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Written By: - Date published: 9:25 am, June 27th, 2012 - 115 comments
Categories: Politics - Tags:

There ought to be a question asked of all prospective candidates: ‘when is it OK to compare a political opponent to Hitler’. The only acceptable answers: ‘when they start killing Jews’ or ‘when they invade Poland’. Anything else and they don’t get to be a candidate. Basic litmus test of political nous. All you do is taint your own side.

115 comments on “Facepalm ”

  1. Chris 1

    Yeah I saw that, was ridiculous. Pretty much guaranteed a headline that makes you look like a dick.

  2. Ross 2

    It’s funny how the mere mention of Hitler gets some people uptight. I seem to recall that the guy was a dog lover…he couldn’t have been all bad 🙂

  3. Pete 3

    Godwin’s law was bound to apply sooner or later in this discussion.

  4. vto 4

    I have absolutely no problem with this.

    It is like not being able to call Mp’s hypocrites in the house.

    You guys get steam-rolled all the time and like someone else (Bored?) says elsewhere this morning it is because there is too much pussy footing around. One of NZ’s characteristics is this calm, back down and dont cause a fuss stuff, and it means we get shafted and pushed around. Take note David Shearer – you come across exactly like this. Well, enough.

    Give it to the pricks. If the term referred to becomes useless due to overuse then whoop-de-shit, find something else. If they act like a dictator then then compare them to other dictators.

    Stop being such pussies

    • Chris 4.1

      While you may not like asset sales it is nothing compared to what Hitler did. To try and even equate the two is ridiculous.

      • John Key/National aren’t even fascists, let only Nazis. 

        • Matthew

          Actually they are… fascism is extreme right wing, as are National. In fact, there are many similarities …. both elected as a minority, both ruling by dictatorship, both attacking a small portion of society as ‘the enemy within’, both putting huge power in the hands of corporates at the expense of the people, both re-organising the civil service with multiple levels of bureaucracy and no real accountability, both like to play war, both say one thing in public & do another in private, both making good use of propaganda and oratory skills to sway public opinion, both blamed those who came before him for causing all the problems while stating only he could fix it…..
          I could go on forever. One thing people need to remember is that before Hitler started ww2, he was almost revered as a statesman… he was 1936 Time man of the year…. he was the original smiling assassin….

          • TheContrarian

            Yeah but lacking a key traits:

            Extreme nationalism. A fascist would never sell national assets to foreign ownership.

            New Zealand is not ruled by dictatorship

            “both blamed those who came before him for causing all the problems while stating only he could fix it” that’s what they all do. Do you not think at the next election the Greens will claim they can fix the economy and if they get elected do you not think that they’ll blame National for the hole they’re in?

            National are stripping public service not increasing it In fascist politics gets more involved in nationalistic corporations and tightens its grip  on international corporations, National is leaving us to the whims of international corporate while gutting or own.

            every other fascist party has increased military spending. National have gutted our defense force.

            A fascist would never sell farm land to communist Chinese and would keep land.

            No, National aren’t fascist – they are old school Conservative.   

            • Matthew

              Corporatism is the new Nationalism Sovereign nations no longer hold the balance of power. Key is a disciple of corporatism in the same way Hitler followed Nationalism. Key also sees the mighty dollar as the new sovereign entity

              We are in a form of dictatorship. We have a govt that does what it wants, regardless of public opinion… & most people cannot name more than 2 or 3 MP’s…. maybe the better term is cult of personality…. which Key definitely uses/has.

              The Public service is being held to account by competition & multi0level bureaucracy (classic example is Chch) but also the ‘super ministry’ concept….This was done in Germany & the result was incredible inefficiency.. the threat of ‘privatization’ hangs over every public service … in Germany the SS took over many government services, the SS was a private company.

              im sure Key would love to increase our presence militarily, he just cant afford to. His rant over our failure to act in Iraq backs this up.

              see above for why he sold the farms to CHina… sucking up, & money…. he does not want NZ in the hands of nz’ers.

              i know its not exactly the same…. but the similarities are staggering
              Hitler wanted a strong germany, Key does not care for a strong NZ

              • The key here is the extreme nationalism which is a real defining point of Fascist ideology. The selling of assets and land to international markets is a very strong indicator of National not being a fascist government.
                But them being old school tory/conservatives speaks very strongly.

