Labor MP Joel Fitzgibbon likened recent police raids on the offices of the Australian Workers’ Union (AWU) to Nazi Germany in an interview on Sky News this week.
“When challenged about the inappropriateness of the remarks he did not withdraw his remarks, and broadened the analogy to include North Korea and Stalinist Russia,” explains ECAJ President Anton Block.
“Mr Fitzgibbon’s remarks are unacceptable and should be withdrawn. There is a common temptation to discredit political rivals by associating them with symbols of evil, the most striking and extreme of which is Nazism.”
“However, where the comparison is wholly without basis, it does nothing more than lower the discourse and diminish the speaker, in this case Mr Fitzgibbon.”
“We appreciate that the remarks were off the cuff and delivered in the heat of political debate, but the effect of making such false comparisons whether they be with Nazism or with other brutal totalitarian regimes such as North Korea and Stalin’s Soviet Union, which Mr Fitzgibbon also evoked, is to trivialise the horrors of the darkest chapters in human history and anaesthetise the public to the unique suffering of the victims.”
Peter Wertheim AM | Executive Director
phone: 02 8353 8500 | m: 0408 160 904 | fax 02 9361 5888
e: email@example.com | www.ecaj.org.au