BY LARRY MARTIN
Harry Leslie Smith was placed in my cross-hairs by a gentleman associated with Country Squire Magazine, who handed me copies of Smith’s books (Harry’s Last Stand and The Barley Hole Chronicles) and then pointed me in the direction of Smith’s numerous Guardian articles and his notorious Twitter feed @harryslaststand
What became immediately apparent to me was that Harry Leslie Smith is a favourite son of the Left and the Labour Party for two reasons: because he’s so old (he was born in 1923) and because he served during the Second World War (in the RAF). Harry likes to mention these two facts rather a lot when making obtuse points about the state of today’s current affairs:
In other words, in today’s soft world, Harry’s impregnable.
You can’t go about attacking war heroes in their nineties in 2016, so whenever you feel you disagree with what Harry’s saying (and most of his writing, tweets and articles consist of viperous socialist hogwash) you really feel like condemning him. But then it crosses your mind that he could be dead tomorrow, so you refrain.
What an awful thing it would be if your rude tweet was the tweet that knocked Harry Leslie Smith off his perch, you consider. He might choke on his teeth. You’d never live it down.
Of course, the tweeting isn’t Harry at all. Not unless he’s attached to an amphetamine drip. That old chestnut was exposed by Guido Fawkes some time back. Smith’s Twitter account is about as genuine as John Prescott’s and, let’s face it, the sheer volume of tweets involved requires the dexterity of a twenty-year-old and not someone in their nineties, who’s more focused at particular times of the day on getting their Complan down and remembering to switch off their electric blanket.
I can hear you now.
I can’t believe you just said that, Larry.
Well, I did. And I bloody well can.
You see I’ll be 92 this year and, like Harry, I served in the Second World War. Amongst other engagements I was involved in the successful assault on Gold beach in Normandy on D-Day and from what I’ve read of Harry’s exploits, the efforts of my comrades and I that day were certainly a match in obligatory courageousness.
So, Harry, as a nonagenarian to another nonagenarian, let me first of all say Good Day to you, mate. Now let me tell you what I think of your tweets such as:
Well, you’re not sitting beside me. If you were I’d buy you a pint and let you swing at me!
I think you’re a hate-filled, wizened old trot, Harry. Personally, I’d have detested fighting alongside you as you’ve become, as you’re the type of whining egit who gets in people’s ears and tries to break down the Great British spirit. Wear a damn poppy, you bastard. Remember our fallen comrades you supercilious buffoon.
Like the very worst of left-wing ranting fools, you’re an utter hypocrite. You went out to Canada and made a career in the oriental carpet trade, specialising in designing and importing new designs from the Middle East, the former Soviet Bloc and Afghanistan. Any kids involved in making those carpets, Harry? Make a decent profit on others’ premature blindness? How’s your lungs these days? Full of fibres and toxins from rug factories like those kids who died well before you with their wet lungs?
Let me go further.
I know for a fact that those men I fought alongside, almost all of whom are now long dead and buried, would be ashamed by you thrusting your service in the face of younger generations as a holier-than-thou force field in some vain attempt to prevent them attacking your dim-witted notions. You DO NOT speak for your generation, Harry. Just that most of them are too knackered to stand on a soap-box or have passed. The social democratic institutions you are taking your “last stand” over (last stand? The war finished in September 1945, mate) most of us never wanted in the first place.
If Churchill had won in ’45 we’d have ended up with a supportable (yes, market-driven) healthcare system in time instead of the bloated, good-for-nothing mess we’ve got now. It’s because of socialist do-gooders such as yourself, who always end up bitter and spiteful snipers on the sidelines of our society, that over our lifetimes Britain has been held back so often. Your MPs have taken seats in poor places in Britain and those places are still relatively poor. Not noticed, Harry?
Your lot made a complete mess of the seventies and then returned to make a complete mess of the late noughties. Have you no shame? Look at what your lot have done to our then Allies: to Russia, to France. Look at the amount of lives lost to communism and socialism since we put on our uniforms to defeat fascism. And look today at the lives being lost in South America to your vicious, pernicious ideologies. I’ve read your books, your articles and some of your tweets and I see no difference between your thinking and that taken up by Hugo Chavez or Fidel Castro. Nice men, Harry. Great company you keep now. How would they have gone down in the canteen with your comrades in the war?
Reading your thoughts and your rants, Harry, I felt sorry for you. I felt sorry for your elder sister Marion. I was impressed by your choosing a German wife, Friede, as that must have taken balls of steel at the time. But most of all I felt sorry for your current state: all that hatred, the endless bile, your interminable reserves of disdain for the generations of our comrades and families who built Britain to what it is today. And, let’s be fair, and I don’t know how much you get around, but the greatest achievements of this country since 1945 have all been capitalist ones. Look around you, Harry. Look at how far we have come. Look at the prosperity! Type on your capitalist computer, on your capitalist Twitter and sip your capitalist tea.
It could have all been a darn sight better than it is now if it wasn’t for your lot. If only your lot had stopped with your stupid socialist nonsense and bedded down to get on with making us all richer. I am only glad, as I reach the end of my innings, that your last stand is Labour’s last stand. Neither of you have long to go now, do you? Britain will get on much better without the red socialist monkey on its back.
Whichever one of us goes first, we have lived long and colourful lives, Harry.
You continue with your books, columns and your remote-tweeting if it massages your ego. If it helps you to drain the poison you are drowning in. But, Harry, before you go, do the idealistic kids who re-tweet you a massive favour. Admit that you’re a human. Admit the horror shows your socialist friends perpetrated on planet earth. Don’t retort with, “ah yes, but that wasn’t perfect socialism” or any of that superfluous tripe. Admit it, Harry, your ideas have been so harmful. They will continue to harm others. Admit you could just be wrong.
Let them think for themselves. Choose a wise epitaph, Harry.
Could it be that your whole life – your current hatred – has been conditioned by the death of your sister and by the abuse you got from Britons when you got yourself a German bride?
Back on Gold I landed on my feet with all humility. I admit I was scared out of my wits. I’d not wish the adventure repeated on anyone. I found hope amidst the horror. And that’s how I shall approach the next stop on our journey, Harry.
Larry Martin was talking to CSM writer Jim Browne