                “We are in a form of dictatorship. We have a govt that does what it wants, regardless of public opinion… & most people cannot name more than 2 or 3 MP’s…. maybe the better term is cult of personality…. which Key definitely uses/has”

                Yes and no: they did to back down on things they did want (mining and education reform). Most people being unable to name politicians is as much our fault as anyones and Key’s cult of personality..the shine is coming off. If he started building statues of himself I would start to wonder though. And a fascist would buy back the media in order to propagate the myth/cult of personality. As it stands ours is mainly owned by Australia.
                And dictators generally don’t tolerate vocal opposition parties. When Shearer gets arrested for treason then I’ll begin wondering…

                Na, if they were trying for fascism they are doing a pretty inept job of it. I would say just label them Tories – through and through. There is nothing “revolutionary” about them.

                • felix

                  True up to a point.

                  I don’t think f@scism is a particularly useful term in this instance, mainly because as you point out the nationalist elements no longer exist.

                  But that’s more a fact of contemporary economics than deliberate ideology on national’s part. Nations themselves don’t exist in the same sense as they did in Mussolini’s time, with many functions now performed by floating inter-national “states” known as corporations.

                  For this reason I agree with you and I would suggest that corporatism is probably a more useful description.

            • Populuxe1

              I’d hardly call them “old” school Conservative. I have a lot of time for the old “Wet” conservatives who opposed the new school Thatcher and her dry conservatives. I’d class Muldoon as wet, given his Keynesianism, building of state infrastructure and respect for welfare and other public institutions, though he was heading in the direction of fascism near the end of his PMship. Mind you, one can also make distinctions between Mussolini’s populist fascism and Hitler’s anti-Semitic obsession. The Nats aren’t fascists because most fascists had functioning, successful economic policies.

        • muzza

          Actually the use of the term in this case is somewhat appopriate, but that does not make it the right choice to use.

          Lying behind what people think is democracy, is in fact something very different, and decision such as the asset sales, must surely start to raise serious questions in peoples minds, about what really is pulling the strings here!

          Oh there is an ideology behind all this for sure, just don’t be surprised if its something you thought it wasn’t!

          • Matthew Whitehead

            I’m sorry, but no matter how similar the other aspects are, Genocide is a very big crime to lead up to.

            • muzza

              No need to apologise Matthew, it is a crime happening around the world, and in NZ presently.

              Economically we are seeing genocide in the form of financial austerity, and so the use of the term when approached from that position, can be 100% appropriate!

      • prism 4.1.2

        Chris at 9.57 am
        You are not thinking of how Hitler got established. He had a nasty regime building up steam before getting started on his extremely infamous deeds very well supported by others
        who also are on the Roll of Dishonour to human beings.

    • Deano 4.2

      It’s not just that it is wrong, it’s that it will be perceived as wrong.

  5. Comparing someone to Hitler is always a failure as an argument.

    • bbfloyd 5.1

      making generalisations in order to try to sound clever generally don’t work conti… especially as this government have taken leaves out of the fascist playbook many times since taking office….

      This particular instance was lees than judicious.. no doubt, driven by the understandable anger at the theft of our childrens birthright…and frustration with the assetstripper parties cavalier, arrogant disregard of any kind of sensible debate over this…

      A few deep breaths before voicing that anger would have helped……

    • Olwyn 5.2

      Indeed Contrarian; he even has a fallacy named after him: Not sure if moderation is suspended for use of his name in this thread, but I will call it argumentum ad x-um, just in case. While I think that throwing his name around indiscriminately is in most cases imprudent, I agree with Tariq Ali; that we should be mindful of the conditions that allowed his crimes to occur. There need not be many steps between dog whistling and outright persecution; all that is needed are conditions under which the latter can be made to seem somewhat acceptable. I recently saw a letter to the SST saying “I agree with Laws. These scum should be exterminated.” It was published. It did not evoke shrieks of alarm. I emailed in response but was so angry I forgot to add my address, so my response went unpublished.

