Thursday, January 13, 2005

Prince Harry Nazi Nonsesnse

Today The Sun's front page carries a snapshot of Prince Harry, third in line to the throne, dressed up as a Nazi at a fancy dress party. Yep, he's a silly bastard - especially considering his great uncle King Edward VIII's fascist leanings during the 1930s. Reuters has a small reproduction of the Sun's front page, as well as Harry's apology.

A lot of people are - understandably, to an extent - up in arms about the whole thing, but unless and until anything more sinister about the chap's political views surfaces (which in any case, being a royal, don't count), what's the problem? It was a fancy dress party, and apparently all in good fun.

What's the matter with someone dressing up in a singularly unimaginative costume? Khaki shirt, red armband, swastika - it's only one step up from donning a dinner jacket and saying "I came as James Bond".

The self-righteous idiots calling for his impending enrollment in the army to be cancelled seem to be missing the point - this whole stunt shows he's ideal for the armed forces: no imagination, an evident love of uniform, and possibly a nice tendency to follow orders. He's never exactly shown himself to be very bright - perfect officer material!

By the by, I'll just state for the record that I've always been a fan of the royal family. They seem to be fond of a laugh, but always get bollocked when caught having a bit of fun. The fact that the party was a private affair and not intended for public eyes - unlike the stage version of Mel brooks' The Producers which is running every night in the West End of London complete with Nazis singing "Springtime for Hitler" - simply adds to the inanity. It's hardly like he came out in public and did a David Bowie-style Nazi salute (.wmv file) now, is it? (Oh, and for the record, I've always been a Bowie fan and all).

But this is another aspect of the problem I've been blathering on about for the last few days - people who genuinely hold fascist views are increasingly being driven underground. Incidents like this will simply convince them to move further under the radar. That's when they become problematic, because not only is it harder to keep tabs on them, but people forget what true fascists are like. The more we take the piss out of them, as I hope Harry was aiming to do, the less of a danger they become. It's when we forget that true fascists still exist, which this sort of uproar can help us do, that the problems start.

Right, that's quite enough of my attempts to be a Leader writer for a mid-range newspaper. Actual, more important news-related stuff to follow later, I hope.

Update: Recollections of Auschwitz from survivors just to remind everyone what the Nazis were like and to underline that I know it's not really a laughing matter. Not very pleasant reading, but the sort of thing everyone should read to ensure it doesn't happen again.

13 Comments:

Blogger Catherine Vocalist said...

What's the big deal? He's just having a bit of fun? Tell that to the millions of jews that lost their lives at the hands of the Nazis. The whole thing was very thoughtless and insensitive on his part.

So what if he issued an apology. Not enough time has passed since the holocaust for most people to start seeing the humor in anything Nazi-related. Give it about oh, I don't know 200 years...

Very sad. Very sad indeed.

1/13/2005 11:33:00 am  
Blogger Nosemonkey said...

I know what you mean, and I'll spare you the "my best friend is black" style arguments about relatives who died and so on.

I know that not everyone will agree, but I reckon taking the piss out of the Nazis helps show them up for the ridiculous idiots they were. I don't think it lessens the suffering of those many who died and were tortured at their hands, it just lessens the impact of Nazi-style views which are, sadly, still adhered to by some to this day. Their views were ridiculous, and as such are deserving of ridicule.

Of course, were Harry to have been seriously wearing such an outfit, there would be a number of reasons for concern. But this was at a private party and, from the little evidence that is available, it seems he wasn't trying to make any kind of statement. He was stupid, obviously, and would have been better advised to have gone for something different - any event a royal attends is likely to attract photograhs which can make their way into the press - but then we knew that Harry's not exactly the brightest of the bunch anyway...

1/13/2005 12:06:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Holocaust ended in 1945 so will people please stop using any excuse to continually bring it up?

1/13/2005 02:51:00 pm  
Blogger Nosemonkey said...

The 60th anniversary of the discovery of Auschwitz hardly counts as "any excuse"...

Unless we shouldn't have commemorated the 60th anniversary of D-Day last year, and shouldn't commemorate the 60th anniversaries of VE day, Hiroshima, Nagasaki and VJ Day later this year as well? Probably ought to give the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Trafalgar a miss as well, I suppose? And the 400th anniversary of the Gunpowder Plot. Both coming up later this year.

1/13/2005 02:56:00 pm  
Blogger bebynnag said...

On the other had, Harry made an error granted. But he is 20 yrs old, he made a mistake. Unfortunately, if he makes a mistake or goes on bender. It ends up on the front of the newspaper and some bloody Royal Correspondence outside Buck palace commenting on the latest crisis in the windsor family.

This issue has hit home my biggest gripe in modern british culture. The British love anything nazi. Like Paxman said on the Newsnight tonight. If a publisher sticks a swastika on the front cover of a book, it sells. You go to a bookshop in any city and look for history books on Germany. Between 1932-1945, the cases are bulging on the sides. Anything after and before that, zilch.

