Monday, January 16, 2012

Tom Harris’s downfall

I don't like socialists, I don't like the left and I don't like the Labour Party, but that's a group thing, as individuals they tend to be fine save for those on the more extreme fringe. When it comes to scandals involving humour or Nazi party regalia though I'm more or less indifferent in the same way I was completely indifferent to Aidan Burley who was simply at a party where someone wore it.
One of the internet memes of recent years has been to mock your opponents via the "Downfall" scene in the Fuhrerbunker, some are funny, some are tasteless, but mostly it's a case of sticks and stones etc. Save when it comes to politicians as Tom Harris found out.
A Labour MP has stepped down from his internet adviser role after he posted a joke video portraying First Minister and SNP leader Alex Salmond as Hitler.
Tom Harris, who ran in the Scottish Labour Party leadership race last year, apologised for his actions.
He had been given the post of the party's new media guru after Johann Lamont was elected leader.
The SNP called the video "tasteless" and said it was "hugely embarrassing" for the Labour Party.
The controversial video takes footage from 2004 movie, Downfall, featuring Hitler's German voice with subtitled words from Mr Salmond.
The clip has been used to mock a number of well-known names, including former prime minister Gordon Brown.
Mr Harris published his version of the video, titled "Joan's Downfall", following a row involving SNP MSP Joan McAlpine who claimed that Labour and the Lib Dems were being "anti-Scottish" in their attitude to the planned independence referendum.
The Labour MP for Glasgow South said: "Having spoken to Johann, I have decided to step down from leading the party's social media review.
"The video I posted has been a well worn joke used to parody a range of public figures.
"However, context is everything and in the context of Johann's and my desire to improve the level of political debate on social media and the context of Joan McAlpine's much more serious statements about all political opponents of the SNP being anti-Scottish, my actions have been an unhelpful distraction for which I apologise."
Personally I think the SNP should grow a pair, after all they like to throw insulting rhetoric around too as do all politicians and after all, Joan McAlpine's assertion that Unionists are anti-Scottish started the whole affair. I doubt anyone cares to be called a traitor in a country they love. Though Scot's themselves have a bit of a problem in some areas with Anglophobia which is apparently not as big a problem as Islamophobia and it's this strain of bigotry which drives some nationalists into the name calling business as they see the UK government as somehow being an English government, though God alone knows why considering how Westminster actually treats the English. Still I guess it's a useful tag to hang your prejudices on.
Was it a bad taste video? Possibly, should Tom Harris have had to apologise and resign?
Judge for yourself...

 Personally I think some Scots should get a sense of humour or a thicker skin.

And naturally, here's the riposte

H/T Guido.

3 annotations:

Conan the Librarian™ said...

I thought it was quite funny; trouble is it was a politician wot dunnit...he let his guard down and took an uppercut. KO.
He, was the main mover and shaker of "Labour Hame" website and answered to the name of "Admin" on it.

Quiet_Man said...

Guess if you look at it as being an "official" campaign pronouncement it makes a difference.
Though as you said it was amusing and it is sort of a tradition for dealing with gaffe's in a humorous way.
Perhaps he should just have put it on his blog or allowed a colleague to post it.
Either way, I'm still not convinced it was a resigning matter and it just makes an open debate all the more harder on a serious issue if politicians are going to be too guarded to say anything meaningful.

Weekend Yachtsman said...

Thing is, this Harris, being as he is a socialist, Labour-supporting, whatnot, is actually one of those who has imposed the absurd atmosphere of intolerance, professsional offence-taking, and extreme political correctness, on this country over the last couple of decades.

So to see him caught on it himself, well, you'd need a heart of stone not to laugh. The biter bit, the hawk under the eagle's claw, the spider in a steel web, and so on.


Good enough for him.