    • the pink postman 5.3

      Im inclined to think that Key and a couple of his mates tend to be like the Italian Fascist Party under Mussolini .Read the Straw Man and compere .
      This lot give me the creeps and really do scare me and make me fear for my sons and grandsons future. They are worse than the 1951 Holland government and they were certainly Fascist,

    • Populuxe1 5.4

      It’s a bit like saying “it must be right, it’s in the Bible.” Totally fallacious and lazy rhetoric.

  6. vto 6

    What’s the matter with people? It is not as if he was the worst of the worst ffs in the last century. WWII was no different than many other conflicts. Try Rwanda. Try the Russian purges.

    Why is H1tler seen as the absolute worst of the worst when the facts dont support that?

    • Jah but you wouldn’t compare John Key to Idi Amin, Stalin or Pol Pot either.

      • prism 6.1.1

        The C
        It’s the thugs who do their ghastly work systematically and cold bloodedly that are particularly chilling. Pol Pot is up there I think.
        But there is always an early stage which gives an idea of future possible events if one was looking critically. The Norwegian has been feeding his mind with hate and negatives and blame for some time. He was anxious about his country’s future.

        I don’t think Key can be compared to him or other mass killers. Key doesn’t care, he is too relaxed about what happens to us all in the future. He has been imported to be a change agent for the NACTs and will probably get a knighthood and charge off to further his private gains like Roger Douglas.

    • freedom 6.2

      maybe because so many of his political moves have been transplanted studied copied and applied to western democracy over the last seventy years that if people didn’t have a Pavlovian Dog’s reaction to his name they might just wake up to how much of the modern world came out of his playbook.

      • Carol 6.2.1

        Well, certainly the advertising, and political PR approaches in the late 20th and early 21st century & developed from Goebbels’ propaganda methods – the focus on image and appeals to emotions over logic and substance for instance.

        But in contemporary NZ we don’t have anything close to brutal concentration camps.

        • TheContrarian

          “the focus on image and appeals to emotions over logic and substance for instance.”

          That method was around long before Goebbel’s. He was just particularly adept at finding just the right string to pull. 

          • Carol

            It’s more than Gobbels really perfected it in a way that contemporary western society have followed.

            • mike e

              the Roman empire invented modern propaganda long before Goebbels .
              He stole many of their ideas including the eagle.

        • freedom

          That is all surface level distraction stuff, I was primarily referring to the adoption and implementation of the intelligence gathering and police state authority practices that the US imported when they quietly packed up the entire operation that had been built and shipped it all to the states, where months later the CIA and the NSA were born. These have now morphed into the granddaddy of all future authoritarian forces, the DHS and their lovely lapdogs the TSA. Who are currently training our own Police, Customs and many others whose job it is to know all see all and keep you and I in as much darkness as possible.

          p.s. there is a certain piece of land near Trentham you may be interested in driving by if you want to see what a NZ ‘containment facility’ looks like, just don’t park up and take photos.

    • Te Reo Putake 6.3

      vto, you really are an idiot some times. It’s not a competition, but if it was, I’d suggest you visit Poland and have a look at the ‘facts’ for yourself before minimising his crimes. 

    • bbfloyd 6.4

      If a competition was organised, then Joseph Stalin would have left every other “monster” in his dust…. Fifty six million, and still counting…..

      Pogroms against jews are nothing new… Even the english indulged on more than one occasion…either deporting them, and stealing their wealth, or just murdering them…..and that’s only one instance….In fact, there isn’t a “western” society that hasn’t “cleansed itself of their jewish population at one time or another…

      The nazi policy of descrimination against jews actually had the support of the majority right across europe….

      What sets the “final solution” apart is the pure inhumanity of the methods the SS utilised, and the scale of their “success” in reducing numbers…..

      It would pay to remember that these methods were used against any groups that were deemed “subversive”, or inconvenient…. there just weren’t as many of those as the jewish populations…

      This, btw, is not any sort of endorsement. This kind of barbarism has no place in any civilised society… the germans of today rightly see this as a shameful chapter in their nations proud history…

      • freedom 6.4.1

        and there are no proven figures from China for certain actions during the 20th century

        • ghostwhowalksnz

          Let alone the actions of a certain country in North America and the native ‘indian’ population.

      • Carol 6.4.2

        What the 3rd Rich did was to escalate such persecution and propaganda by using techniques of industrialism and mass production.

