Just after Irish has discussed how little it takes to jump from the violent language of the NZ Right to the violent actions of Anders Breivik (and an ‘expert‘ had said it can’t happen here), we learn of a rabidly anti-socialist businessman who planned a van-bomb attack on ACC.
Alan Thomas has been convicted of charges arising from plans to set off the fire alarm at an ACC office, then set of a nail-packed van bomb when the staff gathered outside. Amazingly, this plan, which had progressed to downloading bomb making manuals, has resulted in just 10 months home detention.
You can get a taste of Thomas’s anti-‘socialist’ views on the ACC Forums, which he apparently wrecked nearly single-handed with his rants – although you’ll find his comments tame compared to the fare found on rightwing blogs. He posted images of Helen Clark as a Soviet Marshal and made homophobic remarks – the kind of stuff you can see any day on Whaleoil.
Thomas also judged acceptable enough by the institutional Right that Bill Birch spoke at one of his get rich quick seminars (why do the rich always want to get rich, and quick, even if it means trying to rip off a ‘socialist’ institution they hate?). Likewise, the perpetrators of violent and divisive language on the Right are still embraced by its leadership here and, more notably, in the US.
The point is not that all rightwingers are on the edge of becoming murderers but that the violent language and hate-filled imagery they use makes the leap to real violence for some more easy, more likely, for some on the Right.
Time for a more responsible discourse from the Right.