A Scottish politician has been forced to resign his post as a social media strategist after making a Downfall video poking fun at an opposing party.
We all know what Downfall videos are, right? People take the “bad news in the bunker” scene from the reportedly brilliant film Downfall, which chronicles the final 12 days of Adolf Hitler’s life and the end of the Third Reich, and insert their own subtitles over the original dialog, resulting in Hitler raging over everything from Rebecca Black to the fact that people won’t stop making Downfall videos. It’s a famous meme and a great one, which is probably why Scottish Labour politician and social media strategist Tom Harris decided to make one about the Scottish National Party and SNP Member of Parliament Joan McAlpine.
The trouble began when McAlpine tweeted that opponents of the Scottish National Party, which advocates for an independent Scotland, are “anti-Scottish.” Harris’ video makes the obvious point that her statement encompasses an awful lot of people in Scotland, and while he maintains that the point is valid, he also acknowledged that the way he made it is not.
“The video I posted has been a well worn joke used to parody a range of public figures,” Harris said in a statement. “However, context is everything and in the context of Johann’s [Labour Party Leader Johann Lamont] and my desire to improve the level of political debate on social media and the context of Joan McAlpine’s much more serious statements about all political opponents of the SNP being anti-Scottish, my actions have been an unhelpful distraction for which I apologize.”
Familiarity with the political situation in Scotland will obviously go a long way toward making this video funny [or at least relevant] but even without such knowledge, there’s just something about watching Hitler go off about his lousy week that’s a kick all by itself. But there’s also something vaguely unfortunate about removing a man from a social media post because he puts a video online that might attract an audience beyond the usual crowd of political junkies. Isn’t that the point?