An Internet-Mana Party video clip of a frenzied crowd cheering on Kim Dotcom and chanting “F*** John Key” is being compared to Nazi Germany propaganda – although a political marketing expert concedes it could appeal to youth.
Auckland University political marketing specialist Jennifer Lees-Marshment said the video’s rhetoric about revolution and changing the Government looked effective, but “reminds me of propaganda, chanting-type campaigning more reminiscent of Hitler and fascism [in Nazi Germany] than New Zealand in the 21st century”.
The actual footage shows Kim Dotcom urging people to vote and promising to give them a hug, which isn’t something I remember from Triumph of the Will. I think what these commentators and marketing experts are trying to say with all this gibberish about Nazis is (a) that footage of political events showing hundreds of young people denigrating the Prime Minister is a new phenomenon in the New Zealand political experience, and it frightens them (b) they think the young people at these events are victims of ‘false consciousness’ – they don’t really dislike the Prime Minister, they’ve just been brainwashed! and (c) Kim Dotcom is a German, so hey, Hitler.
My problem with Internet/Mana has always been that it will probably scare more voters towards National than it wins from youth voters. I might be wrong. We’ll see on election day. But their ‘Fuck John Key’ ad and the horrified reaction to it is pretty much Exhibit A in my ‘scare the middle-class horses’ hypothesis. I also kind-of-doubt this ad and Laila Harre’s defense of it – that it shows ‘young people expressing themselves creatively’ – is going to appeal to very many young voters, given that it makes young voters look like bogans.