They call it Godwin’s Law: as an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches one. And before the internet, it was known as “reductio ad Hitlerum” – trying to beat an opponent in a debate by comparing them to Hitler.
Perhaps now we’ll have to call it Hemming’s Law, after the campaign against an elected mayor in Birmingham – led by Lib Dem MP John Hemming - produced an astonishing leaflet entitled “Brummies have always fought back against dictators – don’t elect one”. These words are printed against a picture showing a scene from the Blitz.
In the leaflet, according to the report by the Birmingham Post’s Jon Walker, the No Campaign produces a list of reasons to vote against having an elected mayor. They include:
I revealed in this morning’s FT that three former political heavyweights will take the lead roles in the fight against Scottish independence. Each is surprising in their own way:
For the Tories, David McLetchie. But what does choosing a former Scottish leader say about Ruth Davidson, the current one?
For the Lib Dems, Charles Kennedy. Having maintained a low profile since the beginning of the coalition (which he voted against joining), it will be a pleasant surprise to many to see the popular former leader return to frontline politics.
But it is the third one, Alistair Darling, who will be Labour’s leading figure in the campaign, that is most surprising. Whereas the other two do not have prominent Westminster roles, Darling only stopped being chancellor two years ago, and has even been talked of as a possible party leader to usurp Ed Miliband.