age of violence.

45. DocMartyn

I would like you to answer a simple question Sunny; if two white men had driven over a Black man in Muslim attire and then hacked his still living body with meat cleavers, then desecrated his body by cutting off his head, then finally, gave an impromptu press conference claiming that their actions were to defend ‘their community’ against invading Muslims would you have written a similar piece?
The thing is I think not.
I think you would have claimed the attack was motivated by racial and religious hatred.
This foul murder was motivated by racial and religious hatred, but you to your shame will not acknowledge it.

I can offer an answer, DocMartyn. Your argument is undermined by the tendency of British people seeking to kill British Soldiers in the name of Islam to choose Muslim soldiers as their target. There is nothing to suggest a racial motivation to the selection of Lee Rigby. In the immediate sense he just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Ultimately he was killed because he was a soldier. It was political violence. That doesn’t make it nice or OK or agreeable.

The reverse argument can be made with more credibility. The reason that the industrial slaughter of men, women and children in Iraq by British and American forces exercises the average British citizen rather less may well be attributed to those who have been blown into little pieces not being white, or British, or in a place most of us know.

47. DocMartyn

Jerry, the far-Right can have no better recruiter than yourself. The manner in which you transpose victim and perpetrator, the way in which you sanctify murder of the innocent and then place the killer blade in our hands is a masterpiece of left-wing intellectual snobbery and shows moral vacuum of your sect.

I hope you find comfort in the idea that the ‘industrialized murder’ of Muslims by the elected British government was the root cause of this brutal murder, and that it is British society, its elected representatives who bare the blame and these two Muslims are just agents of justice.

However, the vast majority of people know a hate crime when they see one and note those who pervert the manifestations of religious and ethnic supremacy.

48. Mn on Clapham Omnibus

44. Jerry Pepin

At last! I was begining to despair.

But you forgot to mention as part of the Capitalist crisis the huge issue over primarily energy. It is notable that the US have ‘liberated’ the people of Iraq and Afganistan which host some of the largest oil reserves in world. Afganistan is also literally a gold mine.. er as well as a copper mine, Lithium and Iron mine not forgetting precious gems.

Furthermore, the US are never gonna move out of these countries which is why they have set up numerous bases to protect ‘their’ precious resources. Interestingly they will also control pipelines going into China.

The war on terror or the war on Islam is a convenient shroud to divert opinion away from whats really going on.

World war three will start in Afganistan.

49. Man on Clapham Omnibus

47. DocMartyn

‘However, the vast majority of people know a hate crime when they see one’

Interesting idea. So how do people ‘know’ a hate crime.

cos it just looks like one perhaps?

@DocMartyn

It won’t do to simply assert that because something is done by an elected government, via it’s agents, it is right. Hitler’s NSDAP were elected in 1933 and everything done subsequently, including genocide, was the rule of law.

I’m asserting the right of all human beings, wherever they come from, to be deserving of equal status as a starting point.

Yes, MOCO, I agree that resources are subject to competition and invite militarism. The heroin trade has flourished since the invasion of Afghanistan; we are less safe from drugs and less safe from bombs as a result of sending soldiers abroad.


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