Story: There are currently many debates around the future of various monuments across the UK, the most contentious being the statue of Winston Churchill in Parliament Square.
Reasonable take: People really do be not knowing anything about British history. Brain worms: We should keep the statue of Winston Churchill up because he defeated "Hitler's extreme Left" – Norman Tebbit, for The Telegraph.
This week, in an op-ed for The Telegraph defending Churchill's statue in Parliament Square, Tory life-peer Norman Tebbit casually rebranded the Third Reich as the "extreme left", having once read that the official full name of the Nazi Party contained the term "socialist".
In the article, the former Thatcher loyalist started by talking about his “disgust and despair” over the treatment of statues of indisputable white-supremacists by Black Lives Matter protesters. In quintessentially dogmatic "old man yells at cloud" fashion, he rambled: “Churchill was the great wartime leader in the fight to save this country and liberate our friends on the continent from the curse of Hitler's extreme Left, anti-Semitic, German National Socialist Workers' Party regime. Unlike most of those on the streets last week, I grew up through the Second World War and at times carried in a cardboard box strung round my neck a mask, lest I should be unable to breathe during a gas attack.”
Once again, we find ourselves engaged in a political system where unelected shithouses get to ignore categorical facts with zero accountability. In this case, a Baron doesn’t like the idea that the butchers of 20th century European history sit on the same end of the political spectrum as them, so we have to live in a world where words are rendered absolutely meaningless instead. What's fucking next? The Night of the Long Knives being framed as a reshuffling of Hitler’s liberal cabinet?
Is there any wonder we have a populace so tanked up on British exceptionalism, delivering ahistorical soliloquies about how "Churchill was the man who killed Hitler", when the most honoured people in our country are chatting this level of shit? The fact that a politician can use a national newspaper to unashamedly, and disingenuously, conflate the left with the atrocities of the Holocaust is a sobering indication of where we're at politically in the UK. It also contributes to another banner week for The Telegraph, which saw Allison Pearson have the epiphany that black people are human beings after viewing I May Destroy You on BBC1.
If you were left with any doubt as to the sincerity of Tebbit's rhetoric, he goes on to write the bizarrely inappropriate sentence: "Millions died in those years to keep us free here. We were then able to liberate the Jews in concentration camps, awaiting their fate in gas ovens where they would be unable to breathe until they died."
It really does take a special kind of depraved maniac to revise the causing factors of one of the most horrifying events in human history because you can’t help but play a game of political conkers. Tebbit’s attempts to alleviate the right-wing accountability for explicitly persecuting and murdering minorities, trade union leaders and socialists during World War II – as if it falls in line with the beliefs of Jeremy Corbyn, or any another inoffensive nerd on the left of British politics – is genuinely despicable.
It wasn’t like 20 million literal communists died fighting Nazi Germany, either. I mean, we know the Soviet Union were the ones who actually defeated the Nazis in Berlin, but Brits should never let trivial facts upend our storybook fantasy of a half-cut Churchill unleashing haymakers on the tash of Adolf Hitler around the gaff in the Reichstag as Stalin hunkered down in the Kremlin.
This isn't even the first time Tebbit has gotten annoyed at what he perceives as the “mislabelling” of the right-wing. In 2018 he scolded the New Statesman for being “at its old game of claiming that both Hitler’s National Socialist German Workers Party and Mussolini’s Fascists were extreme Right wing parties".
For a man obsessed with the literal meaning of words, you'd think Tebbit would at least own a dictionary. Mussolini wasn’t even cosplaying as progressive behind leftist terminology, he straight-up called himself a fascist, and yet Tebbit’s topsy-turvy brain somehow manages to disagree with the cunt himself. I’m sure a series of "History according to Tebbit" books would prove immensely popular amongst British ethno-nationalists, who would love his jolly tales of how the Brits sailed across the seas, kindly liberating various countries of their burden of natural and human resources.