You’re going to lose. It is only you against many.

23 May 2013

If, in the aftermath of an act of would-be terror, the people refuse to be terrorised does it still remain a terrorist act? Perhaps but there’s a sense, I think, in which we should not grant yesterday’s guilty men the title “terrorist”. Murderers, surely, will suffice? There is no need to grant them the war they so plainly desire.

This murder in Woolwich was an uncommon act of barbarity; the product too of a kind of mental illness. That does not excuse the act, far from it, and there’s no need to be sparing in our condemnation. But, appalled as we may be, it seems important to recognise and remember just how unusual these acts remain.

There will, quite properly, be consideration of whether the security service could have done more. Nevertheless it is foolish to suppose that MI5 and the police can predict, counter or foil every would-be assassin. Occasionally the bomber – or in this instance the machete-wielder, gets through. Nevertheless, this was the first successful jihadist murder in London since 2005. The 1970s and 1980s were much more dangerous times.

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That is not meant as a way of minimising or downplaying yesterday’s horrors, merely as a reminder that they should be put in some kind of context and considered in some kind of perspective.

The Prime Minister’s remarks this morning were well-judged. So too Paul Goodman’s article at ConservativeHome. By contrast there is an unpleasant undercurrent of I told you so nonsense coming from sections of both right and left. Ken Livingston and George Galloway, surely to no-one’s surprise, have lived down to already low expectations. As a general rule, anyone whose reaction to this kind of event is to use it as a supporting pillar for their own longstanding prejudices should probably not be trusted.

Far from being in denial, most sensible people – that is, most people who have ever considered the issue – have known that something like this could happen and, indeed, probably would occur at some point. But it seems sensible, surely, to contemplate these risks in a sober and restrained manner. Hysteria is counter-productive, not least since it grants lunatics what they want. There is no need to meet their declaration of “war” with one of our own.

That doesn’t mean ignoring them or the threat they pose. Of course not. But there is nothing to be gained from judging all muslims (or all muslim converts) by the actions of a deranged and unrepresentative minority. There is no such thing as collective guilt in circumstances such as these. It is utterly depressing, therefore, that, quite sensibly, comments have to be closed on posts such as this.

But, in general, the response to yesterday’s savagery has, I think, been impressively restrained. Ingrid Loyau-Kennett spoke for the country as a whole when she warned the killers: You’re going to lose. It is only you against many. As long as we remember that, we will prevail.


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Show comments
  • johnrwalsh
  • johnrwalsh

    Will you prevail when they become the many (in about 70 years) and you become the few

  • Dogsnob

    Very true, we should remember just how unusual such acts are. In fact, we should be grateful that only one young man was hacked to death by religious thugs on a street in our capital. We’ve gotten away very lightly indeed. We should really be having more of this sort of thing but how jolly lucky we are. And so it goes.

  • RobertC

    They were law abiding people. It just wasn’t English Law that they were abiding..

  • styants64

    the problem is Islam it cannot reform from its seventh century dark age beliefs unlike other religions that have a lot more tolerance to people outside of their faith.

  • Derick Tulloch

    Has nobody noticed that the UK has participated in the invasion and occupation of two muslim countries resulting in the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people? Action and reaction, hideously predictable. Which we are all going to have to live with for years. And no it doesn’t excuse the crazies in Woolwich

  • Augustus

    “The 1970s and 1980s were much more dangerous times.”

    I don’t remember a feeling of danger in London then, and I visited it quite a lot in those years, but that’s beside the point. How do you get people like this to integrate into the mainstream working culture? The murderer who stood and ranted with bloody hands was mentored in his Mosque by a leader there who actually bragged about his many monetary benefits from the taxpayer. He encouraged all the men in his Mosque to marry and have lots of children but not take any jobs.The British would take care of them all. It was their ‘due’ according to their religion that infidels pay them to be peaceful – or else. I’m afraid it’s not only the ‘horrors’ you’re ‘downplaying’, but much more besides.

