You have to pity poor old Pastor Niemoller, he of the “First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out because I was not a Socialist…and there was no one left to speak for me” fame. Niemoller originally supported the Nazis when they came to power, but then fell out with them when he came to his senses and spent eight years in concentration camps as a result. But his heartfelt lament has of late become a really tired old meme trotted out with depressing regularity by the hard Left to justify opposition any kind of change whatsoever. In his blog post, Nick Booth bemoans a socialist councillor using it to protest at some initiative involving library or parking tickets. There is a term for this kind of pathetic nonsense: Reductio ad Hitlerum.
Reductio ad Hitlerum was coined by German-American philosopher Leo Strauss in 1951. So, gentle reader, we celebrate the sixty-fifth anniversary of someone first noticing how socialists play the Hitler card when they know they are on to a loser. This week the increasingly unfunny Guardian cartoonist Steve Bell caricatured the Danish PM as a Nazi for having the temerity to suggest that refugees should pay for their upkeep in some form or other, as if paying for one’s upkeep if one has the means is somehow null and void when you are leaving a warzone. The Danish initiative is designed to defuse community tensions. The money for the upkeep of refugees has to come from somewhere. Germany will not allow the money to be printed for obvious reasons so someone else has to pay. If the refugees have the means, it is not unreasonable to contribute to living in a country which is protecting them. Other people have to pay taxes, after all, now even Google.
In this country we do not ask refugees to pay part of their way. They are provided free food and accommodation. What could possibly go wrong there? What could the Left latch on to to have a good old moan about? Quite a lot, it seems.
The Left are never really satisfied, even when there is a left-wing regime in power. Just look at the example of poor old left-winger Trotsky who stormed off to South America in a huff to have a good old sulk and met his demise at the end of an ice-pick wielded by a Stalinist.
But, back to the story. There was an outcry over the provision of free food to refugees. To prevent fraud, the refugees in Cardiff had red wristbands. The Left saw this pernicious as sticking a yellow Star of David on their backs. “[…]it would be a disservice to the millions who died if we didn’t recognise that the treatment of Muslim migrants is an echo of the past “, thundered the absurd Giles Fraser in The Guardian under a headline stating “history is not repeating itself, but it is rhyming.” Really? Did I miss the torchlight parades, the book burnings and the smashing of windows? These are wristbands, not barbed-wire fences.
So wait a minute, lefties. Calm down, if that is possible when you are a left-winger. The wristband is an anti-fraud device, binding the recipient of welfare in a way that a certificate or card cannot. Following the outcry, the wristband scheme has been stopped. So another opportunity for welfare fraud through impersonation and bogus documentation now appears, just to keep the Left happy. Good money will be wasted. Will the lefties, even the new, well-heeled, Labour members, be donating any money to feed the refugees? I have to wear a wristband when I visit my sports centre to show I am here for the swimming and none of the other facilities. People wear wristbands or ribbons to support numerous causes. What, exactly, was the downside here? Is it more hazardous to wear a red wristband on Britain’s streets than a burka? This is never made clear by the protesters. According to them, wearing a wristband poses a special danger to life and limb. The horror.
This was on top of the free (and I repeat free, dear reader, as opposed to being required to pay for) accommodation provided to another group of refugees in Middlesborough – that well-known haven of fascism, according to the Left – where the houses all had red front doors. When the news broke, it was claimed that the doors had been specifically painted when the refugees moved in. This was a big lie. The doors had been the same colour for two decades. And only slightly over half of them were actually red. Now they have to be repainted in a multitude of colours, and someone has had to pay for that. So instead of a red door showing a refugee’s dwelling, it will be the freshly-painted one. Then the Left might demand that the paint is weathered to look like it is not new, or perhaps insist that all the doors in the street are freshly-painted, that sounds far more socialist. I am sure that would only be logical for them.
The only explanation, when one is ever made, is that the wearer of the red wristband or the occupant of the red-doored house would be the target of passive or active aggression. By whom? Not the authorities, surely. So what kind of group or individuals would go out of their way to victimise the wearer of a red wristband? This is never made clear by the Left on the basis of verifiable fact.
