Incel ideology is terrorism. Say it.

On the evening of the 12th August we watched in horror as the events of the first mass shooting on British soil since 2012 unfolded in Keyham, Plymouth. The assailant, a 22 year old called Jake Davison, armed himself, shooting and killing 5 people, including his own mother and a child now reported to have been aged just 3, before shooting himself. First and foremost my heartfelt sympathies to the friends and families affected by this despicable act, I hope you are getting all the support you need at this traumatic time.

Davison was described by the BBC as a former employee of Babcock, that his social media was littered with American propaganda, that he loved guns. They have also repeatedly referred to him as a gunman or a shooter. Would they be calling him a gunman if he was a person of colour? Would they be calling him a gunman if he was Muslim? These are questions many are asking on social media, because so often if that were the case, you might expect him to be labelled a terrorist. The question a lot of people are asking is should this guy be called a terrorist and if so, why are our mainstream media, including the BBC, our publicly funded broadcaster not calling him such?

Look up the word terrorist in the dictionary and you’ll see that a terrorist is defined as someone committing violence and intimidation in pursuit of political aims. So what have we learnt about this guy’s politics? Not much if you rely on the BBC!

Well, he was a Trump supporter, he regarded Theresa May as a sell-out, so already we’re getting an impression of some pretty right-wing views here, if our Tory Party isn’t hardline enough for him. He was pro-gun, loved his guns; yet despite having known mental health issues he held a gun licence, massive questions need answering about that, especially in light of it having been taken from him in September of last year and Devon & Cornwall police returning it to him just last month. He was obsessed with the fact he didn’t have a girlfriend and that other men have wives and children to support them in their daily lives. He was embittered by this, he described himself as an incel, as an involuntary celibate, believing he was incapable of attracting women, was a so-called blackpiller in that he believed that this is genetic and the subculture and indoctrination of incel networks are characterised by deep misogyny and aggression towards the opposite sex. Since 2014 there have been at least 7 mass murders resulting in 56 deaths connected with this subculture. Members are typically white, male, straight, possess extremist views and radicalise their subscribers accordingly. Davison’s social media activity, his activity on YouTube, now thankfully deleted, bears out such beliefs in the angry tirades he filmed himself having. When you are being indoctrinated to think a certain way, when your mental health may be such that it renders you susceptible to certain suggestions, when you are having your behaviour altered by what you read, what you see and what you hear you are being radicalised, that is to say you are being trained to think and believe in certain things and in a certain way. How then is this not political? Politics pervades our everyday lives whether you notice this or not. I’m left wing, my videos are quite partisan I’m not afraid to admit as much because its what I believe in, I believe a socialist view is what is best for this country, I give a damn about other people and want to see everyone’s quality of life improve in a society that is far too unequal. If you think likewise, that’s probably what brought you here perhaps and what keeps you coming back maybe. The incel networks do just this too, however their beliefs are very right wing, a damn sight more extreme, far less reasonable and a heck of a lot more violent. It is for this reason that a machete attack on three people in Toronto, Canada last year resulting in one fatality was labelled a misogynist terrorist attack. The charges were 1st degree murder, terrorist activity and attempted murder, terrorist activity. The motive given was incel ideology. Terrorism based on misogynistic ideology – ideology is another word worth defining too, a system of ideas or ideals forming the basis of economic or political theory – politics again. This was a first in Canada, but its clear as day to see that that same ideology played a part in what happened in Plymouth. A different weapon, but the same misogynistic brainwashing, the same hard-right extremism is being evidenced.

So why, WHY is it so hard for our media to just come out and say it? It is the English language after all, these are our words and our definitions, so why are we shying away from this and as many people are rightfully asking across social media and I alluded to earlier, if this person was non-white, if this person was Muslim, for example, would we be using similar nervous language surrounding this terrorist in Plymouth?

I put a video out recently regarding the Batley & Spen by election and of course the subject of Jo Cox was prevalent once more and her killer also subscribed to hard right ideologies, he was involved with far right organisations both here in the UK and the US and when arrested he WAS held under the Terrorism Act 2000. Similar extremist ideologies, similar levels of indoctrination, in both cases there was history of mental health problems too, but why is one considered a terrorist, and Cox’s killer was labelled as such in several media outlets, but this guy Davison is only a gunman? Is it because he killed himself that his ideology no longer matters? Wording matters, terminology matters, how this crime gets recorded and reported and commented on from the media, to TV news, to MP’s matters because we can’t have one rule for some and not apply it to all. That definition of terrorism from earlier? The Terrorism Act 2000 repeats it almost word for word. So this does beg the question as to whether these men were particularly susceptible to these materials and therefore as a country we should be putting mental health at a far more prominent level of care, but also coming down harder on possession or access to extreme materials and ideologies and working with other countries to clamp down on this properly. It’s now been reported that his mother had been begging mental health services for help but was told they were short staffed and couldn’t. That’s on the Tories and their so-called health reforms that have been nothing of the sort and on a piss poor opposition health team doing anything but oppose. Mental health services have been woeful for too long, underfunded, underappreciated and those suffering from it, some of them will be susceptible to suggestion and far right dogma as has happened here and has happened before. It may come to a point as the investigation of this case plays out that it will be determined as an act of terrorism, for that is exactly what it was, but we shouldn’t have to wait for that, for our media to report these things factually and correctly, when we have already seen far too many similar cases before and especially when it gives an impression to some communities that they’d be treated differently if the perpetrator were one of them.

Cornish Damo provides this site and its content free of charge, but in order to continue doing so, to continue to rant and write and tell it like it is, impartially, independently and free of outside influence, your donations are essential. If you can afford to do so without hardship, please consider supporting my work via one of the options on the support us page.

Thank you for your solidarity and for supporting alternative media holding power and the mainstream media to account

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