Clown in buffoon’s clothing Boris Johnson has lowered the tone of the EU debate — if that was possible — by his asinine comment comparing the EU to Hitler.
I was going to refrain from commenting that his battle bus was now on tour and his campaign based on a lie: the bus has the figure of £350 million painted on its side, the alleged cost per week of what we pay the EU. The UK actually pays just under £250m a week. Johnson’s figure does not include the rebate, knocked off before we pay anything.
Johnson himself is so committed to Europe that he had apparently written two columns for the Daily Telegraph, one pro-Eu and one anti, but had to decide which option best suited him. He doesn’t care whether we stay or leave as long as he gets David Cameron’s job.
We can laugh at the Americans and Donald Trump but our politicians are no better, spewing out misleading facts to persuade the gullible to vote for them.
This week Johnson went beyond fibs, comparing the ambition of the EU to create a single European state with the aims of Adolf Hitler.
As Karen Pollock MBE, chief executive of the Holocaust Educational Trust, said when Ken Livingstone made his reference to Hitler: “Those who invoke the Holocaust to score political points should be loudly and roundly condemned. The deliberate misuse of the history of the Holocaust is anti-semitism pure and simple.”
I was going to ignore Johnson and his battle bus and even his comments on Hitler but then someone sent a link to one of those conspiracy theorist websites that tried to attack Liberals and their fancy ideas of freedom and liberty. It said: “The European Union is basically what the Nazis envisaged for the continent post World War Two,” pulling together some Nazi quotes about a European community and a pan-European federal economic superstate.
This is ignorant and offensive codswallop.
The EU has it flaws — and there is a valid argument to be made for leaving — but it does not plan to arrest 11m people, seize their homes, gas them, and incinerate their bodies after taking out their teeth and removing their hair.
It does not plan to murder people who are gay, Gypsies or black.
It does not plan to murder people with mental and physical disabilities as “unworthy of life”.
When Nazis talked about a united Europe, they did not mean what the EU means. They meant removing either entire populations — the Poles — or specific religious or ethnic groups, and murdering them, leaving the land free for Germans to take over.
They were talking about a Europe united after it had been racially purified, and millions of people had been taken from their homes and murdered. There would have been no borders because there were no countries.
We assume Johnson is intelligent — though a good education and money are different things to brains — and he has made his comments in a cynical fashion to win publicity to his cause.
As Trump has shown, all publicity on social media is good publicity, whether it’s him mocking a disabled man or one of his aides saying that it’s impossible for a man to rape his own wife. The more extreme the comment, the more of a social media storm it creates, the better for the candidate.
We wonder at the Americans falling for Trumps rhetoric but it’s clearly effective, as our own politicians are using the same tricks.
I can only hope that people who resort to using Hitler to score political points — whether it’s Ken Livingstone or Boris Johnson — are themselves consigning their own political careers to history. They have no place in a civilised debate.