What makes yesterday’s barbarism so sickening is that it was not just bad, it was, quite literally, mad

by Kevin Meagher

Yesterday a man appeared in court charged with murdering four soldiers in the IRA’s Hyde Park bombing three decades ago.

Hours later, in the same city, another British soldier met his death at the hands of those pursuing a markedly different political cause.

The comparison with the Provisional IRA is instructive in making sense of what happened in Woolwich yesterday afternoon.

The cause, (if not its modus operandi), of Irish republicans is a rational one, rooted in the Enlightenment and with a realisable end goal, namely a united Ireland. It can be negotiated with and is capable of compromise. It can, and largely has, rechanneled its efforts along peaceful, democratic lines.

What we saw yesterday afternoon in Woolwich was the opposite of this in almost every regard.

It is still early days, but it appears two young men, adhering to a radicalised version of Islam, were prepared to murder a random stranger by running him down in a car before decapitating him in broad daylight. Rather than flee the scene, they hung around, keen for some form of martyrdom, or at least notoriety, courtesy of YouTube.

It is now customary to say the perpetrators of these attacks have been ‘radicalised’. This is the nebulous term always used to describe the process of indoctrination that drives young muslims to these fanatical extremes.

But radicalised by what? By way of explanation, we are told that the actions of Israel, or US drone strikes, or the presence of foreign troops in muslim lands helps explain what motivates young men – and women – to waste their lives in its cause.

But Islamic jihadi extremism is lunacy; a cartoonish creed that demands a worldwide Caliphate and death to the non-believer. It is neither a liberation movement nor does it have realisable goals. It is a fascistic ideology that feeds on conspiracy theories and bloated grievances.

Just assuming for a second that we indulged its madness and that ‘The West’ was interested in suing for peace and acceding to its demands, who does the foreign office negotiate with? What are the terms of our surrender? Will there be a transition period? Will we still be allowed to have Coronation Street under the Caliphate?

Levity, we can safely assume, will be banned.

What makes yesterday’s barbaric murder so terrifying and sickening is that it was not just bad, it was, quite literally, mad.

Kevin Meagher is associate editor of Labour Uncut

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10 Responses to “What makes yesterday’s barbarism so sickening is that it was not just bad, it was, quite literally, mad”

  1. Edward Davie says:

    Not helpful to equate this barbarism with mental health conditions. Quite enough stigma for the ‘mad’ without being associated with a horrific murder we know very little about.

  2. Kevin says:

    Edward – forgive me the alliteration.

  3. swatantra says:

    This horrific act raises terrorism to a new level.
    The Muslim Community should be asking themselves how Islam has created such monsters. and what they can do to change and reform. It may have been a rogue attack but the underlying menace of a wider extremist conspiracy is still there. Condemnation of these brutal acts is not enough.
    Its ironic that this brutal killing was committed in broad daylight on the streets of London on the very day that an IRA suspect was arrested for crimes committed 30 years ago. Terrorism has not gone away. Cowards attacking soft targets.
    What was incredible was that witnesses to the crime simply took this almost as an everyday incident, without blinking, some just walking by, some continuing to film the incident, even though you had the perpetrators with blood on their hands, talking to bystanders.
    These insane islamists have put all our communities at risk and something needs to be done now to counter their threat. But it has to come from the Muslim Community, they cannot sit back and leave it to the Authorities.

  4. bob says:

    swatantra: One of the few times I totally agree with your view of life.

    RiP at the moment anonymous soldier, condolences to your family.

  5. Ex-Labour says:

    The root cuases lie here in the UK. I apologise for bringing this back into the political area but it has to be said.

    We have had years of virtually uncontrolled immigration and we have let people into this country who should not have been let in. We have radical Islamic preachers who we can not deport because our judiciary interpret the human rights legislation in such a way as to make it a farce. Never ending appeals to the socialist judiciary at the ECHR always fail and the terrorist wins. Then we wonder why such things happen on our streets ?

    We now see that the perpetrators were of Nigerian decent (a violent country used to religious conflict and mass killings). My colleagues in London tell me the Woolwich area is noted for Somali gang violence (yet another violent country) where murder and knife crime is common place.

    We have 12,000 foreign criminals in our jails who we cannot deport due to the EHCR and over 200 foreign muderers and rapists walking around amongst us. They come to the UK because they know they can enter easily and the chance of being removed even if caught are virtually zero.

    We have truly opened a very deep and dark Pandora’s box. Can we tackle it – of course we can. Is there the polictical will – I dont think so, because any solution would have the liberal do-gooding bed wetters running to the EU.

  6. John Reid says:

    Swatantra, you are so right, as labour supporters we must not budge an inch from this ,if we find Labour members who don’t accept this, we must do all we can to expel them,

  7. BenM says:

    @Ex Labour

    Racist nonsense.

  8. Ex-labour says:


    LOL……I was waiting for some lefty to cry racist.

    You and your ilk are apologists for these people and of course you dont want to face truth and reality because in your socialist utopia we are all one big happy family.

    What I said is the truth and yes it’s probably uncomfortable to you, but racist it is not.

  9. Ex-labour says:


    Well blow me down Ben. Just reading on google news that one of the terrorist wanted to go and fight for Al-shabaab in where else but …..Somalia. Seems like I was right in my comments.

  10. John Reid says:

    Just because Nigeria has a history of violence, and immigration s out of control, it doesn’t mean that incident was linked, they were Christian middle class boys,one from the epitome of C1 Tory voter, Romford Essex, but yes Ex labour you were right to point out Ben m was a knob for calling you racist,

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