Embarrassing Pasts 741


It says a huge amount about the confidence of the royal family, that they feel able to respond to their Nazi home movie with nothing other than outrage that anybody should see it. They make no denial they were giving Nazi salutes, no statement that the royal family did not support the Nazis. Of course the young children had no idea of the implications. But the adults most certainly did. The missing figure is the cameraman, future King George, who was filming his wife and brother displaying the family sympathies.

The royal family were of course German themselves – completely so. Since George I every royal marriage in line of succession had been conducted in strict accordance with the Furstenprivatrecht, to a member of a German royal family. The Queen Mother, who was of course not expected to feature in promulgating the line of succession, was the first significant exception in 220 years. She was evidently trying hard to fit in. But I am not sure German-ness has much to do with it. Nazi sympathies were much more common in the aristocracy than generally admitted. Their vast wealth and massive land ownership contrasted with the horrific poverty and malnutrition of the 1930’s, led the aristocracy to fear a very real prospect of being stood against a wall and shot. Fascism appeared to offer social amelioration for the workers with continued privilege for the aristocrats. It is completely untrue that its racism, totalitarianism and violence was unknown in 1933-4. They knew what they were doing.

Happily fascism was defeated. The royal family is of course only the tip of the iceberg of whitewashed fascist support – without even starting on industrialists, newspaper proprietors, the Kennedys, etc. etc. But the Buckingham Palace option of outrage that anybody should ever remember is very sad – still more sad that such a position gets such popular support.

We never did get round to shooting the aristocrats.

I am an optimist in politics. My experience of life has taught me that altruism is a far stronger human urge than selfishness. Modern political fashion is based on the denigration of the urge to cooperation, and I do not believe will survive.

Which leads me to believe we are now living in an embarrassing past. Future generations will look back at the massive and exponentially expanding gap between rich and poor, at the super state security services and near total surveillance, at the violent wars waged in ill-disguised annexation of resources, and be amazed that people could support it. I also think that enormous shame will attach to all those who support the excruciatingly slow genocide of the Palestinians. That will be part of our embarrassing past.


741 thoughts on “Embarrassing Pasts

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  • Ba'al Zevul

    The main difference, Fedup, as if you weren’t well aware of it, is that the Shi’a reject the interpretations of God’s law (hadith) on which the Sunni base their theology. Extremists on each side deny that the other is Muslim at all: the majority describe themselves as Muslim without bothering to make the distinction. Left alone they coexist well enough, but the distinction is easily exploited by politicians, as we are all sick of seeing.

    If the Shi’a are Muslims, this (Sunni) hadith applies:

    A Muslim is the brother of a Muslim. He neither oppresses him nor humiliates him nor looks down upon him. The piety is here, (and while saying so) he pointed towards his chest thrice. It is a serious evil for a Muslim that he should look down upon his brother Muslim. All things of a Muslim are inviolable for his brother in faith; his blood, his wealth and his honor.

    http://www.themodernreligion.com/basic/charac/brother.html

    (Discussion of Sahih Muslim Book 31, 6219.)

    And if he is not, why not?

  • Anon1

    “How the hell do you get anywhere at all in UK politics without compromising with big money? The system simply doesn’t allow it.”

    Yes it does. You stand on a platform of anti-austerity and making big business pay its fair share of tax, you get elected and then you implement those policies. The SNP hasn’t been forced into crawling up to big business. It simply never had any opposition to doing so in the first place. Mhairi Black is there to fool the rank and file into believing the SNP will usher in some left-wing utopia. Meanwhile the SNP leadership knows the economic realities and is doing backroom deals to lower corporation taxes and other such big-business friendly policies that are the complete opposite of what Black and others are spouting in public to please the morons who vote for them.

    Granted, the SNP is aware of the economic realities, but I don’t at all believe those represent an inevitable compromise on their core beliefs.

  • Anon1

    Of course Giyane stated earlier in the thread that Muslims don’t kill Muslims, but now that he has decreed that all sorts of Muslims aren’t actually Muslim, one can kind of understand his reasoning. And the reason why there is so much violence in the Muslim world.

  • Mary

    I almost feel sorry for Kerry facing the onslaught of attacks on his Iran deal.

    ‘Administration briefs senators on Iran deal
    Ahead of vote on nuclear agreement, John Kerry, Ernest Moniz and Jack Lew face tough questions from Foreign Relations Committee
    July 23, 2015

    A trio of Obama administration officials were stalwart Thursday behind the Iranian nuclear deal despite deep concern on Capitol Hill that Iran will try to evade nuclear inspectors and use billions from sanctions relief to further destabilize the Middle East.

    Members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee were posing tough questions to Secretary of State John Kerry, Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz and Treasury Secretary Jack Lew about the deal that Congress is expected to vote on in September.

    The three were on Capitol Hill Wednesday for back-to-back classified briefings in the House and the Senate.

    A debate is under way between supporters and the opposition, which includes many Jewish groups that point to Iran’s pledge to destroy Israel.

    Vote counters are eyeing Democrats, especially those who represent large Jewish constituencies and likely will be lobbied hard to oppose the deal at home during the August recess.’

    http://www.timesofisrael.com/watch-administration-briefs-senators-on-iran-deal/

  • Anon1

    “Bollocks, Anon. You need cash to fund any national campaign:”

    Undoubtedly. But do you really believe that the SNP is courting big business just so it can get independence, and then it will tax them all out of the country and introduce the socialist paradise it had planned all along? I don’t think so!

