Some of the veteran readers of this blog may recall that a while ago, I quoted an American who described me as a freedom-hating shoes-off Nazi.
I have seen quite a lot of people on the internet using the term 'Shoes-off Nazi'. Usually, it is by people who object to being asked to remove their shoes. However, a few people have used it in a tongue in cheek way to describe themselves. It is good not to take oneself too seriously.
It is funny how so many different groups of people get compared with Nazis or Fascists- conservatives, vegetarians, Europhiles, Muslims, fundamentalist Christians, advicates of 'political correctness', feminists, environmentalists, animal rights advocates. And people who prefer shoes-off in their homes. Basically, anybody you disagree with and you suspect wants to curtail your liberty.
It is true that many countries in which removing shoes is expected, such as Japan, Sweden and Russia are in differing ways more authoritarian and less individualistic than Britain and the United States. But easygoing Canadians also take their shoes off.
I can see the funny side of comparing people with a shoes-off rule with the Nazis, but I do not think it is really appropriate. Think about the terrible things which the Nazis did for a moment and it should be obvious why.
The person who called me a shoes-off Nazi may have gathered that I am a Christian. But supposing my parents or granparens were Jewish? Would I not be terribly offended?
If you are going to throw around the term Shoes-off Nazi, you really need to consider the fact that the person might be Jewish or a Jewish person might read it. They might just find your flippancy a little offensive. British readers will recall Ken Livingstone, mayor of London and his stupid comments.