Saturday, March 24, 2007
Stalinist in our midst
Am I the only one who's slightly uneasy with the langauge people have revelled in using with Gordon Brown this week. Brown's former permanent secretary described him as operating with "Stalinist ruthlessness". During the budget debate, opposition leader, David Cameron, was prepared to make jokes about Brown sending other possible Labour leadership candidates to the gulag. Cameron read PPE at Brasenose, and surely he studied Stalinist Russia, and might have heard about the 20million people reportedly killed by Stalin. Would anyone ever make jokes about sending people to World War II concentration camps? There was a real stink when the former Italian prime minister and lord of all things politically incorrect, Silvio Berlusconi, compared a German MEP to a Nazi concentration camp guard. For some reason educated people feel that Stalin's murderousness was somehow okay, and we can crack jokes and compare Gordon Brown to him without furrowing so much as a brow. Whatever the joke is, I don't get it.