Horror in Norway
The Kingdom of Norway is a small country in northern Europe, somewhat on the fringes of the continent. It has continually refused to submit to the EU monolith on its doorstep and has maintained a refreshing independence and level of prosperity that most of the rest of Europe can only envy. Norway benefits from significant oil and natural gas reserves in the North Sea and from not being a part of the EU’s Common Fisheries Policy. It is a member of NATO and has a population of just under 5m people.
Unlike nations such as the UK, Spain and Germany, Norway has no history of terrorism or dealing with its consequences. One can therefore only speculate at the shock of experiencing a major bomb going off in the centre of the capital Oslo and the massacre of so many young political activists on Utoya Island. It appears that the two attacks were meticulously planned and executed by a man with an extreme hatred of non-European immigrants and the politicians he considered responsible. Anders Behring Breivik used his skills to kill 76 people last Friday and in so doing sense shock waves across Norway and around the world. Unusually he did not commit suicide or get shot and the Police captured him unharmed. It appears that he now hopes to become something of a rallying figure for the small minority who endorse his extreme views.
Norway has abolished the death penalty and therefore Breivik faces a long stay in prison at tax-payers’ expense. David Cameron has ordered an investigation into alleged links with UK extremist groups and it is sensible that this is done as soon as possible. By and large the UK has a good record of integrating different waves of immigration and it is important that those in UK who may have ideas of emulating Breivik are kept under close surveillance.
Sadly there will always be a tiny minority of people with extremist or insane views. In the UK we have experienced Dunblane and Hungerford but it is vital that their ability to fulfil their crazed purposes are restricted. Now our thoughts and prayers must be with the families and friends of those that were killed, and with the injured. They are the innocents and they deserve every support that the Norwegian state can provide.