Saturday 22 October 2016

Mark Mardell breaks Godwin's Law (in a big way)

"What have I done to deserve this? If it's not Ken Livingstone it's ****ing Mark Mardell!" (Cut to shot of Momentum's Jackie Walker sobbing in a corridor).

The ever-opinionated Mark Mardell has written a blog post on the BBC News website about the "echoes" of Hitler in today's world. 

Oddly he mentions nothing about Jews, antisemitism or anti-Israel hatred anywhere in his piece, and all of his "echoes" of Hitler are associated with familiar BBC targets of disdain.

Here's a list of those "echoing" Hitler today, according to Mark Mardell: 
  • The nationalist, anti-immigration populist hard right parties of Europe
  • Geert Wilders
  • AfD leader Frauke Petry
  • Theresa May and the UK Conservative Party
  • Those calling for migrant children's teeth to be checked
  • Vladimir Putin
  • Donald Trump
However much he might try the 'six degrees of separation' approach to the claims of these "echoes" - such as using the word "some" (meaning 'some people') a lot - it's clear that there's not even one degree of separation in reality. He seems to me to be simply speaking for himself:
The long shadow of Hitler makes some shiver at verbal echoes - even unintentional ones. 
It is why talk of a "list of foreigners" at the Conservative Party conference makes some think of the Nuremberg Laws. 
It is why when Theresa May says, "If you believe you're a citizen of the world, you're a citizen of nowhere", some think about the unpatriotic "rootless cosmopolitans" derided by Hitler (and Stalin) as antithetical to pure-blooded nationalism. 
It makes even the vague suggestion of looking at migrant children's teeth before they are put on trains a symbolic nightmare, despite the Home Office's rejection of the proposal. 
But you have to look beyond the EU's borders for the politician most compared to Hitler.
It is Russian President Vladimir Putin, not for his hyper-macho nationalism but his foreign policy. Despite the protestations from his defenders, this is more than vulgar abuse. 


  1. Thank you. I've just read Mardell's extraordinary and monstrous article, slying equating Hitler (HITLER!!) with what he would call right-leaning political leaders, including Trump. They could not be further from Hitler (an extreme left-wing socialist dictator) for the simple reason that present-day politicians of the right want to return power to the people and reduce the power and influence of the political and corporate elites. Mardell's article is a disgrace, for which he should be severely sanctioned.

  2. Mardell is near the top of the BBC Bias League. Only surpassed by the other Mark - Mark Easton...actually, what's happened to him? - has he had a nervous breakdown after the Brexit vote?

  3. The Nazi party started out as socialist and then the spin from the left is that Hitler turned it to the right. Me I just think that it enabled Hitler to become a an evil dictator who then did what he did, it has nothing to do with the current meaning of right wing that is to want reduced government and state rule.

    Populism and Far Right are terms used by the left leaning MSM to belittle people with views different to their own and to shame less polictcally aware people to vote the way they want.

  4. Populism is a good one, if it's popular surely that means it's what the majority want i.e. The idea behind democracy.....

  5. It’s mistaken to believe that Fascism and Communism are the same thing, despite the inclusion of “socialist” in National Socialism. I agree that they are not polar opposites and they both resulted in despotic, brutal regimes, but there are fundamental differences. I think that Socialism is ultimately destructive, but equating it with Nazism doesn’t really help the argument.

    Although the term populism was banded about before the referendum result, I doubt that it would have been used had the Remain side won the referendum. I suspect that, the favoured term then from Mardell and his ilk would have been “democracy”.

  6. Populism is a boo word. It is used to suggest policies driven by mob prejudice, rather than cool judgement.

    The truth is that Populism is not the voice of mob prejudice - that accolade should more properly be awarded to socialism, fascism or indeed conservatism.

    Populism is really a distinct political approach which I favour based on:

    1. Maximising democracy. So, something like the Swiss version of democracy where politicians are rather unimportant figureheads would be a good example of populism in action.

    2. Pragmatic economics - not wedded to any one theory. Keynesian, Marxist or Ricardian...whatever works in practice. The NHS is really run on Marxist principles - but it works well enough for most people to support it. May's hero Joseph Chamberlain with his municipal socialism was a good example of a populist pursuing policies to benefit the people without regard to economic dogma.

    3. Resisting elite-based politics. Elites will always try and control the democratic process. Populists attempt to limit the influence of elites.

    4. Working for the general good. Populists resist minority-based grievance politics. I think they are generally secularist in outlook.

    Populism is a perfectly respectable political position, one that is not associated with dictatorship, death camps or disorder. However, the BBC and the elites use the word negatively to maintain their political and cultural control.


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