“Ah, Taki! For decades it has been traditional for a new Spectator editor to be inundated with calls to show his commitment to civility by hiring a new High Life columnist. But this time, not a soul has asked for him to be sacked. All I hear is how the old rogue has never been in better form. This won't please him much, as he prides himself on calls for his resignation. But it's not that Taki is conforming to the world. The world, I think, is finally conforming to him”. So said Spectator editor Fraser Nelson in 2009.
Fraser Nelson ...
Nelson had just been appointed editor of the Speccy; he was commenting on white supremacist, anti-Semite and user of industrial quantities of cocaine Taki Theodoracopulos, the magazine’s “High Life” columnist. Taki had his editor’s endorsement; whether he still has it tomorrow is entirely another matter.
That is because Taki’s latest column is entitled “In praise of the Wehrmacht”. Yes, that’s the same Wehrmacht that was the army of the Third Reich. The same one that marched up and down the parade ground at Nuremberg. The same one that killed tens of thousands of British and American troops, and hundreds of thousands of Russians, all in the loyal service of Adolf Hitler. Taki is saluting their “resistance”.
... and his boss ...
“The real story of D-Day”, he asserts, “is the heroism of the German soldiers who were vastly outnumbered but fought nobly and to the death”. The Allied troops’, having to deal with barbed wire emplacements, hails of machine gun fire, booby traps, and the risk of being driven back in to the sea clearly had it easy.
There was more. “I try to put myself in the place of the very young, or old, Wehrmacht soldiers inside the bunker as they face the 6,700 [?] or so ships that loom suddenly on the horizon. There is no time to think as heavy naval guns unleash projectiles weighing as much as two tonnes, and let up only as the landing boats are approaching. The odds are overwhelming; the defenders have been caught by surprise”. Do go on.
... have seen fit to publish this ...
“They have a couple of heavy machine guns and, most likely, a Panzerfaust - bazooka - and limited ammunition”. They’re occupying a sodding concrete pillbox. Unless the attackers get a lucky hit, anything they fire at it will just bounce off. Still, Taki manages to conclude “74 years on, my heart goes out to these defenders”.
Unlike his heart not going out to all the Brits who were overrun by the same Wehrmacht in 1940 and who didn’t have a reinforced concrete shield to keep the gunfire off them. The only thing missing from Taki’s paean of praise for the Third Reich is a wave of the right arm and a few shouts of “Sieg Heil”. He’s Dr Strangelove without the laughs.
... so that's triple Heils all round!
The Spectator is not some fringe far-right online only publication. It is, or at least it was a mainstream centre-right magazine. Because of late it has become a cesspit of alt-right hate speech defended by pleading freedom of expression.
Its editor Fraser Nelson is welcomed by the broadcast media as part of the Pundit Establishment. Its publisher Andrew Neil still hosts politics programmes for the BBC.
Yet the Speccy publishes Nazi sympathising drivel like this. And that’s not good enough.