The flag is flying at half mast at the Norwegian consulate on Stor torv (the central plaza of Aarhus) and the entrance to the building is barricaded with a small mountain of flowers. Six days since the massacre at Utøya and the news of a Danish casualty is the current head line. Hanne Anette Balch Fjalestad was a 43 year old medic who was on the island with her daughter Anna. Her body was identified in a local hospital and her father was notified. He is quoted at DR; "She died for Norway, and she will be buried in Norway".
I think most Scandinavians are feeling the same these days. Sadness, mixed with anger, confusion, some despair perhaps, but also a little hope for the future. Mass shootings are not uncommon and terrorism seems to have become daily fare, with equal numbers slaughtered on a regular basis in some parts of the world... yet for all that, Norway is almost like a Utopia and one doesn't expect Norwegians to act like this. Everyone I have spoken to has expressed the opinion that the murderer must be insane, because no sane person could carry out such an atrocity, but I'm conflicted on this. Plenty of sane people have carried out mass killing because they believed in what they were doing. I don't know whether insanity in the scientific definition of the word played any part in the murders on Utøya and at Oslo, but plain old fashioned madness certainly did.
I can't really say I am all that surprised that a major terrorist attack finally took place in Scandinavia (there have been so many thwarted already), or even that it was a Norwegian who attacked other Norwegians, (though I was expecting bombings in Sweden against Muslims) ...not after the political climate of the last decade or so. Now the left is predictably accusing the right of having fostered a malignant atmosphere and demanding the right take a share in the responsibility for the attacks, and predictably the right is replying in a similar vein. The truth, which is seldom referred to by ideologues, is that extremism exists every where and in every ideology and the murderer could just have easily justified his actions by reference to any of them.
The best part about living in Scandinavia are the freedoms we have. Any ideology that threatens those freedoms is suspect to my way of thinking and I include all political ideologies as potentially suspicious. I don't care for political parties because they are inherently ideological and I find the idea of political youth organisations to be offensive to my sensibilities. I don't understand why people accept the idea that the political indoctrination of children, however benign it may appear, is of any benefit to a democratic society. It seems to me that political parties foster political elites, and these inbred groups become locked into intractable ideological battles with each other that serve only to cripple democratic choices for the greater population.
My greatest fear for the future and for my children is not multiculture or immigration, by themselves these things are a part of life, but the loss of democratic freedom which I see as the only logical conclusion to the European Union. The EU is ruled by a blinkered political elite whose members were raised, and indoctrinated by ideological youth movements and the EU, with its internal corruption, its lack of democratic accountability, its aggressive attitude towards the sovereignty of its member states and its complete disregard for any poll or referenda which runs counter to its political designs, is the biggest threat to the peace and stability of Scandinavia.
No one but the murderer is responsible for the terror of Utøya, but the political classes, with their reptilian need to adhere to their obsessive ideologies bear the responsibility for the climate of fear and antagonism which has become traditional on Planet Earth.
I expect more terrorism in the near future because none of these ideological groups is going to back down first.