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Grantham Journal column: Could we see a new Hitler?

By Dr Gillian Sutherland

Peter Clawson.
Peter Clawson.

People often ask me how Hitler-style tyranny could establish itself as a kind of Third Reich regime in a supposedly free society like ours?

First of all I want to know if they have read the late George Orwell’s great novels 1984 and Animal Farm. Fortunately they were required reading for my age group at Grantham King’s School and I believe they still should be today.

Orwell had a unique perception of ‘Big Brother’ regimes and the bigoted tactics they used to oppress freedom and sustain dictatorships and other evil powers.

But apparently Margaret Thatcher went even further. According to one of her most ardent local critics, she actually contended that if you persevere with a lie long enough people will come to believe it.

True or false, I have noticed that our present government seems to have taken it on board.

Whenever one of its flawed policies goes awry, such as failing to reduce deficit targets, limiting numbers of migrants, unemployment or turning lost ground into growth, it continues to wrongly blame previous Labour administrations.

As far as ‘economies with the truth’ and ‘spin’ are concerned, the Tories attacked Tony Blair prior to the Iraq war for dithering and not going in earlier. I don’t recall that fact being mentioned very often since.

Lies! I’ve heard so many during my lifetime and I’m sure there will be many more before I head for those heavenly Elysian Fields they promise me.

But whom would I name as the biggest liar in history? Undoubtedly the man who was also the worst ever tyrant: Adolf Hitler himself.

Unfortunately, as things are turning out in our much vaunted but corrupt ‘Global Village’, I fear it is not possible to guarantee that a future dictator would be prevented from committing similar atrocities in the future.


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