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.