Liverpool bombing

How Britain and France learned to live with terror

Emmanuel Macron told his people last summer they would have to learn to live with Covid. A year-and-a-half on, France is unrecognisable to the country it once was: Covid passports are in force and face masks remain mandatory in many places. The president of France is not alone among Western leaders in his uncompromising approach to the pandemic: Holland, Austria and Germany are re-imposing restrictions and Boris Johnson, who used the ‘learn to live with it’ line in July, has refused to rule out a Christmas lockdown. Yet while Europe’s presidents and prime ministers appear ready to go to any length to protect their people from this virus, their approach to another

Why aren’t we more horrified by the Liverpool bombing?

Back when the West was still pretending to fight the ‘war on terror’, Martin Amis made an observation about the enemy’s tactics: Suicide-mass murder is more than terrorism: it is horrorism. It is a maximum malevolence. The suicide-mass murderer asks his prospective victims to contemplate their fellow human being with a completely new order of execration. The horror was not long in going out of horrorism. Not that the acts themselves became any less horrific: self-detonation to take out a pop concert, nail-bomb seppuku against subway passengers. Rather, we stopped being horrified.  Of course, the initial spectacle continues to startle us, and we utter oaths while shaking our heads, but