      • the pink postman 6.4.3

        It also had the support of some members of the Royal Family and the British aristocracy . However the largest group that carried out the pogroms (mainly on Good Friday ) were the Catholics of Eastern Europe .

        However back to this Govrnment ,Its true that the Nazi and Fascist did not sell the state asets They just gave them to their rich backers.

      • Vicky32 6.4.4

        The nazi policy of descrimination against jews actually had the support of the majority right across europe….

        Now this is what truly burns me up! In the 1940s in New Zealand, the average person didn’t have a clue that Jews were being targeted. (Or so my Mum who was in her 20s then, told me).
        But now, or so my son told me when he was at high school, about 7 years ago, no one knows that Jews were not the only victims! The Nazis started with people with disabilities. Amongst their other victims in the camps were Gypsies, Slavs, homosexuals, Communists, Christians who opposed the Naz1s, Jehovahs Witnesses (because they refused to serve in the military), and random others, including members of the SOE…
        One kid in L’s class was convinced that WW2 was and I quote L., “about some brave New Zealanders helping the Americans defeat the Nazis and their allies the evil Brits”. This tubby* little upper-class boy had learned his 20th century history from American movies! 
        *Someone here thinks I have a scunner against fat people. I mention this boy’s size because it was his defining characteristic at the time. He lived up the road from us, and when they had a grocery buying exercise, this kid spent the $100 budget they were (theoretically) given, on steak and chocolate… He came from a very rich family!
        Also, the latest New Scientist I read mentioned recent studies that have shown that the obese really are less intelligent – but that reverses if they have bariatric surgery…

    • Vicky32 6.5

      What’s the matter with people? It is not as if he was the worst of the worst ffs in the last century. WWII was no different than (sic)  many other conflicts. Try Rwanda.

      Or Pol Pot in Cambodia, that’s my pick for worst! 🙁
      Truly, I agree, inasmuch as though my family lost people in WW2 (in England of course, not here) I still don’t regard Hitler as the worst.

      • Olwyn 6.5.1

        I have never understood relative judgements of evil being applied to people who murder millions. To treat your fellow human beings as something to be purged is evil, pure and simple. That your number of enemies, your resources or your organisational skills fell short of some other murderous bastard’s doesn’t make you relatively “better.”

    • Populuxe1 6.6

      Hitler was the only one to effectively apply Fordian mass production to the murder of whole categories of human being. He turned the German industrial capability over to the efficient killing of German citizens. Stalin might beat Hitler on numbers, but it was a much more pick and mix affair. Also the counterpoint between the Nazi obsession with aesthetics and purity counterpointed with this abomination tends to stick in the mind.

    • QoT 6.7

      My theory has always been “because people aren’t really well-versed in history”, vto. H*tler is a go-to for “bad bad person” which everyone can be assumed to know about.

  7. Kotahi Tane Huna 7

    I think people often make comparisons like this to demonstrate the intensity of their feelings. The reality of the Hollow Men agenda is that the National Party acts as a fifth column in New Zealand. These asset sales are a significant betrayal, as close as you can get to treason in peacetime. So tempers run high.

    But we need politicians who can advocate solutions. Why on Earth you would drop the H-bomb when the words “repossession without compensation” were available is beyond me.

  8. ianmac 8

    I have no idea what this is about. Who said “it”?

    • Kotahi Tane Huna 8.1

      “Labour MP Megan Woods has apologised for comparing the National Party to Adolf Hitler.” Stuff – the story got buried pretty quickly though – was front page first thing this morning.

    • grumpy 8.2

      Megan Woods, MP for Sydenham. A poor choice as candidate, only got through because she was a particular mate of Anderton’s. Got thrashed for Mayor of Christchurch years ago by Parker.

      Proof of Chris Trotter’s criticism of Labour selections.

    • js 8.3

      In the asset sales debate MP Megan Woods said Hitler also had a mandate.Which I think is a perfectly justified comment for a government claiming a mandate for a policy which will hurt people.

      For anyone who studies the era of the 1930s there are many lessons which are still appropriate today. Germany was in dire financial straits and there was resentment of any of those groups such as disabled people who were seen as a drain on the ‘good’ taxpayers. Public policy encouraged those groups to be seen as less than human so therefore they were not deserving of human rights. Hitler and his allies decided who were the desirable groups and the rest of the citizens followed their lead (these policies were also widely supported and implemented in other countries in the 1930s – they just did not go as far as the Nazis).

