The Beeb have another go at the story on their website today, in an article entitled "Is it ever OK to call someone a Nazi?" where Mike Godwin (Godwin's Law creator) is quoted thus.
"No-one can justify calling someone a Nazi simply because their views differ on matters of healthcare policy," he says. "When you get these glib comparisons you lose perspective on what made the Nazis and the Holocaust particularly terrible."'Fraid I have to disagree with you there Mike, old chum.
You see, whilst the use of the word 'Nazi' as an insult may be clunky, lazy and even a bit crass, employing the above logic to argue for not using it is rather simplistic.
The slang term 'Nazi' was used by the allies well before the true horrific nature of Hitler's regime was evident. It described those who were members of the party and who, presumably, subscribed to the policies of that party. The Nazis didn't start by rounding up Jews and gassing them, that was merely the long term aim - the final solution. However, prior to that, Jews - and other minorities - were marginalised and judged as a homogenous group based on illegitimate prejudice.
Yes, yes, yes, Dick - I hear you say - we all know that. What's your point?
Well, Godwin is conflating the holocaust (which was, indeed, particularly terrible) with the Nazi ethos of marginalisation of minorities, which was by no means nice, but isn't comparable with later atrocities. There is a difference.
Prior to the concentration camps, Jews were, for example, held up as mean-spirited, ugly and harmful to other citizens via their business dealings. That was a Nazi policy ... to exorcise Jews from polite society whether they be decent people or not, purely on ideological grounds.
Similarly, Michael Stark's policy of excluding smokers as foster parents took no account of the nature of the prospective foster parents, nor did it consider the potential threat to the health of the children. He merely homogenised smokers as a group to be marginalised, and excluded, for dogmatic reasons.
It is very much a Nazi-esque policy.
Add into the mix the fact that Stark also suggested during the interview that Gaunt's aggressive nature could be attributed to the fact that his foster mother was a smoker, and the insult is even more understandable.
Rejecting the term 'Nazi' on the basis that it is supposed to compare with the murder of Jews, rather than the inherent bigotry that led to there, is deep into straw man territory, in my opinion ...
... though some may very well disagree.
The ASI suggests that Jon Gaunts loss is Britain's too.
Longrider says Godwin can stick his law 'where the sun don't shine'