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April 23, 2008

Who knows what you've spoken to the darkness in the bitter watches of the night

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David Mellor's essay about England's shame deserves wider attention. Even before PRC police thugs pushed aside British citizens in the streets of London*, the "government" of the United Kingdom had warned our athletes against expressing badthought about the mandate of heaven.

It is a shame for free men to kowtow before a dictatorship; a shame made all the worse for our having made the same mistake before.

On May 14, 1938, in Berlin's Olympic Stadium, the English football team were blackguarded by the Foreign Office and the Football Association into giving the "Heil Hitler" Nazi salute before a friendly game with Germany. It was a piece of contemptible cringing rendered even more pathetic and futile because Hitler, who hated sport, didn't bother to turn up.

But that picture of impressionable footballers obeying orders from mutton-headed apparatchiks went round the world and became a lasting source of shame to this country. This was, after all, just weeks after Hitler had annexed Austria and came at a time when plans for the Final Solution were well advanced.

* A grotesque spectacle that cost a reported £750,000.

Posted by Ghost of a flea at April 23, 2008 06:47 AM