      The most effective method of surveillance was to make certain groups scapegoats for Germany’s perceived problems and then get the ordinary citizens to police them, which saw neighbour telling on neighbour, community turning against community.

      There are still hints of these attitudes today in NZ. So we need to be alert to the lessons of history, otherwise, as they say, we will just repeat it.

      • grumpy 8.3.1

        You are completely mad.

        See the original post, have we – or are we likely to invade anybody? Have we – or are we likely to send certain ethnic, religious or political groups to the gas chambers – or other mass executions?

        What an idiot you are…………

        • Matthew

          You need to see past the ‘invaded poland & started the holocaust’ thing. Hitler used a series of techniques to win, hold, and distribute power. This is the crux of this debate… the methods used….. the means, not the end.. focus on that

          • Rob

            Yes , and one of the NAZI party mandates was the nationalisation of large assets, be very careful on where you go with this one Matthew….

            • Matthew

              Corporatism is the new nationalism…. the financial new right is taking precedence over the sovereign nation-state, which is in decline as an entity. Key worships at the altar of corporatism, so instead of nationalising private companies (only the ones owned by Jews, btw, any company owned by an Aryan german was not nationalised) he is privatising public companies. The concept is the same, but the soveraign state is no longer the highest power.

              • D-D-D-Damn !

                @ js “In the asset sales debate MP Megan Woods said Hitler also had a mandate. Which I think is a perfectly justifed comment…”

                No, the Nazis never won more than 38% of the popular vote in a free Election.

                “Hitler and his allies decided who were the desirable groups and the rest of the citizens followed their lead.”

                Most Germans were unaware that the nazi holocaust was going to take place. Anti-Semitism certainly existed among certain sections/regions of the German population but there was little support for genocide – certainly not during the 1930s and arguably not during the War either.

  9. When the shoe fits.

    The National party have been cynically using Mein Kampf style propaganda tactics against the NZ public.

    “[Propaganda] must be aimed at the emotions and only to a very limited degree at the so-called intellect… The art of propaganda lies in understanding the emotional ideas of the great masses and finding, through a psychologically correct form, the way to the attention and thence to the heart of the broad masses.” From Mein Kampf.

    Sounds like Nationals play book to me. Why else did they role out their Aspirational goals? To grab control of media agenda.

    Hitler and the Nazi Party set the modern benchmark for this type of political propaganda, lest we forget.

    • Carol 9.1

      Yes, Walter Benjamin, a Jew who tried to escape Germany in the 1930s, associated the development of propaganda with f@c1st regimes. The term he coined to explain it was “the anesthetization of politics:


      In this theory, life and the affairs of living are conceived of as innately artistic, and related to as such politically. Politics are in turn viewed as artistic, and structured like an art form which reciprocates the artistic conception of life being seen as art.

      Modern day western politics have moved towards this, and Key’s focus on photo ops and his smile and wave persona is part of this trend.

    • Nick 9.2

      National are also complying with Lenins doctrine of revolution that dictates that you make changes so fast the opposition cant react fast enough: they are not socialists however.

      • grumpy 9.2.1

        ….was lenin a “socialist”?

      • prism 9.2.2

        The act quickly and sequentially to keep the forces of reaction befuddled and on the back foot was Roger Douglas'[ motif. Did he get this from Lenin?

  10. Jackal 10

    It would probably be helpful to actually link to the story.

  11. Tangled up in blue 11

    It’s soooo frustrating when Labour Mps do idiotic shit like this.

    Megan Woods THINK before you tweet ffs.

  12. What I find interesting about this “Hitler” comment is that Nazi Germany was extremely nationalistic and the selling of land/assets to foreigners would have been treasonous to the Nazi Party which extended it’s reach into private corporations instead of cutting their influence.

    Not to mention a bunch of fascists would never sell their farmland to the Chinese and/or to anyone with communist leanings.

    Add to the National’s gutting of defence force staff compared to Hitlers massive growth in defence spending and you can see the two are fairly incompatible. 

    • Olwyn 12.1

      Her comment was narrowly focused: that he was able to claim a mandate did not make what he did right, was her point. Others on the thread are talking about the use of propaganda, which is also a specific focus. If analogy was not accompanied by some disanalogy you would have identity.

