There’s a bit of a hint in the name of the Nazi party, the National Socialists, that we can work on. True, what people call themselves isn’t necessarily what they are, vide use of Peoples’ and Democratic in country names – places which say they are aren’t either. But at one level, Hitler definitely said that he was a socialist, Mussolini came from that background at least, Moseley from the Labour Party and so on.
At another, perhaps deeper, level the various fascist parties were, and saw themselves as, in direct competition with those socialists and communists for the support of the working man. So Kamall has at least some righteousness on his side here:
The German leader of the socialist group in the European parliament has told of his personal anguish at a link made by the Conservative party’s most senior MEP between his party’s political philosophy and that of Adolf Hitler and the Nazis.
Udo Bullmann accused Briton Syed Kamall of tarnishing the memory of Social Democrats who fought national socialism, often at the cost of their lives.
“What Kamall said was outrageous, it is outrageous to the memory of the Social Democrats who fought the Nazis and died for it”, said Bullmann, who leads the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats to which Labour’s 20 MEPs belong.
That’s the response, the response to something which is actually true:
Conservative MEP Syed Kamall provoked a furious response from MEP’s during a debate in Strasbourg as he replied to the president of the Socialists grouping Udo Bullmann who had claimed “right-wing nationalism” was “trying to undermine the European Union”. Mr Kamall said: “Mr Bullmann, I would remind you when you talk about right-wing populists we have to remember that Nazi’s were national socialists. “It is a strain of socialism. Let’s not pretend… it is a left-wing ideology, they want the same things as you, let’s be quite clear.”
Sure, socialists hate being reminded of it but it’s still true.
We can even have fun with current day incarnations of fascism. Take out the race nonsense – and yes, obviously, it is nonsense, thank you – and there’s little in any BNP manifesto that wouldn’t look out of order in Labour’s 1945 one. Or pretty much anything written by Colin Hines in recent year. And yes, we’ve had that argument in the pages of a national newspaper already.
The Nazis were, in addition to being racist murderers, socialists, as they themselves said they were often enough.
But then truth and the European Parliament are rare enough bedfellows. Try this one:
During the same sitting, European Parliament president Antonio Tajani clashed with former UKIP leader Nigel Farage as he said the EU had ended the “ghastly and terrible systems” of Nazism and Soviet communism.
Mr Farage said Mr Tajani was trying to “rewrite history” and said his remarks were “deeply insulting” to the efforts of the United States.
Mr Tajani replied: “Seventy years of peace have existed in Europe since the two horrible dictatorships and that is due to the European Union, so perhaps you should be a bit more careful in your reading of history.”
Given that the European Union started in 1992 that’s obviously a lie. Something we can identify before we even get to any consideration of the role of Nato….