Crowd's call likened to Nazi chant

By Derek Cheng

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.

The Prime Minister was dismissive of the video, saying he did not want to dignify the chant with a response. "It's for New Zealanders to judge."

But he fired a shot at Mr Dotcom: "The reality is that Kim Dotcom doesn't care about New Zealanders. He cares about not being extradited."

The clip and the reaction to it is the latest in a series of exchanges between John Key and the Internet Party, which could spice up his showdown with party leader Laila Harre on Monday at a Helensville candidates' meeting.

The video, taken two weeks ago during an IMP party in Christchurch, shows Mr Dotcom addressing a crowd shouting his name.

"Are you ready for a revolution? Are you ready to take down the Government? Are you ready to extradite John Key?" he asks the crowd.

They break into loud, repeated chants of "F*** John Key".

Ms Harre is standing by the video as an uncensored expression of 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".

"Negative marketing is never as effective as positive marketing and giving people hope and something to vote for." She conceded the chant might appeal to youth, who the party is trying to reach.

Massey University political marketing expert Claire Robinson said the video undercuts Ms Harre's claim to integrity. "Laila Harre was expressing such indignation about John Key's 'sugar daddy' comment and the need for respect in the political debate, and at the same time you have Kim Dotcom posting a video inciting hate speech, in effect.

"It is sinking to such a low, and completely at odds with what she's trying to do, exposing yet again the enormous disconnect between Kim Dotcom's hatred for John Key and the way that she wants to campaign."

This week Ms Harre lashed out at Mr Key over his comment that Mr Dotcom was her "sugar daddy". She called it "deeply offensive, totally sexist and bordering on defamation".

Yesterday she said the video was of a spontaneous crowd reaction.

"The video is a true representation of youth expression. We are on the road to engage with young people over politics. We are not about censoring the way young people engage." She stopped short of saying she was happy with the chant.

"If I had been on that stage delivering a political message to young people, as Kim did, emphasising the importance of participating and voting, and that had been the response, I would have acknowledged that response."

Mr Dotcom did not want to comment, but showed no sign he was having second thoughts about the video. He tweeted a link to it and called it "trending", and linked to subsequent media stories.

Family First NZ yesterday laid a complaint about the video with the Advertising Standards Authority.

- NZ Herald

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