They are capable of emotion, but only when it suits their predetermined agenda of things that matter.
Because I used to go to venues like Bataclan an awful lot myself, I’ve been dwelling a great deal on what the fans must have gone through that night. And the conclusion I’ve reached is how utterly random the whole business must have been: whether you survived or died was almost entirely dependent on being at the right or wrong bit at the right or wrong time.
Even the band Eagles Of Death Metal, it turns out, only escaped by the skin of their teeth. The bassist barricaded himself into a room; the singer and guitarist escaped into the street and went briefly back to look for a missing girlfriend only to meet a gunman lowering his assault rifle at them; the drummer crawled out using his drum kit for cover.
I find these details fascinating, perhaps due to morbid curiosity or an overactive imagination. But there’s one empathetic exercise of which I’m utterly incapable — and that’s putting myself in the shoes of those who don’t feel this stuff as viscerally as I do.
For example, the bien-pensant twenty-something French media professionals interviewed in a bar afterwards by Canadian journalist Ezra Levant. Here they were in Paris only one night after young men and women just like them had been shot, stabbed or blown up by people yelling ‘Allahu Akbar’; and all they wanted to do was to apologise on behalf the Muslim community. One asserted that the Quran wasn’t violent; another that only 0.005 per cent of the Muslim population supported terrorism. How many more deaths, you wondered, would it take to dent their complacency? Not 139, clearly. But would 1,390 be enough? 13,900?
We’re often told that progressive types are all heart whereas evil right-wing bastards like me are all about head. But I think it’s more complicated than that. Yes, liberal lefties are indeed capable of summoning raw emotion when considering certain issues: only, though, so long as those issues accord with their predetermined agenda of the things that really matter in the world.
Climate change, for example. According to luminaries such as US Secretary of State John Kerry, Nobel-prizewinning economist Paul Krugman, US presidential contender Bernie Sanders, and possibly even our own Prince of Wales, it represents a greater threat than terrorism. Well, fine. Perhaps it does. So let’s just look at the figures shall we?
In 2014, according to the Global Terrorism Index, 32,658 people were killed by terrorism — a rise of 80 per cent on the previous year. This upward trend seems unlikely to flatten any time soon.
Now let’s look at the number of deaths attributable to ‘climate change’ in the same year. Zero. As it was in the previous year. And in the year before that. The smartarse get-out is that it’s extreme weather events like hurricanes, floods, droughts and so on which kill people, not climate. But the non-casuistic explanation is just as valid: as even the IPCC’s last Assessment Report more or less conceded, the evidence that ‘climate change’ has led to an increase in extreme weather events is slim to nonexistent.
Read the rest at the Spectator.