|Aidan Burley MP (right) said he regretted the behaviour of the others in the party...|
So far, so tasteless, but Burley is far from the first Conservative activist to have a more than passing fascination with things Nazi and a strange desire to dress up in the clobber Hugo Boss designed and supplied (latterly using slave labour) for the Hitler Gang back in the inter-war years.
|Hugo Boss: by appointment to Hitler|
Both in the UK and USA, the supposedly respectable right in the Tory Party and the Republicans appear to have a good number of people in their ranks who have a taste for SS-chique. Last year, for example, a Republican candidate for Senate in Ohio defended his regular dressing up as a Nazi Waffen-SS officer to re-enact the glories of the Hitler years. And a letter in Private Eye in 2007 alleged that, while at University in the 1970s, former Tory MP and now UKIP big wig Neil Hamilton joyfully paraded with henchmen dressed in Nazi-style brownshirts.
Anyone involved in student politics in the 1980s, the heyday of Thatcherite triumphalism, will recall the rumours and the real sightings of members of the Federation of Conservative Students enthusiastically sieg-heiling each other after a few beers and the (particularly) odd ones who seized any opportunity at all to don alleged "fancy dress" with some sort of Nazi theme. But this is hardly surprising when you look at the actual politics of these people.
|Tory students, 1980s|
|The BNP's Tyndall (left)|
Many Conservative have been repeatedly found sympathising and actively engaging with the most odious far right groups - Cameron himself pushed the Tories out of their links with mainstream Christian Democrats in the European Parliament into an alliance with very extreme, homophobic and fascistic eastern European parties. This includes blatantly neo-Nazi sympathisers in the Baltic states and Polish politicians who derided the election of Obama as the end of white civilisation.
So in spite of David Cameron's claims to have transformed the Tories from the nasty party of the past to one that represents the allegedly Christian values of the country, it seems if you scratch the surface, the putrid odour of racism, violence and repression is not far away at all.
British values? Fighting moral decay? I hope not.
2010 General Election debate in Hammersmith - the Tory candidate defends Cameron's alliance with European neo-Nazis. In the election, Hammersmith was one of only two seats where there was a swing towards the Labour Party.