I wonder how often in my lifetime I have heard the expression ‘Little Hitler’ used in normal every day conversation, describing some overbearing bureaucratic official or boss. It has often been used to describe those of little power acting above their authority, or using their limited authority to make life as difficult and as miserable for everyone else, as they possibly could manage.
In effect to behave in an overbearing,unhelpful dictatorial manner.
It has been in very common usage for many a long year, but for the sake of clarity, I should perhaps explain for the benefit of the educationally challenged, who may have difficulty with language use and interpretation. The term Little Hitler in this context bears no semblance of similarity, or meaning, to the boyhood of one Adolph Hitler esq. in pencilled moustache and lederhosen.
After the events of Saturday, when Alex Salmond was banned from accepting an offer to be a pundit at a rugby match, by the head political advisor of the BBC in London, over ruling their London Sports Editor, and leaving BBC Scotland in the dark. One might have thought there would be a little acceptance from the Dependency parties that there was justifiable grounds for complaint. Not a bit of it!
The Sunday Herald carried a cracking front page cover of Alex Salmond with the word Censored, slapped across his mouth. They also carried the email correspondence which confirmed the events in question.
(A side note here: Well Done Sunday Herald, keep up the good work, and you shall be rewarded. We ask not for favour, but for balance and a fair hearing)
No indeed, the Dependency parties were not about to acknowledge the wrongness of the BBC’s behaviour, they instead condoned it! Further more they attacked Alex Salmond for saying “That was all settled fine, but then Ric Bailey, the political Gauleiter we should call him now, intervened to say this shouldn’t happen and, really, he’s lost the plot. The guy has just totally, utterly lost the plot.”
He dismissed the ban as being “what you get in tin-pot dictatorships. I’m afraid it looks like the BBC are on the run from Downing Street at the present moment or being run from Downing Street.”
The use of the word gauleiter, was enough to have them howling in outrage, and demanding Immediate apologies, not from Bailey and the BBC, but from Alex Salmond, for calling Bailey an overbearing bureaucrat. They instead decided to interpret the word Gauleiter in its antiquated 67 year aged historical sense, meaning a local Nazi official.
Scottish Labour’s external affairs spokeswoman Patricia Ferguson,
called on Mr Salmond to apologise for the use of the “Gauleiter” term.
She said: “Alex Salmond’s hysteria over not appearing on a rugby show is embarrassing to most Scots. People want the First Minister to get behind the team, not get on television.
“What is totally unacceptable, however, is for the First Minister to accuse journalists of occupying the post of a Nazi district leader. That is an ugly smear.”
Scottish Tory leader Ruth Davidson said that Mr Salmond’s remarks revealed a “disturbing pattern” in the use of language by the SNP.
Ms Davidson said: “This is just more bully-boy tactics from Alex Salmond and an embarrassing way for Scotland’s First Minister to behave
“It is a completely inappropriate outburst from a man supposed to be running Scotland, and symptomatic of the SNP’s ‘attack mode’ where they try to destroy anyone with whom they disagree.”
My goodness, these Dependency addicts are such sensitive little little souls,are they not? Never a bad word would pass their lips, I am sure. But wait, what is this I hear? Alex Salmond has been called, or compared to the following Extremists, Dictators, Mass murderers and Psychopaths, by the following.
Slobodan Milosevic (Denis MacShane, Labour MP)
Benito Mussolini (Lord Foulkes, Labour peer)
Adolf Hitler(Tom Harris, Labour MP,Ann Moffat, Labour MP)
Joseph Stalin (Alan Cochrane, the Telegraph)
Robert Mugabe (Lord Cormack, Conservative peer, Jeremy Paxman, BBC)
Kim Jong-Il (Lord Forsyth, Conservative peer)
Nero(Annabel Goldie, Conservative MSP)
Caligula(John Macleod, the Times)
Nicolae Ceausescu (Neil Collins, the Financial Times)
Genghis Khan (Kevin McKenna, the Observer)
And do you hear him make a fuss? No, he treats it all with the contempt it deserves, and doesn’t going running off crying for his Mammy!
But wait, Alan Cochrane of the Telegraph still had to have his daily diatribe against Alex and everything Independence. He said the following;
“We could be generous and suggest that calling the hapless BBC mandarin a “Gauleiter” displays either an imperfect knowledge of the English language or of 20th century history – or both.”
“But knowing our Dear Leader as we know, it is entirely possible that he thinks it is perfectly all right for him to liken those who dare to defy him as some kind of Nazi.”
Is that right Mr Cochrane? perhaps you could say why an MP of your beloved Tory party used the exact same word last week to describe Germany using an official to oversee the failing Greek economy?
After all, that really is sailing close to the wind, given Nazi Germanys use of the real Gauleiters in Greece. Just a tad insensitive is it not?
