Brenton Tarrant
Brenton Tarrant appearing before the Christchurch District Court for murder. (Image: AAP/Mark Mitchell)

The Christchurch attack is, so far, doing everything that Brenton Tarrant has stated he wants it to. It has made a safe haven like New Zealand as violent as some of the countries that many of the affected immigrants fled. It has, as the online fascist right says "accelerated" the debate and conflict over large-scale open-ended multicultural immigration; and it has put a centre-right that has used nativism and xenophobia on notice -- they have half-slipped off the tiger they’ve been riding for a decade or more.

PM Scott Morrison issued a mealy-mouthed comment, then came out explicitly labelling the event as "right-wing terrorism". Presumably an adviser had read Tarrant's 75-page document and seen that Tarrant himself says he’s a terrorist and right-wing by some definitions. Senator Fraser Anning’s statement blaming Muslim immigrants for their own slaughter proved a welcome distraction for the right, as did the egg-slapping he received the next day.