The Nazism and War is treated like a blip in history, a clear cut case if you like. We've ignore how we came to this point. For example, the anti-semitism that was rife across the Europe for hundreds of years. The humilliation of Germany at Versailles etc.

1/13/2005 11:31:00 pm  
Blogger Nosemonkey said...

As someone was pointing out on the Today Programme this morning, he was wearing an Afrika Corps uniform (a rather poor attempt at one, but still) - Rommel and that lot were somewhat on the fringes of the Nazi regime, and the African campaigns generally considered to be rather more old fashioned in their approach. If he'd gone dressed as Mengele or something, outrage would have been well and truly deserved.

The thing that's got me is all this guff that's being spouted abot how the kids of today don't know anything about the Nazis. Bollocks! They're taught pretty much nothing but. What they aren't taught about is the Empire, how Britain came to dominate the globe, and so how we have also been responsible for some pretty nasty actions against people (although for the record I'll normally argue the Empire was more good than bad). That might give them a bit more of an ability to relate to it and understand it (not that the Holocaust IS understandable, but you get my point).

Britain was obviously responsible for nothing on the scale of the Holocaust by a long way, but the Amritsar massacre was a pretty rum deal in anyone's books, and the knowledge that it was Britain which invented the concentration camp in South Africa gives a rather different perspective on the Second World War.

The main trouble is that history is either taught in total isolation (for example, when I was taught the Tudors at school, no mention was made of the Wars of the Roses, and the Reformation took a back seat to Henry VIII's antics with his wives), or it is inadvisedly made "relevant" by getting the little brats to dress up as servants and "imagine how it must have been". With something like the Holocaust it is impossible for an adult to imagine the scale of it, let alone a child. And judging by Harry's academic record and recent antics, he is still more child than man.

1/14/2005 10:01:00 am  
Blogger Nosemonkey said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

1/14/2005 10:01:00 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What do you think those on the far-right take from this incident?

I bet they are all celebrating a secret sign from a traditionally fascist family that those views are still ok in some circles.

Harry was a fool for doing it. His friends and advisers are also idiots for not better advising him.

I would prefer people do not ever forget the things done in WW2. Whenever I see a Swastika I cringe at the thought of what was done.

I have no problem with Hazza...he is young...we've all been there...

But he needs to clarify his position on WW2 and his opinion, in detail, not just some nebulous blurb, of Nazism.

This is not for me. This is for all those who died fighting that evil.

What would his Grandmother have thought for heaven's sake?

1/14/2005 08:47:00 pm  
Anonymous Andrew said...

"Not enough time has passed since the holocaust for most people to start seeing the humor in anything Nazi-related. Give it about oh, I don't know 200 years..."

This is absurd. If it is possible to find humor in one terrible thing, it should be possible in any other. What would have happened if he had dressed up as a Red Army officer, or a Turkish soldier, or a centurion in the Third Punic War? Despite the fact that all of these participated in the execution or enslavement of innocent civilians, I suspect that the reaction would be far more muted. I believe that those who immediately cry out against any non-damning portrayal of the Nazis are simply regurgitating received ideas, not considering Nazism in any profound historical context.

4/17/2005 01:49:00 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

if thje traitousr on gibraltyer think dreessing up as a nazi is just a minor thingm, they can fuck off anmd leave the britishj empire, we subsidies you scumbags and you thuink you can support hitler, well why didn't you join frabnco's spain then he supported the nhjazis, get out of the british empire, you self rightseous scum,

9/17/2005 05:58:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

you nazi scum make me sick, you don't like the u, and you support hitler, well and so you support the enemies of britain, you just want our money and then support hitler, you are just royalist scum, who would have killed british peiople, with yopur suppoirt of teh kaioser, we hate you

9/17/2005 05:59:00 pm  
Blogger Nosemonkey said...

Anonymous, are you feeling quite OK? Your last two messages are as insane and irrelevant as they are poorly typed. And please note that it is now September - eight months after this post was current...

9/17/2005 07:36:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

After abdication, Edward’s sympathy for Hitler continued – enthusiastically stoked by his wife. In the spring of 1939, he broadcast from the eastern French city of Verdun calling for a peace deal. Pressure from the Royal Family ensured the broadcast was never heard in Britain.

The worst offence took place in February 1940. British spies intercepted a cable message sent from Hitler’s ambassador at The Hague, which bore out Churchill’s worst fears. “The Duke of W has said that the Allied War Council devoted an exhaustive discussion to the situation that would arise if Germany invaded Belgium,” it read. “Their best plan is to make the main resistance effort in the line behind the Belgian-French border.”
royalist nazi scum are insane and relevant enemiesof the world

12/14/2005 10:39:00 pm  

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