      • TheContrarian 12.1.1

        I know, I know.
        I was just opening up the debate a little further because it isn’t the first time I have seen Key compared to H1tler. 

        • Populuxe1

          Decorum must even apply to insulting Key. His mother fled Austria, so a bit of respect to her is nothing else, eh?

      • grumpy 12.1.2

        If having an arguable mandate was equated to H1tler, what about the Labour sales done without a mandate? How does she reconcile that and how can she bring herself to associate with Goff, Mallard, King et al, who were part of it?

        Does she consider them worse than H1tler?

        • ghostwhowalksnz

          The sales weren’t a major election issue at the time,

          not this decade,

          not the previous decade,

          nor the decade before that.

          Pretty soon we will be rehashing policy from the 1930s …….

          • grumpy

            Not the point….if she regards Key as Hitler over the MOM, how can she work in a party with those who sold off wholesale?

            • Kotahi Tane Huna

              Righties just love those if statements don’t they? If she doesn’t regard Key as Hitler – and her statement, for which she has apologised, makes no such comparison, your whole point is moot. Or evidence of cognitive difficulties.

              And what if her whole point was that winning an election with a clearly defined policy is no measure of the worth of the policy?


              Doesn’t make it a clever or worthwhile analogy.

  13. RedFred 13

    @TheContrarian you are missing the point.

    National aren’t like the National Socialist German Workers’ Party but are using some of the same tricks to push their agenda…

    But perhaps you could name Keys band the “National Crony Capitalist Bosses Party”

    • I know, just looking at the wider perspective.


      • bbfloyd 13.1.1

        rubbish.. you are making a blatant attempt to muddy the waters….. obvious, and crude…..about what we’ve learnt to expect from one such as you, little cont….

        • TheContrarian

          Dear bbfloyd,



          • bbfloyd

            No What…. little conti….? You aren’t stealing other peoples lines again? Where’s your sign then? You should know that line only works when you hold up the sign as well….

          • McFlock

            “Broadening the debate” beyond the specific limits of the original tweet to demonstrate that any comparison outside the original tweet is incorrect. Seems muddy to me.
            At least it’s a change from trying to tie the debate to the single definition of a word that leaves you with a defensible position.
            Disclaimer: While I think that he is a soc1opathic scumbag, I don’t think Key’s policies are comparable to H~. While the narrow point made in the original tweet might have been valid (i.e. the fact nat campaigned on asset sales does not make it ok for asset sales to be implemented by a minority party, one professional idiot/seatwarmer and a luxuriant hairdo in absentia), the obvious additional baggage with that particular comparison made it just a tad hyperbolic.  
            I would have gone with mccarthy, or maybe Johnson’s use of the GoTonkin resolution. Not really pithy enough for a tweet, I admit. 

            • TheContrarian

              I wasn’t trying to but if you think I was deliberately trying to muddy the debate then I don’t think anything I could say could shift you opinion anyway.

              As to a single definition of a word, well, if you want to start talking about papal mandates in a discussion about politics then go right ahead

              • McFlock

                more of the same. Way to simultaneously divert the thread and miss the point – demonstrated ability at multitasking, that.

                • Bbfloyd and McFlock: Accuse me of muddying the waters
                  McFlock: Bring up a days old conversation
                  Me: Advise I wasn’t muddying the  waters and respond to McFlock’s comment.

                  Sorry, I fail to see how it was me “divert[ing] the thread” when I am responding to the accusations of others.

                  • McFlock

                    Okay, you weren’t “diverting the thread” you were  “just looking at the wider perspective”.
                    po-tay-to, po-tah-to. 
                    And I wasn’t referring to just one discussion, using definitions to frame the debate favourably for you is your usual style.

                    • Yes like using the political definition of a word when talking politics as opposed to using the papal definition.

                      How tricky of me. 

                    • McFlock

                      more hunting down a political definition of “mandate” that failed to explicitly mention the will of the voters. Just “electoral victory”, which happily covers a minority party supported by a nutbar and an absentee hairdo, both in rotten boroughs.
                      I looked at a few different dictionaries – yours was the only one that didn’t mention votes or voters. And you didn’t even say which dictionary you got it from so it could be checked.
                      OED explictly includes “support for a policy or measure of an elected party regarded as deriving from the preferences expressed by the votes of the electorate.” [my italics]

                      So yeah, tricksy contrarances. 

