Tuesday, April 11, 2006

# Posted 1:32 AM by Patrick Porter  

APPARENTLY THIS IS TRUE: Oliver Kamm reports that in his published diaries, the veteran British socialist Tony Benn recorded the following on 6 June 1996:

Had a long talk to the Chinese First Secretary at the embassy - a very charming man called Liao Dong - and said how much I admired Mao Tse tung or Zedong, the greatest man of the twentieth century.
Hmmm. I've heard of being polite to foreign dignitaries. And of being contrarian in print. But really.

Personally, Rolf Harris gets my vote.
(9) opinions -- Add your opinion

Porter, luv, I must be getting to you. Three posts in one morning: and even I can't find a single little threat of jar-jar in them. Congrats. I was going to complain about you linking up Brazil and minnows (Brazil, after all, is the home of cafe-o-lait) but with Ronaldo out I've have to agree with the post. Muchos besos and muchos mimos.
Alan Clarke (a former Tory minister in the Thatcher and Major governments) had a signed portrait of Hitler, whom he referred to as 'Wolf', hanging on the wall. THis is also a fact verifiable by published diaries.

Try tilting at someone other than the left for a change
Why pick on old men?
alan clarke was a historian of WW2, who clearly did not admire Hitler, and admired the Soviet military as much as or more than the German military, judging from my memory of his book on the Eastern Front. Hardly in the same class as the quote from Mr. Benn.
Benn may have been sincere. He was, or is (is he dead) a socialist. His values are those of a socialist.
Get a clue Liberalhawk - if you read the last volume of Clark's diaries, you find the reference to the signed portrait, as well as numerous wistful musings about the last stand at the Oder.

David Irving, whose dinner parties Clark used to attend, claims that he (Clark) once said 'we need a man like him' pointing to a biography of Der Fuhrer.

You can read Andrew Marr's review of the diary, together with some personal reminiscences, here :

I think the fascist streak was pretty evident.

Benn, incidentally, is not dead. He is still politically active and spoke at a Trafalgar Square rally not long ago.
My son's schoolteacher praised Mao in class for being "under-appreciated." My son demurred and when the teacher asked what he had against Mao, he answered "He killed members of our family?" The teacher said, "Those were difficult times..."
"David Irving, whose dinner parties Clark used to attend, claims that he (Clark) once said 'we need a man like him' pointing to a biography of Der Fuhrer"

and of course I have to believe everything David Irving says, dont I.

The last stand at the Oder? That would have been by the German Army, Hitler was in Berlin. Ive read some pretty wistful stuff by Civil War historians about the Conferate Army - didnt mean they supported secession, or slavery.

Do you think anyone who writes admiringly about the Red Army, is a Stalinist?
I don't see why we shouldn't believe David Irving in this. Just because he has unacceptable political opinions doesn't make him a compulsive liar about everything. Plus, plenty of other people have verified Clarke's attendance at these parties - you have to wonder why he went there in the first place.

I don't necessarily believe everyone who writes admiringly about the Red Army is a Stalinist. But it is interesting to note that Clarke, in the final diary volume, compared himself to Hitler when contemplating running for the Tory leadership, noting that Hitler had an easier route to power. This is identification at a worryingly close level.

Did you read the Andrew Marr piece? Clarke nearly joined the National Front in the 1970s. He read and underlined passages of Rauschning with approval. And of course he still had that signed portrait.

I think you are grasping at straws here.
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