It is said that, whenever anyone in the public eye reminds the world that the Daily Mail spoke favourably of Adolf Hitler in the 1930s, the legendarily foul mouthed Paul Dacre explodes with rage, one of those occasions being when Russell Brand tweaked his tail in the aftermath of Sachsgate, with the result that the paper went after Brand with even more righteous spite than usual.
No connection with Paul Dacre at all. So there
So it might be thought that the Mail would keep out of any debate over the pros and cons of the Third Reich, but that thought would be misplaced, because Guy Walters has clearly been ordered over the top to teach Brand another good stern Daily Mail lesson, following the altercation at this week’s GQ Awards when the comedian reminded the guests of sponsor Hugo Boss’ Nazi association.
Walters tries, in typically patronising Mail style, to tell readers that Brand didn’t really know what he was talking about, but ends up in Oh-What-A-Giveaway mode as he demonstrates that Hugo Boss was indeed a fully paid-up Nazi party member, that he had designed uniforms for them starting in 1927, and that his factory made use of forced labour during the war years.
Hugo Boss is painted as someone who did business with the Nazis just as he would any commercial client, but then Walters admits Boss joined the party two years before it came to power. Walters also admits that Boss was commissioned “to produce some brown shirts” for the National Socialist Party, which, put directly, means he did design Nazi uniforms.
Along the way, Walters also shows a detailed knowledge of the Nazis, and indeed of their uniforms, suggesting that, if you really want to know about the Third Reich, you need look no further than the Daily Mail – just like in the 1930s. Thus the pitfalls of trying to upbraid one of your paper’s hate figures. And the way in which Walters indulges in whataboutery is just laughable.
The Mail says that Russell Brand is wrong because – wait for it – “it has emerged that Brand himself is not averse to a spot of the designer's sharp tailoring - having apparently been snapped wearing a jacket by the German fashion firm in February”, which of course, silly people, means that Brand is wrong to have a go at Hugo Boss for that Nazi involvement. There’s Daily Mail logic for you.
And it was OK to join the Nazi party in 1931 because “Boss believed that Hitler was the only man who could lift Germany out of its economic doldrums ... Such a businesslike attitude was not exceptional”. Yes, it’s “businesslike” to be a Nazi. Anyone would think there are people in the Dacre bunker with twitchy right arms, the way all this Third Reich support is inadvertently seeping out.
But it’s good to see that the Daily Mail is as consistent now as it was in the 1930s.