Like millions of others, I wear a poppy to commemorate the sacrifice made to keep us free. But in Nazi Germany, there was a Winter Fund, where people wore a badge top show they had donated. Is poppy-wearing a gateway to Nazism? The Volkswagen Beetle was designed on the orders of Hitler. Does driving the new model indicate a support for gas chambers? The rockets used by the Soviets and USA to first launch objects into space were derived from designs made in Nazi Germany. The V-2 itself was made by concentration camp inmates. Are satellite communications a Nazi plot? This is the kind of mentality the Left is following in this country. And people are letting them.
In the Left’s fantasy world, however, there exists a secret neo-Nazi underground, just ready to pounce as soon as a group is identified as a target by the ‘fascist’ press. In reality it is actually the social bigots and delinquents who have habitually picked on people for their differences or anything else, be they disabled or from an identifiable social grouping or plain normal. So, nothing new there. And it is also highly likely they are the kind of people that Labour and the Left look for their core support or are the so-called non-voters that Corbyn’s highly-dated ‘new politics’ want to entice to the polling booth.
The Left in this country have a genuine belief that a sizeable proportion of the population are fascists waiting for the call. Take away that belief and the Left are ridiculous poseurs articulating a threat to social peace that simply does not exist. The openly-racist organisations in this country are tiny and diminishing and are hardly full of talented activists. The BNP is so incompetent that they even forgot to register as a political party. There is no secret racist organisation. Not that this has put off the Left from implying that there is.
What would have happened if the welfare organisation had refused to discontinue the use of wristbands? We will never know because they caved at the first opportunity. All it took was a bunch – yes, a bunch – of wailing lefties typing their outrage into the computing device of their choice. A protest in cyberspace, written on the hard disks of a few servers in a data centre somewhere, and that’s it. Never in human history has so much been done by so little.
I do wish there was some organisation, who, when accused of fascism by deluded fantasists and confused priests, would stick two fingers up at these borderline insane ranters and tell them to be on their way. What would happen next? A demonstration by the deserve-to-be-committed backed by threats of violence? In reality it is the Left in this country who are the new Nazis, denouncing whomsoever they choose and making demands that imply violence should their ideological tantrum yield no results. The sad part is that far too many people take the Left far too seriously. They are and always have been a bad joke, the punchline being the fall of the Berlin Wall. The Guardian is losing money and cutting costs.
This obsession with the monoglobular Bohemian Corporal has infested British politics for decades. Arthur Scargill issued his call to arms to the NUM in July 1983, one month after the Conservatives’ landslide victory where he accused the government of being undemocratic and Nazi-like. However, it was the NUM’s action that brought street violence to Britain with flying pickets and also attacks on working miners, some in their own homes and in view of their terrified families. The stormtroopers were trades unionists.
The acceptance of violence and intimidation approaches the top of the Labour party. At an election speech attended by the media, the BBC’s Norman Smith challenged Ed Miliband over negative campaigning and was subject to jeering by the party faithful. There was similar behaviour at a news conference featuring Tony Blair.
As I have written before, this lazy kind of behaviour by the Left in accusing their opponents of Hitlerism is in part due to the fact that the horrors of Stalinism continue to be concealed by the liberal media elite, who push out hundreds of hours of footage about the swastika nightmare, but have redacted the gulags and Great Terror from popular knowledge. If the public knew the true cost of socialism and communism to the human race, the Left in this country would not get such an easy ride.
And what do the Left actually know about Nazism? Have the protesters ever read Bullock, Toland, Kershaw, Burleigh or Evans? Unlikely. Or have they relied on the endless documentaries pumped out over the years by broadcasters? Possibly. Or did they just watch the DVD of Schindler’s List? Perhaps. Or did they just look at the pictures in the history lesson at school? It is highly likely all they know is Hitler, swastika, concentration camps, gas chambers and anti-Semitism. It is ironic that this same Left positively hates Israel, but then Orwell did identify doublethink as a feature of socialism. The same Left also execrate RAF Bomber Command, even though our bombs were pounding and burning Nazi cities to dust and cinders and winning the war. More doublethink. The mass rapes committed by Soviet soldiers on millions of German women are ignored.
It’s all Reductio ad Hitlerum. Virtue-signalling by denunciation. Intelligent people running organisations accused of Nazism by readers and writers of The Guardian should show some backbone. When a leftist throws out a swastika it means they actually have nothing else to say. They have given up on reasoned debate and are relying on animalistic reflex. They have failed and they should be called out. Hitler is dead. The cowering has to stop.
First they came for the welfare providers in Cardiff…