UKIP’s Party Conference in Margate on February 28th was gate-crashed by a group of dancers wearing Nazi Swastikas, and accompanied by a tank. They came from Mel Brooks’ Musical Show “The Producers”. The organisers had spotted an opportunity to generate some publicity while taking a pot-shot at UKIP.
Let’s pause and consider for a moment. Remember the furore when Prince Harry wore Nazi insignia to a fancy-dress party? The press (and especially the left-wing press) gave him a roasting. Or when Tory MP Aidan Burley did a similar thing in 2014? Imagine if you or I showed up in a Nazi uniform and said “But it’s just a bit of fun”. Or “We were only having a laugh”.
It’s totally unacceptable to use Nazi insignia in that way — unless, of course, you’re taking a pot-shot at UKIP, in which case the criticism in the Daily Mirror is lukewarm, to say the least.
I’m sure that the producers of The Producers would reject any suggestion that they have any Nazi sympathies. But they seem to have taken at least one move out of Herr Goebbels‘ play-book. He reportedly said “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it”. Certainly UKIP’s opponents seem to think that if they keep saying “Nazi=UKIP” often enough, the message will get through to the public.
Of course that doesn’t mean that Goebbels was right — or not always. Certainly our experience during the 2014 euro-campaign was that the more virulent and implausible the attacks on UKIP in the main-stream media became (especially in the Times), the more the Great British Public saw through it and rejected it. They saw the old guard ganging up against the new kid on the block, and with a typically British sense of fair play, they rejected the criticism. UKIP poll ratings went up.
In a sense the leftist propaganda line is not just wrong, but diametrically wrong. It’s a commonplace of political debate to observe that the extreme left and the extreme right, Nazi and Communist, end up in the same place — with repressive, authoritarian régimes that rule by terror and deny basic human rights. The dichotomy is no longer between left and right. It is between repressive/authoritarian on the one hand, and freedom/libertarian on the other. And on that scale, UKIP, a libertarian party, is diametrically opposed to the authoritarian fascists of the both the left and the right — and indeed to the theocratic fascists of the ISIS death cult.
All of these authoritarian ideologies wish to impose stringent controls on the citizen. UKIP, on the other hand, wants to leave grown-up decisions in the hands of grown-up people as far as is humanly possible. We may say “I don’t like what you do, but I defend to the end your right to do it”. It is simply a measure of the intellectual bankruptcy of our opponents that they fail to see the difference between liberty and bondage.