After Woolwich: two footnotes and some links
While I'm here, a couple of other links. I recommend Les Back, a local writer:
London is both the stage for divisions and violence and also a meeting place where those differences are routinely bridged and made banal... The blood-stained headlines will not be easily forgotten but they will inevitably become yesterday’s news, and the rhythm of multicultural life in south-east London will find its balance again.Les mentions the wars in the Middle East, but in a very careful way:
what we are seeing is a manifestation of the social damage of war erupting in the very ordinary spaces of British life.Other commentators have made the connection rather less intelligently, and have rightly been taken to task for doing so. Alan Johnson says we need to talk about Islamism. Terry Glavin attacks the excuse-makers, fibbers and causation-seekers. Rob Marchant explores Ken Livingstone's stupidity on the issue. Jim Denham republishes Clive Bradley's 2007 destruction of the banal blowback theory. The morally literate Francis Sedgemore adds some essential footnotes.
Finally, one other thing that has angered me is the way that the mainstream media (BBC Newsnight, Channel 4 news) have trotted out utterly un-representative publicity-seeking Anjem Choudary as some kind of voice worth hearing in relation to the Woolwich killings. (Even worse, they pitted him against sauve Islamophobe Douglas Murray.) It seems Lee Rigby's killers (like Charles Manson in 1969) wanted to precipitate war through their spectacular bloody acts. Putting Choudary on TV at a time like this is doing their work for them. Anyway, I'm sick of it all, and am going to try and turn off the internet for the weekend.