Aidan Burley finally makes the Reich move


By Marcus Dysch
February 6, 2014
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So Aidan Burley won't stand in the 2015 election - saving himself and his party from another 15 months of torrid headlines about his best mate's Nazi-themed stag-do.

Forgive me if I hold back from lavishing praise on the Conservative MP for his decision.

Burley should, of course, have stepped down with immediate effect more than two years ago after he hired an SS outfit for the booze-up in a French ski resort.

Better still, he should have been sacked on the spot.

At the very least he could have gone now, rather than continue to take the taxpayers' shilling until May next year and then enjoy the various financial pay-offs afforded to departing MPs.

"Spineless" barely scratches the surface.

It is hard to get your head around the full details of this shambolic episode.

Here we have a 35-year-old, Oxford educated, democratically elected, believing it to be a good idea as a best man to organise Nazi fancy dress. The mind boggles.

Had he fully disclosed his role at the time, Burley may - just may - have saved his job. But, in the time-honoured tradition of politicians, he was economical with the truth.

Writing a letter of apology to the JC may have seemed a smart move, but it raised more questions than it provided answers and quite probably contributed to his downfall.

Parliament will clearly be a better place without Burley and his petri-dish approach to party-planning. But what of his party?

This newspaper has, remarkably perhaps, been knocked by Liberal Democrat supporters for the fervour with which it has pursued the party hierarchy over MP David Ward's repeated, offensive remarks about Jews and Israel.

I was chastised by party peers for hounding Nick Clegg. They felt the Lib Dems were getting the rough end of the stick and different treatment to Labour and the Tories.

Were they right? I don't believe so, but it is interesting that Conservative officials have largely avoided opprobrium over Burley's antics.

Should I have challenged David Cameron - maybe at last week's Number Ten reception launching his Holocaust Commission - over his failure to give Burley the boot? Maybe.

It does seem a bit of a rum do that the Tories' internal inquiry - led by a Jewish peer, noch - simply swallowed the Cannock Chase MP's version of events.

The Mail on Sunday's evidence made it fairly clear exactly what Burley had been involved in at the stag-do. Shouldn't a modern party of government be able to weed out this sort of cretinous activity at the very earliest stage, let alone after two years of inquiry, rumour and counter-claim?

And before Labour supporters chip in, let's not forget that their own Shadow Chancellor was himself pictured in full Nazi regalia.

The public may well think politics is a mucky business filled with charlatans, chancers and worse. That would not be wholly accurate - as indeed the aforementioned new cross-party cross-faith Shoah group hopefully proves.

But sometimes you do have to wonder how much lower some of our idiotic elected representatives can sink.

Faced with a grown-man purchasing a Nazi costume, standing alongside friends toasting the Third Reich, and then attempting to squirm his way out of the backlash, what else can you do but shake your head and be glad he will be consigned to the dustbin of history?

COMMENTS

happygoldfish

Mon, 02/10/2014 - 10:00

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Marcus Dysch: This newspaper has, remarkably perhaps, been knocked by Liberal Democrat supporters for the fervour with which it has pursued the party hierarchy over MP David Ward's repeated, offensive remarks about Jews and Israel.

… it is interesting that Conservative officials have largely avoided opprobrium over Burley's antics.
Should I have challenged David Cameron … over his failure to give Burley the boot? Maybe.

you, and the jc, have been absolutely correct in your pursuit of the lib dems over their reaction to david ward

liberal democrat mp david ward's lies, and offence towards jews, are very different from those of tory mp aidan burley

david ward lied about jews and israel (committing daily atrocities, ethnic cleansing, etc), aidan burley lied only about himself

lying about oneself is of course something an mp should not do, but it is not a matter of particular concern for this newspaper, and it is hardly comparable with lying about a race or a nation

david ward's offence towards jews is by making very public statements against jews, aidan burley's is by providing one ss uniform for the groom at a private stag party, and by not objecting to the racist statements of others … specifically, by not objecting when, as a result of the uniform, others in the group predictably chanted nazi slogans and nazi leaders' names, and gave a nazi salute … presumably intended in some way to be funny, but to jews (and to the french) certainly at best shocking and at worst highly offensive, and also hardly likely to remain private for long

