Is this the acceptable face of Neo-Nazism in the UK?

Her latest effort, entitled: “It’s time for London’s unvaccinated to pay with their freedoms, not ours” maintains the Goebbelsian tradition, blending discredited statistics with inflammatory language designed to inspire the scapegoating of people who do not obey Johnson’s threatening pleas to Get Boosted.

The United States Holocaust Museum describes how this technique was applied by the Nazis with devastating effect: “One crucial factor in creating a cohesive group is to define who is excluded from membership. Nazi propagandists contributed to the regime’s policies by publicly identifying groups for exclusion, justifying their outsider status, and inciting hatred or cultivating indifference…”

So what drives a privileged and well-presented woman like Sheffield to write unfounded hate-fuelling sentences like: “A mix of wilful ignorance, obstinacy and selfish stupidity is causing real harm, adding to economic woes and risking death to others.”?

Is she including the highly qualified NHS doctors and nurses who are resisting Savid Javid’s ludicrous ‘jab or job’ threat as wilfully ignorant and selfishly stupid? These are the people, remember, who had to look after the casualties of the First Wave with virtually no protection. Not exactly selfish.

Sheffield can hardly contain her enthusiasm for the use of vaccine passports in New York, Ireland and Germany with special mentions for Italy’s law that everyone over 50 must be vaccinated and Macron’s promise “to frustrate the anti-vaxxers even further.”

She denigrates those who argue against the loss of ‘freedom’ and wants the government to do more. “If we continue to duck vaccine passports in offices, restaurants and other crowded non-essential public venues, we are letting the anti-vaxxers shift responsibility for their choices.”

Of course there is a shameful historical tradition of the British upper classes admiring totalitarian regimes and their ability to impose order on the ignorant masses. Nancy Mitford, for example, became obscenely obsessed with Hitler and took great delight in Jew baiting.

Royalty too. The abdicant Duke of Windsor was enamoured with fascism and, with Wallace Simpson, visited Hitler at the Berghof where the Duke was pleased to greet the Fuhrer with the Nazi salute and an enthusiastic ‘Heil Hitler’.

The political connections are never very far away in this strata of society which, despite decades of attempted equalisation and posturing about diversity, seems to have a permanent grip on the power levers. Could it be that Emily Sheffield is not simply an archetypal totalitarian but an appointed conduit of government messaging?

It’s notable that her article coincides with a series of increasingly angry and obviously co-ordinated statements made by Johnson and Javid in the UK, along with Biden, Macron, Trudeau and others in which they heap the blame for just about every covid restriction they have implemented upon the shoulders of the unvaccinated. Their direction of travel is clear and the destination is horrific.

In common with our current political masters, Hitler and Goebbels used fear to drive the German people to accept escalating authoritarianism. They didn’t have a convenient virus to help them do this. Instead they invented a racial stereotype, The Jew, who, the people were constantly told via newspapers, posters and at torchlit rallies, was hellbent on Germany’s destruction.

Today, the unvaccinated, who are always described as antivaxxers, despite many of them having been willingly inoculated with vaccines all their lives, are now fulfilling the role once occupied by The Jew. In fact, the ‘unvaccinated’ provide scapegoaters like Sheffield with an extra-potent supply of fear to lace through their articles — the fear of infection and death.

Maybe, though, we’re guilty of being as banal as Sheffield herself by suggesting her views are indicative of an inner Neo-Nazi or government messaging. Could the explanation be simply that she and the Evening Standard are desperate for reader engagement. We know the Standard has, like most of its mainstream peers, hit hard times — even before the pandemic.

We know too that controversy generates views and views are essential to attract advertisers. Did the editor instruct Sheffield to write a piece that would rile and stir? There are strong hints in the article that Sheffield’s heart was as disengaged as her intellect. Towards the end, for no apparent reason, she adds what looks like part of another article, suggesting that Kier Starmer’s ‘clever and stunning’ wife should be deployed by Labour to offset his lack of appeal.

But then again, how can an expensively educated journalist who plainly doesn’t need the money, bring herself to sit down at her laptop and write something so inherently dangerous? Sadly, there can only be two possibilities: cynical indifference to the toxic effects of the poison the Standard encourages her to generate, or a genuine belief in the values that Nazis used to create their special version of hell on earth.

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Unpicking the Propagandists

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