  14. freedom 14

    For a perfect example of how a propaganda machine looks to be sharing diverse information when all it is doing is delivering a scripted message, Stuff conveniently publishes a link-heavy piece on Drones, and why you should love them.

  15. True Freedom is Self-Governance 15

    While I don’t think the comment was particularly appropriate in parliament, many people seem to forget that the Nazi party took power in much the same way National did, by using a frontman that people thought they could relate to, by campaigning on the idea of ‘getting ahead’ as a nation through the persecution of those seen to be the root of the problem (in NZ’s case beneficiaries, or Don Brash in 2005 attacking Maori), and they also only took power through ‘winning’ by a very, very narrow margin. They also rushed through policy under urgency without public input.

    I would guess though, that the reason people use the Hitler comparison is because he is one of the world’s best-known dictators, not because of exact contextual similarities. Unfortunately when people make the comparison they are usually in a highly emotional state, the actual similarities are overlooked, and people shake their heads and say things like “NZ is a democracy…..we dont have that problem here….just be grateful you live here and not in a country without democracy” The fact that Hitler was elected ‘democratically’ and is referred to historically as a dictator should never be forgotten.

  16. chris73 16

    I was going to comment on this after being alerted to it by whaleoil but the pic and the main comment says it all and anyone else who disagrees really needs to have a lie down

  17. Kevin 17

    When you use the Hitler comparison in your argument it means that essentially you have become emotional and irrational with your reasoning and also that you have nothing constructive to contribute to the debate. In other words you are a dunce.

    • Bored 17.1

      Kevin, that statement is complete bollocks (he said emotionally BUT very rationally). Getting emotional very often indicates that the individuals view of rationality has been challenged by some other buggers equally rational view that is totally incompatible. So quite rationally (in your personal rational arguments self interest) you introduce emotion into (the otherwise grey and leaden) argument…you would be both a dunce and a loser not to. And this Hitler fellows only practical useful purpose is as an emotional accelerator.

    • Kotahi Tane Huna 17.2

      @Kevin. Yes, you hear this argument a lot, but in truth all so-called “rational” thoughts are preceded by emotional changes in the brain – which happen involuntarily and introduce significant bias in the “rational” arguments presented.

      Politics is based in emotion anyway – the “public mood”, and where would politics be without clever aphorisms or base ridicule? Good public speakers play just as much to the emotions as the intellect.

      • bbfloyd 17.2.1

        indeed, it is well known that thought tends to follow the emotion with most people…. so if one wished to change peoples minds on issues, then the first task is to get an emotional resonance going…..the rest is easy, as they say…

  18. vto 18

    Doesn’t Genghis Khan blow the lot outta the water in terms of evil and mass extermination?

    • bbfloyd 18.1

      Ghengis was a product of his times… the methods employed by the mongols was generally the way they all tended to behave….the key to his success was the level of integration with the tribes he encountered along the way…..

      the westward expansion of his, and his descendents empire was no more bloodthirsty than most of the expansionary empires that developed from possibly even before the bronze age….the only example (off the top of my head)of a tribe achieving dominance without the exclusive use of force to enforce it’s will would be carthage.. the precurser to the roman empire…(incidentally, it was the romans who wiped out the city of carthage…and the bulk of it’s population.)

      Rather a far cry from deliberate attempts at genocide….

    • Kotahi Tane Huna 18.2

      Genghis had more style. You wouldn’t have caught him grubbing around in the zahk.

  19. gobsmacked 19

    I’m sure that a lengthy, informed debate by learned historians would be a useful contribution to the public understanding of the methods and legacy of the Nazis.

    However …

    The chances of a Labour MP initiating such a debate by making a comment on Twitter are approximately 0%.

    The chances of the media picking up said comment, turning it into a headline, and the MP subsequently apologising, are approximately 100%.

    If anybody has any difficulty understanding this, they should not be in politics.

    That is all.

    • bbfloyd 19.1

      Sigh… the fact that you are here, apparently contributing to what is a DEBATE would tend to put the rest of your comment in perspective….

      Do you have difficulty understanding that?

