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Saturday 5 September 2015

Don’t Menshn Harry’s Last Stand

One of the most inspiring left-of-centre Twitter presences is 92-year-old Harry Leslie Smith, survivor of inter-war poverty, World War 2, the postwar occupation of Germany, and now passionate activist against austerity and misguided military adventures. He characterises his campaign thus: “I want to use my time and whatever influence I have from the book to get the young in Britain to vote the only way we can: to save our social democratic institutions. I want us to make our last stand at the ballot box”.
(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.

Harry Leslie Smith is not an anti-Semite. Ms Mensch is so desperate and obsessed with trawling through Jeremy Corbyn’s supporters to find anything she can pass off as anti-Semitism that she has got this one plain flat wrong. All that we have here is an insensitive, sneering and overmonied posh bully trying clumsily to put one of the proletariat in his place. And it’s an exercise that has failed miserably. Shame on you, Louise Mensch.


Anonymous said...


That woman wouldn't know it if she tripped over it coming out of a Nuremberg rally.

Harry is a good man. But Mensch doesn't want to know that either. Not while she's busy spreading Murdoch's poison and lies.

Jonathan said...

Harry does have an alarming habit of re tweeting Putin propaganda as well as appearing on Kremlin TV

rob said...

She's just defending her mate Becky Sharp, aka Rebekah Brooks. Both social climbers with a penchant for bullying of one sort or another. Appears to be the main job requirement for getting on in Murdoch's world of mindless minions.

Arnold said...

Anti-Semitic? I understood that she wasn't Jewish. I see that someone has been playing games with her Wikipedia entry. "Rebekah Boudicca Mary Brooks"

Philip said...

In all fairness to a much-maligned journalist, I'm sure that if Goebbels had been editing a newspaper he would have known what his subordinates were up to.

Celia said...

If Rebekah Brooks were Jewish, calling her Goebbels would be something a person should apologise for. But I don't know that she is Jewish, except that her first name is spelt in the Hebrew way (well, as translated into Roman characters, anyway), which doesn't mean anything so much these days.

Anyway, HLS is cool and drove trucks in the war, which is more than Louise Mensch ever did.

Anonymous said...

In one respect I couldn't care less if she's Jewish, Protestant, Muslim, Catholic, Hindu, Mormon, Tory, New Labour, LibDem, UKIP, Democratic, Republican, Falangist, Fascist, Nazi or Forza Italia.

She's a lying gobshite who spreads poison. That does indeed put her in the same league as Goebbels and Streicher. If that makes her uncomfortable....tough.

All she has to do to avoid it is act like a decent human being. It's 2015, and hiding behind one of the worst mass murder crimes in human history to make a relatively puerile political point is cowardice of the first rank.