Monday, February 20, 2006

Sympathy for the Devil - Almost

I found the David Irving story depressing – he’s just been sentenced to three years for Holocaust denial in Austria. I read a book about him recently. He’s a ‘historian’, he’s been around for years. He’s sympathetic to Hitler and apparently anti-Semitic. Despite that he’s not unintelligent and faced with facts tends to backtrack and even change his mind – and then change it back again when addressing some bunch of right-wing loonies. He thoroughly researches - and then distorts the facts to serve an unpleasant right-wing agenda. I oppose everything he stands for. I should just hate him – and yet I see a man who appears trapped by his own prejudices and can’t resist the lure of fame even if it comes from being the darling of the brain-dead right - and at the price of denying his own intelligence.

So, he needs to be challenged by proper historians and by anyone who knows anything about history, by you and me and anyone who knows the status of truth among Nazis (i.e. it doesn’t matter to them). He should be despised and vilified. But is the right way to deal with someone who distorts the truth to send them to jail for something they said 20 years ago? Answers on a postcard...

On a slightly different note, when I was at college, Irving was invited to speak by the Union of Conservative Students (or whatever they were called). I think I joined the 'no platform for Fascists' people (I really loathe Nazis by the way) and he never got to speak (not because of me you understand but because of everyone). Interesting to note though that the lovely YCs raised funds by selling badges among other merchandise.

A good one was the ‘Hang Nelson Mandela’ badge. He was a ‘terrorist’ after all – careful not to glorify him or the British government will put you away for it. That same generation of Conservatives are the new smiley new Labour new liberal types in charge of the party – just thought I'd let you know! More depression.

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