Norway's anguish

29th July 2011 at 01:00

The Norwegian Labour party's youth organisation has already decided to return to the island of Utoya for future summer camps, despite the massacre of at least 76 people at the hand of right-wing gunman Anders Behring Breivik last week.

Commentators have suggested that the attack on the summer camp, coupled with Breivik's planting of a bomb in the government quarters in Oslo, will mark the end of innocence in Norway's open, peaceful and egalitarian society.

But others have also remarked on the level of political engagement of Norway's teenagers compared to many other countries. A reported 700 young Norwegians and socialists from other countries attended the annual summer camp on the island of Utoya for discussion and political debate.

Neither the Scottish Labour Party nor the SNP's youth wings hold summer camps along similar lines, although Plaid Cymru's affiliated youth organisation holds one in Wales.

From the `unfathomable depths'

"I believe Shakespeare was not a whit more intelligible in his own day than he is now to an educated man, except for a few local allusions of no consequence. He is of no age - nor of any religion, or party or profession. The body and substance of his works came out of the unfathomable depths of his own oceanic mind: his observation and reading, which was considerable, supplied him with the drapery of his figures."

Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Table Talk (1834).

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