Ecclestone fills news void with bizarre interview
UPDATE (GMM) Bernie Ecclestone has opened the door to a tirade of condemnation by decrying democracy and defending the world's most universal tyrants Adolf Hitler and Saddam Hussein.
|Ecclestone makes offensive and frightening statements|
In a highly controversial and bizarre interview with Britain's Times newspaper, the F1 chief executive said democracy "hasn't done a lot of good for many countries" and then went on to talk about some well-known despots.
"Terrible to say this I suppose, but apart from the fact that Hitler got taken away and persuaded to do things that I have no idea whether he wanted to do or not, he was in the way that he could command a lot of people able to get things done," the 78-year-old said.
Ecclestone also slammed Britain's decision to support the US in overthrowing Iraq's Hussein because "he was the only one who could control that country".
As for the Taliban in Afghanistan, "it was the same".
FIA president Max Mosley was enraged at the recent suggestion he is a dictator, but Ecclestone said being decisive is a positive trait.
"I like people who make up their minds. If you have to keep referring to your grandmother before you do anything I think that's dumb. I make decisions, sometimes wrong, sometimes right -- so long as you get more things right than wrong then that's ok," he said.
Ecclestone defended Mosley's fondness for sadomasochistic sex with prostitutes because "people can do what they like", and actually thinks the son of famous fascist Sir Oswald Mosley "would do a super job" as British prime minister.
He jokes that women wouldn't make good racing drivers because "they might take maternity leave", says people on unemployment benefits are "scroungers", and believes former British PM Tony Blair "probably told a lot of lies".
Ecclestone's Hitler remarks enraged numerous Jewish groups and spokesmen, while Conservative UK politician John Whittingdale remarked: "These are extraordinary views and I'm appalled that anybody could hold them."07/04/09 Formula One chief Bernie Ecclestone last night provoked outrage by praising the policies of Adolf Hitler in an extraordinary interview. The 78-year-old billionaire criticized modern politicians as 'weak' and praised the former Nazi leader's ability to 'get things done'.
His comments provoked furious reaction from politicians and Jewish groups.
Ecclestone suggested in an interview with the Times that Hitler had 'lost' his way during his dictatorship, in which he started the Second World War and butchered six million Jews and other victims in concentration camps.
'In a lot of ways, terrible to say this I suppose, but apart from the fact that Hitler got taken away and persuaded to do things that I have no idea whether he wanted to or not, he was in the way that he could command a lot of people, able to get things done,' he said.
'In the end he got lost, so he wasn't a very good dictator because either he had all these things and knew what was going on and insisted, or he just went along with it... so either way he wasn't a dictator.'
Ecclestone also sharply criticized democracy claiming: 'It hasn't done a lot of good for many countries - including this one.'
The 5ft 4in billionaire, who is no stranger to controversy, also seemed to endorse governments based on tyranny. 'Politicians are too worried about elections,' he said. 'We did a terrible thing when we supported the idea of getting rid of Saddam Hussein. He was the only one who could control that country. It was the same (with the Taleban).'
The racing tycoon believes his fellow Formula One supremo Max Mosley, the son of Oswald Mosley, the former-leader of the British Union of Fascists, would be a good candidate to lead Britain. 'Max would do a super job. He's a good leader with people. I don't think his background would be a problem.'
Ecclestone is not shy about using provocative language to get his point across. In 2008, he suggested that racist comments about British driver Lewis Hamilton were "started as a joke" - although he did say spectators who paint their face black were racist.
In June he said that Formula One needed a "black, Jewish woman who, if possible, wins some races."
Mr. Ecclestone’s remarks last night drew a strong reaction from Jewish groups and politicians.
Denis MacShane, the Labour MP and chairman of the all-party inquiry into anti-Semitism described Mr. Ecclestone's comments as 'frightening'.
'If Mr. Ecclestone seriously thinks Hitler had to be persuaded to kill six million Jews, invade every European country and bomb London then he knows neither history and shows a complete lack of judgment,' he said. 'This contempt for the right of people to elect their own leaders is frankly frightening.' Mail Online