Sadiq Khan wishes to tell us all that such horrible rightwingers as Donald Trump and Boris Johnson are forgetting the lessons of World War Two. The point here being that it’s Khan who seems oblivious to what did happen.
Sure there was a rise of German nationalism at that time. But that’s not actually the question we were asked then at all.
The lessons of the second world war risk being forgotten because of the rise of “extreme” rightwing leaders such as Donald Trump and Boris Johnson, the mayor of London has said. Before events to mark the start of the conflict 80 years ago, when Germany invaded Poland on 1 September 1939, Sadiq Khan has branded Trump as “the global poster boy for white nationalism”, whose example is being followed by too many leaders across Europe, including Johnson. Writing in the Observer, Khan says Johnson and the Brexit party leader Nigel Farage are promoting similar far-right thinking in this country, and showing contempt for the European Union, which was established to prevent another world war after up to 85 million people died between 1939 and 1945.
The European Union was founded in 1992 so events which ended in 1945 are unlikely to have been the cause. However, even that’s not the actual question we were being asked in 1939. This is:
Does Britain Want To Be Ruled By The German Defence Minister?
And as we noted the answer was no, not really:
In the 20th century Britain was asked, twice, whether it would like to be ruled by the German Defence Minister. We collectively – and with some vehemence – said no, thank you, we wouldn’t.
The grand European question for Britain today is the same one:
Ursula von der Leyen is the next President of the European Commission. Her previous job was as the Defence Minister – what used to be called War Minister – of Germany.
We the population have been asked on this and our answer was no, thank you, we wouldn’t.
Khan’s quite right that the lessons of World War Two are being forgotten. But it’s not by Leavers and nationalists, is it?