    PS, I have made a prediction that within 10 years Mhairi Black will be in the 1%, just like Owen Jones is now. I can’t as yet find a bookie who will take this bet.

  • Tim

    Of course the Castros (allegedly) took money from the Casino owners and then reneged on the deal.

  • John Spencer-Davis

    Craig Murray
    19/07/2015

    “My experience of life has taught me that altruism is a far stronger human urge than selfishness. Modern political fashion is based on the denigration of the urge to cooperation, and I do not believe will survive.”

    My life experience has not taught me that altruism, being the concern for others at cost to oneself, is a far stronger human urge than selfishness. The “urge to cooperation”, working together for mutual benefit, is a very different motivation to altruism, and I fully agree with this statement. I would add that a major human concern appears to be for justice – “Half for you: half for me”.

    “Altruism” also appears to bring significant emotional benefit in the sense of personal gratification and self-esteem. These are not horrible motivations, but they are not altruistic.

    I would make exceptions in the case of close family ties and in the protection of the young. Possibly altruistic behaviour here is rooted in DNA survival.

    I think the important point here is the continual attack on the idea of cooperation for mutual benefit.

    Kind regards,

    John

  • ------------·´`·.¸¸.¸¸.··.¸¸Node

    Miss Castello,

    Boris is visiting Israel in November to audition for the job of British prime minister. All prospective candidates must attend in person and it is explained to them what pay-back is required should Israel give them the job.

  • Habbabkuk (la vita e' bella)

    Anon!

    “PS, I have made a prediction that within 10 years Mhairi Black will be in the 1%, just like Owen Jones is now. I can’t as yet find a bookie who will take this bet.”
    _________________

    That was an interesting observation about Owen Jones and one which I happen to share.

    It seems to me that many of the commenters on here are a kind of (poor man’s) Owen Jones – but without having succeeded in turning their scribbles into hard cash.

  • Habbabkuk (la vita e' bella)

    From Node

    “Boris is visiting Israel in November to audition for the job of British prime minister. All prospective candidates must attend in person and it is explained to them what pay-back is required should Israel give them the job.”
    ___________________

    I believe that the view represented above is pernicious and absurd.

    Perhaps Mr Node would like to flesh out his view a little? Perhaps he could, inter alia, explain with concrete examples what he means by “pay-back” and who the Israeli “job-giving” mechanism actually works in practice?

    (OK this time, Mods?)

  • Herbie

    “I have made a prediction that within 10 years Mhairi Black will be in the 1%, just like Owen Jones is now.”

    Cobblers.

    Owen Jones may well be a servant of the 1%, but he definitely ain’t a member. Anway. It’s much more like 0.0001%.

    That’s not to say that media peeps and pols etc aren’t elitist when it comes to the mass of the population.

    But, opening and closing the gates ain’t quite an elite job description.

  • Herbie

    Habby

    While you’re here.

    Do you think Israel and its US lobby organisations play an important role in forming US foreign policy?

    Thanks

  • Habbabkuk (la vita e' bella)

    “Habby

    While you’re here.

    Do you think Israel and its US lobby organisations play an important role in forming US foreign policy?”
    ______________________

    Israel and its lobby associations certainly do their best to influence US foreign policy in specific parts of the world, as do many other governments (and their lobbyists) who could be affected by US foreign policy.

    That should be no cause for surprise to a polished and knowing chap like yourself, should it? It is a natural part of the foreign policy of the states concerned, surely.

    Contrary to the Israel-haters on here, I would imagine that American foreign policy is intended, in the last analysis, to further the interests of the US itself as the US govt and administration perceive them.

  • Mary

    Israel Sees Nazism in Mirror it Mistakes for Window
    by David Swanson / July 26th, 2015

    Israel is trying to expel** the population of a village for the crime of not being Jewish, the same crime for which Israel bombs the people of Gaza for a month or so every few years and blockades them in between these bursts of violence.

    Meanwhile, Mike Huckabee declares that making peace with Iran amounts to marching Israelis “to the door of the oven.”

    Guess which of the two stories will get more coverage!

    /..
    http://dissidentvoice.org/2015/07/israel-sees-nazism-in-mirror-it-mistakes-for-window/

    ** http://972mag.com/hundreds-protest-forced-transfer-destruction-of-palestinian-village-of-susya/109250/

  • Giyane

    Ba’al

    “The main difference, Fedup, as if you weren’t well aware of it, is that the Shi’a reject the interpretations of God’s law (hadith) on which the Sunni base their theology.”

    If you think you can reject the main components of Islam, why not try running your ‘Hog’ on carrot juice.

  • Giyane

    Ba’al

    You said I share the same ideology as militant Salafis.

    Just because all camels have four legs doesn’t mean that all 4-legged creatures are camels.

  • Giyane

    Fedup

    Ba’al:
    “A Muslim is the brother of a Muslim. He neither oppresses him nor humiliates him nor looks down upon him. The piety is here, (and while saying so) he pointed towards his chest thrice. It is a serious evil for a Muslim that he should look down upon his brother Muslim. All things of a Muslim are inviolable for his brother in faith; his blood, his wealth and his honor.”

    So how come the elders work with MI5 to share intelligence gained from spying about English Muslims against whom they have racial prejudice?

    MI5 gets to divide and rule, and the elders get high on the cocaine of racial prejudice. They are racist. Nothing to do with theological accuracy, nothing to do with militancy. Simple ethnic prejudice.

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