Anders Breivik has won a victory over all of us, and his accomplice was Western penal practice.
He already has a three-part cell: one room for sleeping, another with gym equipment and yet another where he can access an offline computer. I too have access to a gym, paid-for, and even when using the computer unconnected I’m paying electricity bills and rent for the house I where I use it. Breivik is getting his services provided for him free of charge by Norwegian taxpayers, and from oil revenues which would otherwise have benefited Norwegians who are not mass-murderers.
I’m don’t ascribe to keeping people in medieval conditions, wishing merely to note that the cult of human rights seems to confer these rights almost exclusively upon those who take the selfsame rights from others. Breivik ensured that the others are no longer here to lobby for restorative justice.
But that’s not how he’s won.
His doctors call him narcissistic", but other people are self-centred, sometimes to a fault, without resorting to bomb and sniper-rifle. The pertinent part of his personality is that he’s controlling. Opposing a diagnosis of insanity, he made it impossible for such a diagnosis to be made without causing unrest. His insistence that he wanted to be executed guaranteed that any lawful sentence would seem comparatively lenient. His final insult to relatives of the fallen was to indicate that his 21-year sentence was peanuts, ensuring them many troubled nights wondering how he got off so lightly.
His final victory may be yet to come. He will mix with other prisoners and one can only hope he has a bad time from them. But one day a prisoner may ask him for advice on how to continue his mission, and then we all may wish somebody had killed him.