By Harry Phibbs
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Dr Rachel Frosh has been removed the Conservative Party candidates list and forced to resign as the Deputy Police and Crime Comissioner in Hertfordshire.
The reason was that she used her Twitter account to retweet message with this graphic:
It is certainly provocative. Many socialists will have found it uncomfortable reading. Some may not have known that the Nazis were National Socialists – and those who did know might not care to be reminded of it.
Furthermore the message introduced the graphic with the words: "Dear Socialists, embrace your inner Nazism." The implication of this bit of the Tweet was unfair. Social democrats are socialists. Nazis are socialists. But social democrats are not Nazis. It is quite apparent that Dr Frosh understands this. Had it been her tweet therefore she would doubtless have given it a different wording. The point is that it wasn't her tweet, she was retweeting.
As Dan Hannan says the central message remains important. It is not some purely historical point. We have National Socialists in this country today in the form of the British National Party. They, along with Hitler, are routinely labelled "far right" by the BBC. The implication being that they are offering a strong a pure form of Conservatism. By constantly maintaining this association "right wing" becomes a term of abuse.
Mr Hannan adds that in the 1930s:
The Nazis could hardly have been more open in their socialism, describing themselves with the same terminology as our own SWP: National Socialist German Workers' Party.
Almost everyone in those days accepted that fascism had emerged from the revolutionary Left. Its militants marched on May Day under red flags. Its leaders stood for collectivism, state control of industry, high tariffs, workers' councils. Around Europe, fascists were convinced that, as Hitler told an enthusiastic Mussolini in 1934, 'capitalism has run its course'.
One of the most stunning achievements of the modern Left is to have created a cultural climate where simply to recite these facts is jarring. History is reinterpreted, and it is taken as axiomatic that fascism must have been Right-wing, the logic seemingly being that Left-wing means compassionate and Right-wing means nasty and fascists were nasty. You expect this level of analysis from Twitter mobs; you shouldn't expect it from mainstream commentators.
I don't know who at CCHQ made the decision to remove (I hope merely suspended) Dr Frosh from the candidates list. There can sometimes be rough justice in these cases when there is the urgency of pressure from the media. However a terrible mistake has been made. Highlighting the socialist nature of Nazism is an important task for Conservatives. No Conservative should for a moment allow the description of Nazism, fascism of the BNP as "right wing" or "far right" to go unchallenged.
Dr Frosh is owed an apology from the Conservative Party. She should be reinstated onto the candidates list. Any constituency association that chooses her as a candidate will be making an excellent choice.