Just weeks after Diane Abbott appeared to declare herself a racist on Twitter, the internet has once again proved disastrous for Labour’s press office, with MP Tom Harris – who has a role as a digital adviser – posting a video comparing the Scottish National Party’s head honcho Alex Salmond to Adolf Hitler.
Tom Harris proved that he wouldn’t last a day on Reddit by posting that one clip from Downfall which has been parodied at least a billion times. In the video, a gaffe by one of Salmond’s aides, where she said people who don’t vote for SNP aren’t Scottish, is compared to Hitler’s last days in the bunker. In the original clip, Hitler is going mad as the Allied assault draws closer.
In Harris’ version, the characters talk about Question Time and allude to Salmond being fat.
Unfortunately for Harris, it’s quite difficult to co-opt a meme for a political cause, and it ends up looking desperate and snipey.
The SNP has denounced the video as “silly” and is wondering whose Kool Aid Harris was drinking when he thought posting the video would be a good idea. Meanwhile Scottish Labour’s communications team has been busy talking to the BBC, saying it’s about time there was an “adult debate” about Scotland’s future. Calling an opponent Hitler is just one way to start.
The internet has proven itself again to be a democratic force for good, showing the true colours of a career politician who forgot to check with the press office first. Then again, perhaps Harris, aware of an impending disastrous result for politicians who want to keep Scotland on a leash, is merely soaking up the publicity for a few book sales. You can buy a signed copy of “Why I’m Right… And Everyone Else Is Wrong” here.
Now, having demonstrated the wrong way to go about making something go viral – that is, by embarrassing yourself – Harris has been forced to resign from his post as digital adviser. Which is good, because we estimate his next move was to post a funny video about Badgers and Mushrooms and a series of posters which told Salmond all his base are belong to us.