According to today’s Daily Mail I should be damned.
About me – the good
I am a father, a husband. A fan of a League One local football team. I spend my working life fighting for the rights of people against large corporations. I like to think that I am tolerant of other people and that I am a fundamentally kind person. I don’t believe that I have many enemies.
I spend too much time in the pub, talking politics and I am probably open to the accusation that I can condescend. There are a handful of people I fell out with over the referendum.
Silencing me and patriotism
A similar editorial to that of the Daily Mail also appears in today’s Daily Express. These newspapers, in effect, call for people like me to be silent, or silenced. By which means are they going to achieve that? By encouraging the breaking of my windows for being “unpatriotic”? By having laws passed to prevent my internet access? By inciting the smashing of my PC and laptop in a public spectacle?
“My country, right or wrong, is a thing that no patriot would think of saying except in a desperate case.”
A brief historical overview of those calling for silence
On the 9th November 1938 Jews throughout Germany were subjected to the terror of Kristallnacht. That night their windows were collectively smashed.
At the time the Daily Express was openly opposed to the arrival of Jewish refugees to the UK from Nazi Germany.
Five years or so before Kristallnacht the Daily Mail published an article in which its owner opined that the “minor misdeeds of individual Nazis” would be “submerged by the immense benefits (of National Socialism)”. In the same year the Daily Express printed a headline “Judea declares war on Germany” in response to an international attempt to punish the emerging Nazi regime by boycotting German imports.
In January 1934 a piece appeared in the Daily Mail in support of Mosley’s fascists, titled “Hurrah for the Blackshirts”. Viscount Rothermere praised their “sound, commonsense, Conservative doctrine”.
As the 1930’s progressed, The Daily Express continued to support the appeasement of Hitler by Chamberlain.
My Comment in response to The Daily Mail Comment today
The Spectator said of the Daily Mail in the years of the dark corridor that led to the Second World War that its “appeal” was to “people unaccustomed to thinking”. Times have not changed, it seems.
I will not take lessons on patriotism from the Daily Mail, neither the Daily Express. Nor will I be convinced or swayed by their stated utopian visions of the future following the implementation of the “B” word, whatever that may mean. Their respective track records at setting out visions for the future are less than impressive.
Theodore Roosevelt knew a thing or two about patriotism and, as he said:-
“…it is unpatriotic not to tell the truth”.
So, it is off to Newcastle on Saturday I go to March for Europe, thanks to the Daily Mail and the Daily Express.