Livingstone: Boris is like Hitler. Vote for him and go to hell - where "your skin will be flayed for all eternity"
By Paul Goodman
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Here is the full quote from Amber Elliot's trailed interview with Labour's Mayoral candidate in Total Politics:
"Asked why people should vote for him, Ken jokes: "It's a simple choice between good and evil – I don't think it's been so clear since the great struggle between Churchill and Hitler… The people that don't vote for me will be weighed in the balance, come Judgement Day. The Archangel Gabriel will say, ' You didn't vote for Ken Livingston in 2012. Oh dear, burn forever. Your skin flayed for all eternity.'… I'll come round with a serious pitch nearer the time."
Boris has made claims about his rival that are no less extravagant. At a ConservativeHome rally last year, he told those present that:
"The forthcoming London Mayoral election will be "between Hercules and the Lernean hydra, Holmes and Moriarty, Harry Potter and Voldemort".
Is there a difference? I think there is. Boris's comparisons are all drawn from myth or fiction. This somehow deflates any nastiness from his attack. Livingstone's is drawn from real life, and risks Godwin's law by invoking Hitler. I'm not at all bothered by that but I am struck by the horrible skin-flaying image. It somehow pumps unpleasantness into the joke.
UPDATE: How the Evening Standard covers the story: