Will Le Pen, head of the FN, be forced to echo the rivals she detests to show a united front against terrorism, as she did after the Charlie Hebdo killings in January? Or will she play the race and religion card?
Political observers suggested the answer would come only after the country had grieved for and buried its dead, but added that Friday night’s events were likely to play into the hands of the far right.
“The difference between this and Charlie Hebdo is that then it was journalists and police, symbols and institutions of the republic. These latest attacks were against ordinary people, all and everyone, men, women, children,” said Cheurfa, an analyst with Science Po’s research thinktank Cevipov.
“And they allow the FN and Marine Le Pen to say, ‘I told you so, we’ve been talking about this threat for years but nobody listened, so give us your vote.’”
But then some of the things they’ve been saying have also been true.
There really are some murderous thugs out there who want to kill everyone for religious and or political reasons. Denial of that simple fact isn’t going to get us anywhere. The question is what in buggery do we do about it?
At which point I can only repeat something I said at my UKIP hustings some years ago, something that got a round of applause and a few cheers. I’m far less worried about bearded nutters who try to kill us all than I am about their existence leading to our freedoms and liberties being stripped from us.
And I end up with a rather awful utilitarian calculation, one that’s rather insensitive while bodies are still cooling. But better 125 dead in Paris, or 50 on the Tube, or even 3,000 in two towers, than that 60 million, or 65 million, or 320 million, people have every shred of civil liberty stripped from them. There’s undoubtedly things that the police and or the security services can do to make such attacks less likely, to prevent some to most of them. But a society that gave them the powers to be able to stop every possible one wouldn’t be a society worth having.
Vile as it may be to actually say it out loud, some deaths in terrorist attacks are simply the price that will be paid for remaining a free society in any reasonable sense. I don’t wish it on anyone and I’m not volunteering myself. Not directly that is: although I’m obviously volunteering to accept a slightly greater risk of untimely death in return for the maintenance of those freedoms.
Just can’t see any other route through the logical problem…..