  • James Brant

    I’ve written this blog on the woolwich attack and what it means for al Qaeda and radical Islam in today’s world. Please feel free to take a look and comment:

    • Daniel Maris

      James Brant seems to have an axe to grind: “Ultimately, the overwhelming majority of people in Britain understand this attack has nothing to do with Islam.”

  • pp22pp

    They have a high birthrate. How do you know you are many and they are few?

    Did I miss something, or did the religious divide lead to wars in Bosnia and the Lebanon?

    Talk about using this TERRORIST act as a prop for your existing prejudices! What a miserable excuse for an article.

  • quietintegrity

    You haven’t factored in that the indigenous British will not remain a majority for more than a couple of decades. Hence we should be very worried indeed about Islamists taking their violent agenda for domination to the streets.

  • nationalexistance

    Why is the Daily Telegraph refusing to allow readers’ comments on the Woolwich murder?

    • Austin Barry

      Because it knows exactly what they would say, and those comments would not conform to the ruling elites’ fatuous, supine, terrified appeasement of the savage enemy within.

      • pp22pp

        I think we should stop calling them elites. The word implies excellence and so does not apply to our current leadership. How about pack of traitorous scumbags? The Camermorons of this world happen to be in power right now. This is an aberration in need of correction.

        • Daniel Maris

          Yes, interesting point. How about Knee-Benders? – to distinguish them from us “knee-jerkers”. (Incidentally jerking of the knee is a wholly natural reaction to an unwelcome stimulus.)

  • Nele Schindler

    The product of mental illness? Really? Did you see the doctor’s report? Clearly they are NOT going to lose – they are roaming our streets killing with impunity. Clearly they are NOT them against many – the many have been subdued and beaten into silence.

    And we have NOT prevailed. The fabric of this country has already changed beyond recognition and repair. Now it’s about our lives, and, left alone by a political establishment that doesn’t give a sh*t whether some Muslim kills you in the street, you know what we have to do to ‘prevail’.

  • Abhay

    Those who live in a mature civilisation are not necessarily immune to external depredations and destructive ideologies. They have to take measures to recognise and fend off conflict.

    Civil wars are raging in several Mid-east / north African countries right now. In these conflicts, radical and political Islamism is a force with money, soldiers, weapons and ideology. The ideology is being exported to the West too.

    You only have to count the incidents, say, from the 1993 WTC bombing through 9/11 and after, the latest being Boston and Woolwich. You can see what is being faced here.

    Communist ideology had to be battled once – ideologically, culturally and where necessary militarily. That is how it is.

  • Austin Barry

    “…a deranged and unrepresentative minority. ”

    Alex, check out the actions of the deranged and unrepresentative minority in the Middle East, the Horn of Africa, Northern Nigeria, Mali and Southern Thailand for starters.

  • Naffo

    The media and journalists in general do not report the full savage crime rate committed by immigrants – not just blacks, but all immigrants. Do you think the people of England do not find out eventually?

  • Augustus

    “You’re going to lose. It is only you against many.”

    That may still be thought possible today while still considered ‘an uncommon act of barbarity’. But fast forward ten short years, when such cruel and random barbarity is more commonplace, and people will be saying: ‘It’s not their fault, if we just be nice to them they will be nice to us. It’s not their fault, it’s just their culture, they can’t be held accountable for their actions. It’s just the way they do things in their culture.’

    • mightymark

      My sense is that people are not buying that explanation so much any more. Even at the Guardian writers who push the line (the awful Greenwald et al) get a mouthful from many who post there. If I’m right, good!

      • Abhay

        I noticed that myself. In fact, many of the readers’ posts make more sense than the drivel-shovelling writers. I think the reason is that the so called writers are bringing up the same old, tired lines again and again. It begins to grate and jar after a while. Especially, when the incidents are so savage.

      • Augustus

        I don’t know about that, but what is certain is that Islam is the culture of death. Islam is a comprehensive totalitarian form of slavery. It is the opposite of freedom. Its very name, Islam, means submission or surrender. True to its name, Islam strives for nothing short of enslavement of the body of humanity itself, as well as the bondage of its mind. This non-negotiable surrender to Islam requires the individual, as well as society, to disenfranchise themselves of many of the fundamental and deeply cherished human rights which liberals have fought and died for.

