(c) Doc Hackenbush 2014
And that is why his recent book, and his Twitter presence, is called Harry’s Last Stand. He has also incurred the displeasure of many on the right, who have difficulty with his direct telling of uncomfortable truths. But few have tried to smear him with the crass idiocy displayed by (thankfully) former Tory MP Louise Mensch.
Smith passed adverse comment on the return of Rebekah Brooks to the Murdoch empire: “Rupert Murdoch's ginger Joseph Goebbels returns to further yellow News Corps copy with hate and bile”. Harsh, maybe. But anti-Semitic? Ms Mensch was certain: “#Antisemitism - it knows no age boundaries” she claimed. Wrongly.
There was more: “The best we can hope for here is that somebody else is operating his twitter account”. So a routine ageist smear thrown in, then. Perhaps she missed him telling “Can only hope holocaust survivors and all victims of #Hitler 's aggression sue this so call heir to Goebbels” after the Nazi propagandist’s estate sued over quotes from his diaries.
Perhaps she missed him re-Tweeting the Archbishop of Canterbury’s words: “The UK people have a long history of offering shelter & refuge – Huguenots, Jewish refugees, Ugandan Asians, Vietnamese boat people & more”. Perhaps she missed Smith’s plain and unvarnished humanity: “In 1945 in the chaos after WW2 Britain said #refugeeswelcome let's do it again in 2015”. Perhaps she missed a lot more.
For instance, Smith’s recollection that “My best friend was a Polish refugee who escaped the nazis to fight with free polish forces in France & Belgium during WW2”, and “Remember driving in 1945 across liberated Europe & seeing the endless columns of #refugees heading west away from war”.
Or perhaps she wanted to put one over on someone who called out her hero Young Dave: “Bad enough Cameron doesn't have a heart but appears he's also not a deep thinker just a hollow man … Cameron's response to #refugeecrisis illustrates how coming from wealth & only being in company of wealth conditions you to despise humanity”. That last Tweet will have hurt Cameron’s supporters. It will certainly have hurt Ms Mensch.