Douglas Murray Douglas Murray

The response to the Westminster attack has been predictably farcical

Since last week’s attack in Westminster, various readers have asked whether my list of ‘standard responses to terrorism’ has held true in the aftermath of this attack as in the aftermath of so many attacks before. And since it appears that good news must now immediately be seized from any tragedy – even within minutes of that tragedy occurring – in keeping with the times, I am happy to report that my list does indeed hold true.

I had already noted last week that we were swiftly into the realm of hashtaggery with ‘Pray for London’ trending. I must say that I’m never sure how many of the people urging people to do this actually pray themselves, or think prayer works, or what it might achieve. But at least this is an understandable phase in the unfolding of any modern attack. And one can hardly blame or scold people for saying something nice, even if it is hollow.

Next, we undoubtedly saw the diversion blame-game, where everybody’s rage is suddenly switched from the attacker onto whoever has said the wrong thing about, or extrapolated out the wrong thing from, the attacker. True to form the main recipients this time were Katie Hopkins (naturally), Nigel Farage (obvs) and Arron Banks. All pointed to immigration as being linked to the attack, which was a terrific gift to all those who were getting tired of the hashtags. A little later we discovered that Khalid Masood was not himself an immigrant, and so various people rejoiced in pointing out that Farage et al must be advocating that we build a wall around Kent. This drollery is always wonderful. It allows everyone to enjoy two minutes of hate followed by two minutes of forced hilarity. And it allows a lot of people to avoid dealing with any serious aspects of the case at hand.

As for the traditional good news stories, this time they trod upon each other’s heels, so fast they followed.

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