      • gobsmacked 19.1.1

        Yes, because this place is where the voters hang out. As long as we get it right on the Standard, we don’t need to worry about those other media.

  20. Tiger Mountain 20

    Best to avoid references to Hitler in most circumstances, but certain features-control and supression of information at all costs and state funded propaganda say, have applied since fascist Germany to a host of Latin American countries and now New Zealand on asset sales.

    Just as the super city’s arms length from the people top governance structures can be described as corporatist without using the the “F” word, nationals despicable actions do not need to have Adolf invoked to be seen for the treacherous sellouts they are.

    The derogative “Little Hitler” is still ok in my books though as it is a downgraded term relating to petty authoritarians.

  21. Fortran 21

    Such a comment from Dr Wood does our party no good whatsoever. Silly comment.

    • bbfloyd 21.1

      While i understand the sentiment, i am thinking that this particular gaffe may have unexpected benefits….not least being that the issue of whether the national party is utilising tactics straight out of the fascist handbook for one…. that would tend to lead towards the more fundamental question of whether the national party is actually a democratic party at all…

      Considering it’s history in government, and it’s use of the fourth estate to spread what, with hindsight, has been shown to be pure propaganda, the comparisons with fascist, authoritarian regimes are ones that need to be examined….

      Whether they come about as the result of an emotional outburst, or not is irrelevant, as long as the opportunity to expose an unsavoury reality within the “elite” power structured here is welcome…. to this writers opinion …..

      One wonders at this point whether the herald will come to regret it’s attempt to embarrass the labour party….

      • Tangled up in blue 21.1.1

        Not sure if serious o_O

      • Shaz 21.1.2

        What this debate brings to mind for me are the hoary old – but very relevant aphorisms such as “the price of freedom is eternal vigilance” and “all it takes for evil to flourish is that good people do nothing”. In that respect things like the abandonment of a public broadcasting service is a clear move away from a rich to an impoverished democracy and a step onto a dangerous path.

  22. Rich 22

    I’d just point out that historically, Hitler didn’t invade Poland until 1939 or kill any Jewish people before the late 1930’s.

    So if an opponent accused Hitler of being a fascist in say 1936, they’d have been being shrill and unreasonable?

    • bbfloyd 22.1

      Actually, fascism was the “neo liberal” equivalent in the thirties, so calling them fascist would have been a matter of course.. It wasn’t until the war itself that fascism became “despicable” with the majority of eoropean society….

      Your first line is quire true though… It was a policy driven mainly by joseph goebbels, and enacted by the SS under heinrich himmler… the reason the wholesale murders took as long as they did reflects the time taken to build not only the infrastructure to take the persecution to the next level, but the personnel ( SS) to actuate it….

    • joe90 22.2

      Aye bbfloyd, and finally, the upstanding members of societies from the Lowlands through to the Balkans were presented with a solution to a millennia old problem .

      A continent wide pogrom to end all pogroms.

      • Kotahi Tane Huna 22.2.1

        Pogroms aren’t really appropriate in an NZ context. The National Party encourages us to hate and fear beneficiaries, but since they provide downward pressure on wages, needs to keep them around.

        So the pogroms are replaced by endless life-destroying hoops to jump through. reduced life-expectancy etc., and scapegoating.

      • joe90 22.2.2

        You’re right Tane, the hate is directed at a wider group.

        The poor are being singled out as the cause, living beyond their means, and targeted, austerity programs, in response to an economic problem which in the main is not of their making.

  23. Wayne 23

    Pretty obvious why it was stupid for Megan Woods to use the Hitler analogy. No sensible person in New Zealand, irrespective of their political viewpoint, thinks that our government (or indeed any possible New Zealand government) has started down the the path of fascism by passing this Bill. That is why the comparison is ridiculous and therefore makes Megan Woods look ridiculous.

    Obviously lots of people oppose the Bill, but it is in the mainstream of what modern democratic governments do. That is why you simply can’t convince people that National is an extreme far right government. If you could National would have less than 20% support. And you know what the polls actually tell you.

  24. Eduardo Kawak 24

    Clearly, Megan Woods thinks that the MOM legislation is a really, really, really bad idea. Maybe she should have compared it to the Labour Govt’s SOE sell-offs of the mid-80s.

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