03 February, 2013

What did we learn today?

Well, we learned that South Australian Liberal MP Christopher Pyne says that the Gillard government resembles a scene from the film Downfall.  He also compared the government to a plot from Home and Away.

This is really stupid stuff.  Referencing Downfall is an obvious way of attempting to compare Julia Gillard to Hitler without doing so in as many words.  No not only has Christopher Pyne broken the golden rule of debating, which recognises that if you have to go comparing people to Hitler, then you’ve lost the argument, but he’s also insulted everyone’s intelligence by using a film to refer to someone that everyone should know and recognise.

I will give Mr Pyne the benefit of the doubt that he knows Downfall is a serious and confronting docu-drama and not just a long-running series of video memes, but I don’t know that for sure.

Mercifully, Pyne did not repeat the Downfall analogy and later chose to compare the government to a soap opera instead.  However, this suggests two things.  Either Christopher Pyne doesn’t know that you shouldn’t mix your metaphors, or he can’t see a difference between a film about the end of the Third Reich and a teen soap.

None of this is quite so disturbing until you remember that Christopher Pyne is the opposition spokesman on education.

So to summarise,

Update: Pyne has 'retracted' his comment saying he was not comparing the prime minister to Hitler, but saying the "chaos" in the government was similar to a scene from a movie.  About Hitler.


  1. I don't know about Australia, but in many countries it's easiest for politicians to use TV and movie analogies because the electorate know more about who did what on which TV programme than anything about any historical figures.

    1. That's why I think the buried lead here is that the would-be minister for education feels the need to use a film reference to possibly the most recognisable figure in 20th century history and then act like it's just another movie.

  2. Obviously Chris doesn't have a P.R. person. or at least he doesn't have a very good one.