And wait some more, thanks to the excellent ‘Wings Over Scotland’ Blog, they unearthed the following…
“what sort of thoughtless idiot would casually toss around a highly-charged, potentially-offensive word like “Gauleiter” in reference to an obviously petty and trivial matter?
“I am on the horns of a dilemma this weekend. I have been invited to a posh dinner in the Scottish Parliament later this week and there are to be pre-dinner drinks in the Members’ Bar at Holyrood.
Although I have accepted the dinner invite, I am somewhat constrained in accepting the one to the pre-prandial cocktails. The reason is that the Scottish Parliamentary Journalists’ Association, of which I have the honour to be a member, is boycotting the said watering hole. We have taken this principled – if unusual – stance because we have been offered only limited rights of access by that Gauleiter of Holyrood’s catering facilities, Labour MSP Duncan McNeil.”
(Alan Cochrane, Scotland On Sunday, 22 January 2006*)
Woops! You were saying, Alan?
And imagine that, Investigative blogging into a journalist.
shame that our journalists and the BBC have all but forgotten the art.
Otherwise we might have had some investigative reporting over Purcell and Labour cronies in Glasgow,with their dodgy dealings.
Or perhaps some coverage by the BBC of Johann Lamonts reported false rape story in the Scottish parliament.
Silly me, this is the Beeb and Labour I’m talking about.
However back to the story..
A spokesman for the First Minister clarified the usage of the word, “The First Minister was rightly referring to over-officious BBC officials, and the real concerns about editorial decisions taken by BBC journalists being over-ruled by bureaucrats on political grounds.
“That is unacceptable, and the First Minister will be raising the issue with Lord Patten, Chairman of the BBC Trust, when he meets him in Edinburgh on Thursday.”
So do you think that they will understand the usage and the context of the word now?
Don’t hold your breath waiting for an affirmative answer.
Meanwhile, considering all this stushie, I was anticipating that the BBC in Scotland might be doing some reporting on it yesterday. But I was to be disappointed, one would have thought that none of it had ever happened. Perhaps a figment of our imaginations then?
Reporting Scotland spent half their programme blethering about a little local difficulty the current owner of Rangers has been having. It was really nothing but recirculation of old news which they had covered in December, just as extensively. On that day, I am fairly sure there was some important news concerning either the SNP or Independence going on, but I can’t quite remember yet what it was that they ignored that time.
So on Newsnight Scotland perhaps? No, not a bit of it, just much more of the same dross, and a piece about press regulation, springing from the Levison enquiry.
But I wonder who spotted their little bit of anti Independence imagery at the tail end of their sketch?
The reporter was punctuating his points about the press, while slapping down various newspaper titles on a desk at a variety of angles,the headlines were not particularly eye catching, and at a camera shot, which really only allowed for attraction to the title of paper itself. Until he came to the second last one, which went down squarely on the table, and the camera lingered a fraction longer on it, with its headline very clear, before the final paper came down, and they shot away from the clip.
What was that paper? and what was the headline?
It was the Herald, and the headline read, ‘Blow for SNP as support for independence slips’
It was the only reference in the whole programme to anything related to Scottish politics, and Independence!
Clever and subtle eh?
A case of the Beeb sticking two fingers up at Alex Salmond and the SNP and Independence? Or just another little innocent mistake?
Note: The word Gauleiter derives from the Old German. The origin of the name was derived from the German word Leiter (meaning leader) and Gau which was an old word for a region of the German Reich. The original term Gau may also be traced to the Frankish word Gaugraf, translating closely to the English word “shire”. Gau was one of the many archaic words from medieval German history that the Nazis revived for their own purposes.
Gaugraf: The Frankish kings of the Merovingian dynasty retained a good deal of the Roman system of administration, including the title comes preserved its original meaning: a companion of the king, a royal servant of high rank. they were merely attached to the king’s person and executed his orders. Others filled the highest offices, e.g. the comes palatii and comes stabuli (survives in the title Constable). The kingdom was divided for administrative purposes into small areas called pagi; German Gaue), corresponding generally to the Roman civitas. At the head of the pagus was the comes, corresponding to the German Graf (in full Gaugraf). The comes was appointed by the king and removable at his pleasure. His essential functions were judicial and executive, and in documents he is often described as the kings agent (agens publicus) or royal judge (judex publicus/fiscalis). As the delegate of the executive power he had the right to military command in the king’s name, and to take all the measures necessary. He was at once public prosecutor and judge, was responsible for the execution of the sentences of the courts, and as the king’s representative exercised the royal right of protection
The question thus arises; If the Dependence parties are so keen on using historical names, why do they not go the whole hog,and go back to its root. Which in effect describes the same person.
If they simply pick and choose what suits them,and what they find acceptable usage of the word, then it says much about about them, that they are so keen to use the Nazi terminology.
Their behaviour in this matter is petty. In being the prosecutor and the judge and dictating to the jury,how the jury must think, they themselves play the part of the Gaugraf or the Gauleiter.
Or if they would prefer, Little Hitlers.