  • Noa

    But England has plenty of room for further diverse ethnic cultural enrichment, Mr Massie.

    You’ve told us so many times, so the mantra “it’s only you against so many”, is going to look pretty thin as the demographics really kick in by 2050 and the native British population is out numbered by more recent arrivals and their descendants.

    “Muslim fighters have torn Somalia apart. And importing 200,000
    of them into the United Kingdom is beginning to have the same effect. There are
    an estimated 70,000 Somalis in Greater London. That makes London the 12th
    largest city in Somalia. Nearly 2 percent of Somalia now lives in the UK…

    The Somalis are not alone in this regard. Muslim immigration to the UK has brought the norms of Somalia, Afghanistan and Egypt to the streets of London. Individual acts of violence can be overlooked. But there is nothing individual about all these cases. This is a culture of violence…”

  • Bert3000

    Lovely that it took a French woman to speak for Britain

    • Noa

      No, very sad.

      • mightymark

        She was there at the time. End of. You are not I imagine, saying that no British person would have said that – so not “very sad” I think, and indicative perhaps of at least some cultural solidarity between European peoples that the UKIP’ers et al would perhaps prefer us to forget!

        • Noa

          misses the mark

        • James Strong

          I don’t think most UKIPers are anti-European, are they?
          They are anti-EU.
          That has no suggestion of denying cultural solidarity between European peoples.It is opposition to being governed by groups that do not share our interests, don’t give importance to our interests, and which groups we cannot remove from power over us without quitting the EU.

  • E Taylor

    Why do so many English speakers fail to understand their own language? Phrasing this event as both a sickening tragedy and an indefensible crime, while drawing attention to those financially supporting groups who abide by such actions. George denounces all such people, he does not endorse them; anyone interpreting otherwise is mentally lacking

    • Damon

      You can’t ‘abide by an action’. You can only abide by rules, regulations, precepts, etc.

      ‘Anyone interpreting otherwise is mentally lacking.’ The verb ‘to interpret’ requires an object, as indeed does the verb, ‘to lack’.

      Before criticising other folks’ mastery of the English language, I suggest you do a little brushing up yourself.

  • terence patrick hewett

    The comparison between the liberal political establishment running around like Corporal Jones screaming “don’t panic, don’t panic” and the bravery of Ingrid Loyau-Kennett is toe-curlingly embarassing. Or we get Alex doing the tired sophisticate. This enervated decadence can be swept away at the ballot box.

  • dug1

    ‘It is sensible to contemplate these risks in a sober and restrained manner’

    The majority of the population of the United Kingdom did not ever want mass uncontrolled immigration from the third world of which this is one of the many depressing consequences. At no time have the population been hysterical about the multi -cultural society experimant foisted onto them by the arrogant liberal elite – perhaps they should have in which case I have no doubt this country would be a better place

  • Eddie

    it’ll be interesting to see what percentage of British Muslims think these 2 converts did ‘a good thing’ in committing murder. In 2005, 15% of British Muslims think the murderers did ‘a good thing’, according to polls.

    It’ll also be interesting if these murderers went to local colleges where, I know from experience, a blind eye is always turned to Islamic extremism in the name of multiculturalism. I think it is time this tolerance of the intolerable – our educational and religious and ‘community’ institutions and organisations need much more monitoring.
    Is it terrorism? Well they did it in the name of Islam, it seems, the killers cries of Allah-u-Akbar and the little pity party speech at the end; they don’t represent all Muslims of course, but please let’s not pretend they do not represent some!
    I also wonder if Ken Al-Livingston and George ‘have a samosa’ Gallifrei would be as sympathetic to the killers’ cause if they’d been Jews murdering a Muslim in revenge at rocket attacks on Israel…

    • terence patrick hewett

      Nine years ago I did my second science degree at a Russell Group university. One night the university Islamic society filled the campus with posters of such revolting anti-Semitic content they would have been at home in the Munich of the 1930’s and I spent the next morning stripping them off the walls of the campus. The situation seems to have got worse.