(burley's party was fortuitously witnessed and filmed by mail on sunday journalist matt sandy and photographer john mclellan, see here and here)

david ward made his statements in as public a way as he could, likely and probably intended to stir up racial hatred and to gain votes for himself and his party by doing so, aidan burley appears (naively) to have had no intention of his action becoming public, and knew at the start that it would lose votes for himself and his party if it did

the lib dems' behaviour has been to take insufficient steps to condemn well-thought-out lies and racist statements likely to gain them votes and likely to be repeated, the tories' behaviour has (at worst) been to take insufficient steps to condemn one stupid action likely to cost them votes and very unlikely to be repeated


happygoldfish

Mon, 02/10/2014 - 17:45

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labour mp yasmin qureshi's "apology" for comparing israeli action with the holocaust appears to be a lie

she started with an interjection making it clear she thought israel was imposing the present conditions on gaza "for the sake of it" …

Mr James Clappison (Hertsmere) (Con):I do not believe, and will not be persuaded, that the state of Israel has any interest in imposing the present conditions on the people of Gaza for the sake of it.
Yasmin Qureshi (Bolton South East) (Lab): Come off it!

and later (in her own prepared speech) said (see here) …

What has struck me in all this is that the state of Israel was founded because of what happened to the millions and millions of Jews who suffered genocide. Their properties, homes and land—everything—were taken away, and they were deprived of rights. Of course, many millions perished. It is quite strange that some of the people who are running the state of Israel seem to be quite complacent and happy to allow the same to happen in Gaza.

the context was chosen by her, and that context was a whole paragraph listing the atrocities of the holocaust (genocide, deprivation of property, deprivation of rights)

she introduced that subject for the sole purpose of then making a comparison with it!

in that context, she accuses the israelis of allowing "the same" to happen in gaza

her alleged apology (it isn't anywhere on her own website, nor on that of the labour party) … starts with a plain lie …

The debate was about the plight of the Palestinian people and in no way did I mean to equate events in Gaza with the Holocaust
I apologise for any offence caused.
I am also personally hurt if people thought I meant this.
As someone who has visited the crematoria and gas chambers of Auschwitz I know the Holocaust was the most brutal act of genocide of the 20th Century and no-one should seek to underestimate its impact.

yes, the debate was "about the plight of the Palestinian people" … but it was qureshi who chose (in a prepared speech) to go off-topic and to list the atrocities of the holocaust (nobody else had done so)

and yes, qureshi did mean "to equate events in Gaza with the Holocaust" … what else is the meaning of "to allow the same to happen in Gaza"?

can yasmin qureshi explain the difference between equating events in gaza with the holocaust, and saying that they are the same??

this mp should be expelled from the labour party for introducing the atrocities of the holocaust into the debate with no other purpose than of making a comparison, and then of lying about it


StevenKalka

Thu, 02/13/2014 - 16:40

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http://www.thejc.com/news/uk-news/115593/photographer-rankin-says-scarle...

["The main problem for me in all this is that kind of extreme Judaism. That extreme belief that this is their homeland and those people are worthless to them. That’s very powerful in America. They will blacklist you. It’s worse than McCarthyism. Are you pro-Palestinian? Forget it.]

Every notice how those with opposing views are often labeled extremists, as if the complainer is very reasonable? What's missing is the overall context. Judging from his remarks about Scarlet Johansson, he's forfeited any claim for objectivity and warrants little sympathy. Photography without context can be the most blatant kind of yellow journalism, and that's what John Rankin Waddell is guilty of here.


happygoldfish

Thu, 02/27/2014 - 17:53

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a clear apology

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