To mark the official start of the 2015 general election short campaign, the Labour Party celebrated by offering their supporters a commemorative coffee mug with Adolf Hitler’s face adorning one side, and quotes from Mein Kampf on the other. Or so one might be forgiven for thinking, judging by the pant-wettingly hysterical reaction of some left-wingers to Labour’s latest piece of campaign merchandise.
In reality, what happened was that the Labour Party released some campaign trinkets based on their “five pledges” outlining what they would do in government. The offensive mugs make reference to the fourth of these pledges:
CONTROLS ON IMMIGRATION: People who come here won’t be able to claim benefits for at least two years, and we will introduce fair rules making it illegal for employers to undercut wages by exploiting workers.
Diane Abbott, the MP for Hackney North and Stoke Newington and a former Labour leadership hopeful, tweeted a picture of the mug on Sunday afternoon with the words: “This shameful mug is an embarrassment. But the real problem is that immigration controls are one of our five pledges at all.”
Her tweet prompted a barrage of criticism against Labour on Twitter, with the Liberal Democrat MP Julian Huppert writing: “Wow. The stories are true. Labour have actually produced a campaign mug championing ‘Controls on immigration’.”
Owen Jones also felt the need to get in on the action, though one cannot disagree with his wider point that the Labour Party (and the others) would be better offering some hope, or a positive vision backed up by tangible policies: