Just how long before it's Heil Putin?

Tuesday 27 May 2014

Of course he wasn’t saying Putin is planning a pogrom on Jews or planning to send massed tanks rolling across Europe all the way to the Channel. “Outraged” Russian diplomats who insisted on a face-to-face meeting at the Foreign Office on Thursday know that as well as anyone else. Their anger is largely synthetic.

We are told the mainspring of their resentment is the fact that millions of Russians died in order to defeat Hitler. True. But Stalin happily signed a non-aggression pact with Hitler when Britain stood alone, didn’t he? Cheers for that, Uncle Joe.

We lost a lot of our own people too but that doesn’t stop us calling officious car park attendants or town-hall officials “little Hitlers”. And if they were to bleat in response: “How dare you call me that, my grandad died defeating fascism,” we’d think they were not only pompous twits but also slightly round the twist.

No, the reason for all this bluster and faux outrage is the usual one in such cases: what has just been said happens to be the awkward truth.

Hitler dreamt of seizing his neighbours’ territory and so does Putin. The similarity of Germany’s land-grab of Czechoslovakia’s Sudetenland, mostly full of pro-Germans whose first language was that of their big neighbour, and Putin’s annexing of the overwhelmingly pro-Russian Crimea, is so hideously obvious that it hardly needs pointing out.

Read the rest of Richard and Judy's Daily Express column here.
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