|"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.