Tuesday, April 24, 2007

The politics of violence

Remember the riots that followed Gordon Brown's raid on private pension funds? Nor do I.

Remember the Poll Tax riots? Only one side of the political spectrum is violent, and it's the sanctimonious one. Only one side drops concrete blocks onto their opponents.

If a genuine conservative, or classical Liberal, won power in Britain, we'd have to go through this all over again. In France, it might just be beginning:

Mr Jaoussou’s views are shared widely among the 11,000 people who live on the bleak 1970s estate in Grigny, outside Paris, the home to 52 different nationalities.

Many say that the youths, who have come to see Mr Sarkozy as a figure of hate, would greet his election with a fresh round of firebomb attacks on cars, buses and the police.

Similar rumours have been circulating on other troubled suburban estates and senior police officers appear to be taking them seriously.

Privately they say they are preparing for clashes if Mr Sarkozy is elected on May 6.

“We have to be ready for these gangs to demonstrate like they do on New Year’s Eve,” one high ranking officer told Le Figaro, referring to the street battles that have become an annual ritual in the suburbs.
In the debate about Islam and the left (the "youths" mentioned above are of course Muslim), people tend to dwell on how the left has moved towards the religious extremists - abandoning gay rights, women's rights - but not so much on how disaffected Muslims have copied the violent tactics of the left.

But that's what they have done.

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