      • Naffo


        In universities there are no christian churches. No Hindu temples nor Sikh, nor Jain, nor Buddhist shrines. No synagogues.

        There are mosques though.


        • crosscop

          Bayern Munich have built a mosque in their football stadium. I fully expect British football clubs ( led by those owned by Arabs) to do the same.

      • Eddie

        Absolutely agree.
        Read the 2010 campus novel ‘Crump’ which is set in Greenwich (next to Woolwich where this attack happened); its predictions seem to be coming true (it depicts an Islamic riot – chapter 8 – and a Christian-to-Muslim Islamist convert, a student at the local uni, where Islamist hatred is tolerated, who becomes a killer…)

      • In2minds

        And can we assume the Russell Group university did nothing about this incident? That’s usual reaction in my experience. Hence the silly
        title to this post –

        “You’re going to lose. It is only you against many”.

        Is so insulting as the Islamic pressure groups win every time.

        • Eddie

          They probably would have had a diversity workshop with samosas and African drumming, in which all races and religions professed their tolerance for each other.
          Yeah right…
          The young men who killed this soldier thought they more or less had permission to think as they did, because of the pandering of their university (Greenwich, a rubbish former poly) to anyone with a dark skin and a religion.
          This must change – and we have to realise that universities who do this have blood on their hands.
          For shame.

          • David Davis

            When I am Principal Secretary of State for War (and all wars, like charity, will properly begin at home) all these “universities” will be summarily shut-down. It’s not the concern of the War Secretariat “where everybody will go?” They’ll just “have to go”. The Secretariat will not give a stuff where.

      • Simon Morgan

        Good for you. But I suspect you were more at risk from the university administration than from Muslims, had you been caught in this very in correct behaviour. They would have had arrranged a public stoning at the very least (and issued fatwas against all living relatives).

  • sir_graphus

    From these and other cases of radicalised young men, it seems that radical Islam is very good at taking angry men with violent tendencies and rather than telling them they’re wrong, telling them it’s God’s will for them to be violent. It’s a dangerously seductive message to certain dangerous people.
    They won’t win, not because of numbers, but because they don’t have any aims to achieve. We can’t cave in, give them what they want, because they don’t want anything except to kill us.

    • Noa

      How do you know they were ‘radicalised’?

      They see themselves as mainstream mohammedan followers and soldiers of ‘allah’ and there are many more of them here thanks to the 6,500,000 plus immigrants, mainly from muslim countries, who have arrived here since 1997.

  • david.geddes1

    “As a general rule, anyone whose reaction to this kind of event is to use
    it as a supporting pillar for their own longstanding prejudices should
    probably not be trusted.”

    Yes it’s important not to have any debate about this. Better to label any unhelpful talk as ‘prejudice’ and turn off the comments section. I mean it’s not as if we’re actually a blog which is supposed to be a forum for people in a mature representative democracy to express …

    • zanzamander

      Well said! If they want to close off the comments than they themselves should stay nothing. Ok nobody is forcing us to read their blogs, I agree, but then to deny us the right to have our own say, is akin to Stalinist/Chinese propaganda. After all they have and can, as many a times they have used it, the delete button.

    • Noa

      Indeed, it’s another way of sticking one’s fingers in ones’ ears and going “I’m not listening, I’m not, I’m not, I’m not …”
      Never, ever, should one let any change in the facts affect one’s correct and
      unalterable view!

    • Simon Morgan

      I second that. And where does Mr. Massie get all this ‘ There is no such thing as collective guilt’ rubbish from? There is – it’s in the maddrassas, which churn out thousands of these psychos year in and year out. It’s in wahhabism itself. It’s up to Muslims to control the nutters and if they can’t or won’t, they must share the guilt.

  • steveveeeee

    “As a general rule, anyone whose reaction to this kind of event is to use
    it as a supporting pillar for their own longstanding prejudices should
    probably not be trusted.” Agreed, yet you only link to left-wing people who adhere to this. No link to Diuglas Murray’s piece on the Spectator website? I wonder why.

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