Friday 14 January 2005

Drink it away, every tear is false

So, Prince Harry dresses up as a Nazi and makes news across the world.

Stupid, ignorant little prat (although as it was a natives and colonials party, he was bound to be wearing something offensive - I suppose we should be grateful he didn't black up as a fuzzy-wuzzy or something, shouldn't we? Was the Afrika Korps the safe option?). There's more than a little waft of hypocrisy in the hysterial coverage this is receiving though.... they had experts from all sorts of places passing comment on this on the radio this morning, ranging from experts from centres for Holocaust Studies through to the actor who played the comedy gestapo officer Herr Flick in 'Allo 'Allo. Lots of people have pointed out the double-standards that let us laugh at Nazis onstage in "The Producers" (a huge hit in the west end at the moment), and a song like "Springtime for Hitler":

Springtime for Hitler and Germany

Rhineland's a fine land once more!

Springtime for Hitler and Germany

Watch out, Europe

We're going on tour!

Springtime for Hitler and Germany...

Look, it's springtime

Winter for Poland and France

Springtime for Hitler and Germany!

If you wanted to, you could get all stoked up about that, couldn't you? It makes light of the invasions of Poland and France, doesn't it? Ah, Mel Brooks is Jewish so that's okay? Well isn't Harry partly german?

One listener to Five Live sent in a text to the programme asking them if he should be criticised for wearing a Nazi uniform to a performance of "The Sound of Music" (and to the great credit of the expert from the centre for Holocaust Studies, he laughed out loud when he heard that).


All this on the same day that we hear that Jean-Marie Le Pen is quoted as saying that the Nazis were “not especially inhumane”. Not covered in your newspaper? Probably wasn't room after they had dealt with Harry and Celebrity Big Brother - it's been a busy news day.

Both of these events come at a time when Europe is marking the 60th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz. There's
even some talk of Harry attending the commemorations as some form of penance.... just as he was made to go and visit a drug rehabilitation clinic after he had been caught smoking a little bit of cannabis.

Seems like something of an overreaction to me.

We should make Le Pen go instead. This is, after all, a man who is infamous for referring to the Gas Chambers of the Holocaust as "a detail of history".
This is a man who has contested the French presidency in 2002 and has in the past polled upwards of 17% of the popular vote in France.

Which one should we be more worried about do you think?

One final thought: if you are going to wear a Nazi uniform and bring a storm of inevitable negative publicity down upon yourself, why would you go with that half-arsed little number? Surely you'd go the whole hog and wear a black SS uniform, jack boots, the works?? In for a penny, in for a pound and all that. Everyone knows the Nazis had the best uniforms.

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