Lord Ashcroft faces backlash after tweet comparing reactions to the Blitz and Coronavirus
Former Conservative Party politician, Lord Ashcroft, has caused controversy on social media after posting a list of questions he thought would be asked if the Second World War were to break out today.
Posting on Twitter, the billionaire wrote a list including: “There are only male and female toilets in the air raid shelter and I don’t identify as either”, “This respirator haversack has a leather strap and I’m vegan,” and “I find the term “black out” offensive.”
More than 2,500 people have replied to the 74-year-old, with some criticising him for belittling minorities.
“I love the gender identity joke. Hey did you know that the Nazis actually burned pioneering trans research and murdered LGBT people? So funny!” wrote @adamndsmith.
Mr Ashcroft also tweeted mock criticism of the war effort, appearing to draw parallels with current questions around the UK government’s preparedness for the Covid-19 outbreak.
He wrote: “Can I have more clarity on the “Your country needs you” slogan, it’s too ambiguous”, “Why aren’t you doing enough to prevent these air raids?”, “Why can’t I have almond milk on my ration card?” and “Why didn’t we have stock piles (sic) of Spitfires at the start of the conflict?”
Some users corrected Ashcroft, replying that the slogan “Your Country Needs You” was only used in the First World War, while others pointed out that Lord Ashcroft was not born until 1946.
“Here’s how I imagine people I’ve imagined would react to a war I imagined I was in,” wrote Twitter user @tom_usher_
“You weren’t even born,” wrote @Divinadecampo, “Strange how it’s always those who are too young to have experienced WWII who always try and use it as a cudgel to beat people with.”
Historian Dr Charlotte Lydia Riley replied to Lord Ashcroft’s tweet explaining that: “Government slogans were criticised continually and a lot of government propaganda was confusing or ineffective.
“People were absolutely asking questions about why Britain couldn’t stop raids or why there wasn’t enough military hardware.
“Vegetarians had special ration books,” she added.
The BBC’s Neil Henderson wrote: “a few more questions might have prevented the Scandinavian disaster, the reverses in the desert, inferior tank support that lasted throughout, and Arnhem. So I’ll continue to ask questions.”
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