Like pretty much every male I know of my generation — I’m tail-end Boomer — I’m fascinated by the history of Nazi Germany.
I grew up in the shadow of the Second World War. Many of my teachers had fought in it. As a child, I played with toy Eighth Army and Afrika Korps soldiers. I read the collected works of Sven Hassel. I watched every classic WWII movie there is to see from The Longest Day and Patton: Lust for Glory to The Great Escape and Cross of Iron.
Later, I interviewed numerous war veterans — commandos, paratroopers, RAF bomber pilots — for a couple of novels I wrote. I also joined a group of re-enactors one frozen December at Bastogne, where I met genuine Battle of the Bulge veterans who thanked us for help keeping the memory of what they did alive. And I often took my children to the Imperial War Museum in London to gawp at the Jagdpanther, the Focke-Wulf, and the 25-pounder, so that they too would understand both the excitement and the sacrifice experienced by the “Greatest Generation.”
But now some silly girl from Cambridge University thinks this interest is dangerously offensive — and actually tried to get me fired for it.
No. I couldn’t believe it either. But here’s what happened.
Historian Roger Moorhouse has written a book called The Third Reich in 100 Objects. It’s a great read — with essays on everything from the Stick Grenade and the Luger to the Judenstern (the Jewish Star) and the July Bomb Plot Wound Badge. But though entertaining, it’s a work of serious scholarship, produced by a respected military history publisher, with a foreword by the distinguished historian Richard Overy.
Naturally, when the book arrived on my doorstep I was thrilled at the prospect of reading it. So I tweeted my enthusiasm, largely with a view to alerting all my like-minded friends that this might be a book they’d enjoy too.
My tweet took the form of a photo of the cover with some comment like “fun bedtime reading.”
At this point, Young Missy intervened. Because she took her tweet down, I can only show you the screenshot.
Is this it? pic.twitter.com/Ueur5R2XMU
— Marcus (@MarcusHalliday_) November 10, 2017
As you can see, her name is Ellen Robertson. I’d never heard of her before. But naturally, when someone refers to you as a “scumbag” and tweets one of your employers in a fairly blatant attempt to discredit you and to imply that they should fire you, it does tend to pique your interest somewhat.
So I did a bit of research and discovered that — lo! — this wasn’t just some random, lame-brained SJW loser with a degree in My Little Pony and Gender Studies from the University of Crapsville. No, this was a girl who had actually won life’s lottery by being admitted to study at arguably Britain’s second-best university, Cambridge.
Cambridge, for those of you who have only heard of Oxford, is really quite a big deal. Or at least it used to be. Its alumni include, in no particular order: John Milton, Samuel Pepys, ST Coleridge, Byron, Charles Darwin, Nick Drake, Stephen Hawking, Tom Hiddleston, Stephen Fry, Ernest Rutherford, Sir Francis Bacon, John Maynard Keynes, Oliver Cromwell, you get the idea.
All the famous British people you ever heard of who couldn’t get into Oxford, pretty much, went to Cambridge.
And now their ranks have been joined by this girl Ellen Robertson who besides being brainy must clearly have some kind of thespian or comedic talent because she was a member of the Cambridge Footlights — seedbed for all manner of future showbiz talent from Peter Cook and Dudley Moore, to half the Monty Python team, to Stephen Fry and Emma Thompson and Hugh Laurie, and Alexander Armstrong and thingummybob Miller. Recently she toured the Edinburgh Festival as part of a comedy double act called Britney Comedy.
Ellen graduated from Cambridge in 2015 so that puts her in her early 20s. Young enough to make silly mistakes, it’s true. But old enough, surely, to take responsibility for them and apologize for them when she’s clearly in the wrong.
I mention this because I requested that she apologize for her stupid, irresponsible ugly tweet.
Heaven knows whether or not she got it. I conveyed the message to someone who claimed on Twitter to be a good friend of hers. And I gave her 24 hours to get back to me with an apology.
In any case, whether she did or didn’t get the message, is immaterial. She clearly knew she was in trouble because she took down the tweet.
So why am I harrying her now?
Well, it’s like this.
I really don’t like it when people try to get me sacked for the crime of reading a history book. Not even when that history book is about Nazi Germany. Especially when that book is about Nazi Germany.
One of the key points about Nazi Germany — as surely young Ellen would have learned at school: she’s not stupid, she did get into Cambridge remember — is that the Nazis were guilty of precisely the kind of vicious intolerance that Ellen Robertson displayed towards me on Twitter.
The Nazis burned books. They condemned people who didn’t align with their own ideology. They judged books by their cover, not by their contents.
Is it a generational problem here, I wonder? Are Ellen Robertson and her fellow snowflakes so irredeemably tainted by their postmodernist, safe space culture in which everyone who disagrees with them is basically a fascist that they are doomed never to think an intelligent thought or do an intelligent thing or contribute anything to the world except entitled, cry-bully whining?
Because if it is, let me tell you, all you Ellen Robertsons out there, those of us of the older, wiser, more culturally broadminded, informed and enlightened generations that preceded you are not going to take your stupid, tedious, pettifogging SJW shit lying down.
(Nor, thank heaven, is the generation just below you who — I get the encouraging impression — are as sick of your drivel as we oldsters are, and are turning to Anarcho-Capitalism and Kek-worship instead).
Back to my serious point, though. This is not a game, Ellen Robertson. Out here in the real world, if you try to get someone fired for the mere act of tweeting about a history book they are reading — yes, even, if that book is about the Nazis — then do not expect that person to shrug his shoulders and just go: “Aaaah. How sweet. Some random comedienne thinks I’m a Nazi and wants me to lose my job.”
We on the conservative side of the argument have read your textbook Rules for Radicals.
We’ve read Vox Day’s equally invaluable SJWs Always Lie.
Here’s what we’ve learned. When you attack, we fight back.
You should have apologized while you had the chance.
Did your Mummy and Daddy never teach you about the importance of good manners? They did have a reason, you know. But perhaps you thought you knew better…