Godwin’s Law was coined just as the internet exploded in to our lives.

Most of us know its simple logic pretty well: that the longer an online discussions goes on, the more likely somebody will reference Hitler or the Nazis.

Ironically, thanks to the World Wide Web, there are probably more actual Nazis getting a voice since the last of The Third Reich’s baddies scuttled off to their Argentinian estancias in the late 1940s.

As Brexit grinds on, Godwin gives columnists a problem. Some of them want to talk about what they see as the rising threat of the far right. Some of them see parallels between current rhetoric and that of the 1930s. But can they play the Nazi card in their commentary? Some do.

The Financial Times

Martin Wolf is the chief economics commentator of Britain’s leading business daily. He began his column on Wednesday by saying Boris Johnson “often” sounded like Joseph Goebbels.

The PM, he said, plans “to frame the next election as a battle of “people versus parliament”.

Mr Wolf continued: “How did the UK reach a position in which its prime minister regards parliament as an obstacle to be ignored? The simple answer is that it decided to insert a particularly ill-considered referendum on an exceptionally contentious subject into a parliamentary system.”

The commentator is worried, and not just about Mr Johnson’s Goebbelsian language.

He wrote: “The issue now is not just Brexit. It is far deeper. The Conservative party has become an English nationalist party, busily stoking populist resentment. Meanwhile, the hard left has seized the Labour party. The curse of extremist politics has only just begun.

“Once people see opponents as ‘traitors to an imaginary ‘people, demons of hatred are unleashed. Brexit awoke those demons.

“Mr Johnson, aided by Nigel Farage and his Brexit party, will seek to win by freeing them. They are sure to wreak havoc for a very long time.”

The Press and Journal

Up in Aberdeen Westminster watcher James Miller finds inspiration in one of the Nazis’ great fictional foes.

Mr Miller cites one source comparing “the PM and his mastermind Dominic Cummings to the baddie in Indiana Jones who shows off his swordsmanship skills, whipping his blade this way and that. Then Indiana Jones shoots him.

“The flashing blade of Johnson’s rhetoric and the mental gymnastics of his grassroots are no match for the irresistible force of facts.

“But don’t be thinking that makes either the opposition in parliament or the Remain side in the country the Indiana Joneses of this piece. There are no heroes of Brexit.”

Mr Miller takes a sideswipe at rightist columnists and talking heads in the same piece. But he says the popularity of the likes of Rod Liddle and Brendan O’Neill should tell Remainers something.

He said: “These two might charitably be described as professional controversialists. Both publish increasingly offensive rants designed to do nothing more than trigger liberals into a froth.

The point is that scores of people wanted to see O’Neill and Liddle peddle their childish worldview. The Remainers remain deluded that they haven’t lost.”

The I

Amid the Brexit rhetoric, it is easy to forget there are plenty of shameless racists in the the public sphere.

Veteran columnist Yasmin Alibhai-Brown has seen plenty in her time. But she contrasts the way the far-right are treated with the crackdown on climate crisis campaigners.

She wrote: “With so many friends in high places, the haters become more emboldened. They now turn up in Westminster, intimidate people of colour, Remainers, journalists and MPs. I have been through their gauntlets and emerged frightened and furious because the police loitered and did nothing.

“One PC nonchalantly informed me in spring this year; ‘ It’s democracy, madame’. Really? So was that democracy suspended on Monday when around three hundred of the Extinction Rebellion campaigners were arrested?”

It was ever thus. Over the many decades I have lived here, racists and fascists have been left to do their worst while those on the left, anti-racists and eco-activists have been put under state surveillance, arrested, even, at times beaten. Fighting for justice was, apparently a crime against the nation and ‘freedom’.