By Mark Steyn
June 3, 2017
Police responded to reports of a van hitting pedestrians on London Bridge on Saturday, June 3, 2017. (Credit: Getty Images / Carl Court)
At about 10pm British Summer Time on Saturday night, the London Bridge area was the scene of a series of vehicle attacks and stabbings. So my scheduled conversational topic with Judge Jeanine on Fox News was replaced by yet another discussion about terrorism. We'll link to any video that gets posted. I'll be back on Fox with Abby, Pete and Clayton tomorrow morning, Sunday, live at 8am Eastern/5am Pacific.
As I write, six members of the public are dead, and three attackers. I'm wary of weighing in as the situation is unfolding, but, though the details are always different, in the end the story is always the same. And, as I said only the other day, the reality of what is happening in Britain and Europe is that this problem was imported and that, until you stop importing it, you're going to have more of it.
No one likely to end up as Prime Minister or Home Secretary after this Thursday's election seems minded to say that, never mind act on it. Instead, we have the usual post-terrorist theatre: Congratulations for the speed of the emergency services, and sober anchormen announcing that Theresa May will be chairing a meeting of COBRA - as though a bunch of bureaucrats with a butch-sounding acronym has any clue about how to stop the corpse count from mounting. The cynical strategy of British and Continental leaders is to get their citizens used to this.
For that to work, it's not helpful for new attacks to follow so swiftly on the last attacks. After Manchester, Mrs May raised the official "Threat Level" from Mildly Perturbed to Somewhat Disturbed or whatever it was, and in order further to reassure the public put soldiers on London's streets. Soldiers aren't really much use at stopping homicidal car drivers or random stabbers. To do that, you'd have to ban motor vehicles and sharp knives, which, given the fecklessness and decadence of Europe's political class, I wouldn't entirely rule out. Absent that, it's unfortunate that the London carnage occurred before Katy Perry, Justin Bieber & Co had had a chance to hold their stupid, useless, poor-taste all-you-need-is-sentimentalist-delusional-crap pop concert for the victims of the Manchester carnage. Maybe they'll cancel it, or maybe they'll make it a twofer.
Meanwhile, even as the politicians trot out the rote response that these attacks "won't change us", everything changes: more armed police, more soldiers, more bollards, more security checks - and smaller lives, fewer liberties, less free speech. London Bridge still stands, but everything else is falling down, in Britain and Europe.
In Australia in recent days there has been some controversy over a Quadrant editor's response to the obnoxious remarks of someone on the ABC's Q&A panel that an American has more chance of being killed by a falling refrigerator than by terrorists. This happens not to be true. As far as I can tell, the only source of this bon mot is a US Consumer Product Safety Commission report that found that, between January 2000 and December 2011, toppling television sets, furniture, refrigerators and all other domestic appliances killed a total of 349 Americans - or 29 people per year.
For purposes of comparison, in Britain Islamic terrorists have just killed 28 people in 12 days. More to the point, your refrigerator is not trying to kill you, and not eternally seeking new ways to do so. You don't have to worry about your fridge getting hold of an automatic weapon, or a dirty nuke. The Islamic supremacists want to kill as many infidels by whatever means are to hand. Nor are statistics relevant: If you've lost your only child because she went to an Ariana Grande concert, that's 100 per cent of your kids who are dead. When it comes to deceased loved ones, the only statistical pool that counts is your family, not the nation or the planet.
This is a heartless sophistry from, in large part, the very same people who supported the policies that imported these pathologies to the west. It seems, at a certain level, incredible that you can have two major terrorist attacks in Britain's capital and second largest city in the days before a general election - and yet it will make no difference to Thursday night's result. For who among the major parties is offering any alternative to the disastrous, destructive conventional wisdom?
~If you're a Founding Member of The Mark Steyn Club, feel free to weigh in in our comments section. God knows, these guys could use some new ideas,