by Iain Donaldson on 5 October, 2016
When the front page of the Times newspaper refers to government proposals to divide workers not by their ability to perform the job in hand, but rather by their country of orign, race or nationality, then we live in dangerous times.
Martin Niemöller was a prominent Protestant pastor who emerged as an outspoken public foe of Adolf Hitler and spent the last seven years of Nazi rule in concentration camps. He once wrote of his own failure to speak out against the xenophobia and hatred progagated by the German Nazi Party:
First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.
Martin Niemöller (1892–1984)
The front page of the Times on Wednesday 5th October 2o16 will have chilling memories for those old enough to remember the 1930’s because this really is how it all started in the third Reich.
When on of the great British Newspapers headlines with the news of a government “plan to shame companies that turn down British staff” the time has come for all right thinking people to unite and bring down the Government of the day.
I know that some of my regular readers will be thinking to themselves that my reading of the current thinking in Westminster is taking things to far, but quite frankly it was the failure of Liberal minded people to challenge the poisonous hatred of the other in Germany in the 1930’s that led to World War two and the formation of the European Union.
I am not the only one thinking in this way, perhaps watching this clip will clear things up a little for you if you doubt what I say –
For those who said that predictions of the return of extremism were exaggerated, just look at the increase in hate crimes in recent months in this country.
For futher evidence of this trend take for example the front page of the Daily Mail last week which complained “Patients at risk from EU Doctors”, a headline that quite frankly even the Daily Mail was too ashamed to retain on their online edition.
Shakespeare, in his soliloquy for Rumour in Henry IV pt. 2, entreats us-
Open your ears, for which of you will stopThe vent of hearing when loud Rumor speaks?I, from the orient to the drooping west,Making the wind my post-horse, still unfoldThe acts commenced on this ball of earth.Upon my tongues continual slanders ride,The which in every language I pronounce,
It is by way of these scurilous rumourmongers that the flame of hatred is fed and it is for every right minded citizen to speak out against such comments and vile opinions.
Edmund Burke wrote that –
Whilst men are linked together, they easily and speedily communicate the alarm of any evil design. They are enabled to fathom it with common counsel, and to oppose it with united strength. Whereas, when they lie dispersed, without concert, order, or discipline, communication is uncertain, counsel difficult, and resistance impracticable. Where men are not acquainted with each other’s principles, nor experienced in each other’s talents, nor at all practised in their mutual habitudes and dispositions by joint efforts in business; no personal confidence, no friendship, no common interest, subsisting among them; it is evidently impossible that they can act a public part with uniformity, perseverance, or efficacy. In a connection, the most inconsiderable man, by adding to the weight of the whole, has his value, and his use; out of it, the greatest talents are wholly unserviceable to the public. No man, who is not inflamed by vain-glory into enthusiasm, can flatter himself that his single, unsupported, desultory, unsystematic endeavours, are of power to defeat the subtle designs and united cabals of ambitious citizens. When bad men combine, the good must associate; else they will fall, one by one, an unpitied sacrifice in a contemptible struggle.
What he said is as right today as it was 200 years ago for, as he also opined –
The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.