01 October 2010

If I want to call you Hitler, I will

Guido has the news that Sir Andrew Green is taking legal action against Sally Bercow:

after Sally dismissed a MigrationWatch report that proves a link between a rise in youth unemployment and immigration was “dangerous propaganda” and compared it to arguments used by Hitler and Mosley. Live on Sky News
He has since clarified the issue with a link to the Index on Censorship and doesn't expect anything to come of it, probably never did

The reason I am posting is to question why this issue ever came up in the first place - she called a MigrationWatch report 'dangerous propaganda' - surely nothing defamatory in that, certainly no more than in your typical tabloid rag

She then likened it to arguments used by Hitler and Mosley - again, I'm not aware there's a law that states you can't bring up Hitler - with the obvious exception of Godwin's, which isn't usually a legal matter

Even calling someone Hitler, or shouting 'fascist' at them, which she didn't do, is not defamation - it's all fair game in the discourse of politics

The English libel laws are a joke, their main use seems to be exploiting them to stifle political debate

...and I'll stop there for fear of legal action


  1. Hitler is interesting. He always gets labelled as "mad", "evil" etc, but watching "The Nazis, a warning from history" back to back over the Bank Holiday weekend, left me with a different impression. It was a rather draining experience too...!

    The core problem, was that he managed to winkle his way into a position of completely unrestrained and unchallenged power. Totally beyond the law and completely unaccountable to anybody. Once in that position, anything was possible. Hitlers views were actually taken to the extreme and implemented by lesser individuals who were eager to please and win favour...

    Which is of course why it is important that we don't let any of our political leaders winkle themselves into the same situation...

  2. I don't think he was especially 'evil' - deeply flawed yes, evil acts committed, but as you say, give someone that much power in a closed environment..

    I've seen Labour policies - if they had been given such power under Brown I don't think there'd be much of a difference - probably more like Stalin's regime though