LANGUAGE evolves over time, but language also has different meaning to different people at the same time. When a socialist speaks, it is highly likely that what he is saying is consistent with his ideology while others think it means something completely different. I have previously covered a quartet of terms which have been distorted by socialists. The General Election has resulted in some more misuses of language where the meaning is hidden.
We won the argument – our argument was comprehensively destroyed. Labour lost the election in 2017, but their increase in MPs, added to the loss of the Conservative majority, allowed them to portray this as a victory. The defeat last month cannot be seen that way, and in fact the ‘victory’ of 2017 is now cast as the third of four successive defeats. So Labour, or the less-than-sane portion of the party, now declare that while not quite winning the election, the party managed to drive government policy in such a way that the fact of not actually winning the election is but a trifling inconvenience. This is obviously absurd. A Conservative government with a stonking majority (© Tom Harwood) implementing neo-Keynesian policies to the dismay of Hayekians bears no resemblance to Labour’s absurd plans to give away free broadband, borrow millions to compulsorily purchase utility companies on the bogus premise that even after voter-friendly price reductions the profits would pay the interest on the borrowings, to confiscate a minimum 10 per cent of every medium-to-large British firm in the guise of an employee share ownership scheme, and to drive away high earners with punitive taxation. It also shows how much the Labour leadership are retreads. ‘We won the argument’ was the cry in defeat by Tony Benn when he lost the Labour deputy leadership election of 1981 to Denis Healey. In that case Benn was right. Labour presented the electorate in 1983 with a decidedly non-Healeyite manifesto not dissimilar to the one foisted on us last year. Dubbed ‘the longest suicide note in history’, it led Labour to a loss only slightly less bad than this one. Corbyn’s main achievement last month was to make Michael Foot look good by setting a new standard for failure.
MSM smears – detailed and accurate reporting. Labour blame their historic defeat (worse than that of 1935, which was actually an improvement on the collapse of 1931, as I have to repeat. Direction of travel is important as well as numbers) in part on media bias. But as Jack Straw pointed out to Faiza Shaheen on live television, media antipathy is an element of the political landscape, despite which Labour did win three elections on the trot in the Blair years. Labour supporters point to ‘smears’ against Jeremy Corbyn. In fact they are smearing accurate journalism. Corbyn began to make his name in the early 1980s by fomenting outrage over his open associations with terrorist and unfriendly foreign powers, starting with inviting members of Sinn Fein to Parliament two weeks after the IRA tried to murder Margaret Thatcher’s government at the Grand Hotel in Brighton. While careful with his choice of words, such that he escaped being expelled from the party while fellow travellers were kicked out, Corbyn’s associations have been well and fairly documented. Corbyn has not hidden his extent of his beliefs, but perhaps some of their depths. While these were acceptable in an extremist backbencher in a ‘broad church’ party, they were not acceptable in a man seeking to be Prime Minister. Corbyn was a problem on the doorstep, but that was entirely due to ‘straight-talking, honest news reporting’ of a kind that Corbyn would approve had it not all been about him and very precise with it.
Communities – the ethnic majority. Labour’s multicultural metropolitanism means it cannot actually refer to that segment of voters that it has alienated through the party’s promotion of unrestricted migration and wanton accusations of racism levelled at those that dare to disagree. So it uses the c-word as a euphemism for the white working class who are fed up with being lectured by human rights lawyers or union officials who have entered politics. This is what Labour are talking about when they use the word ‘communities’ without a prefix. You will notice that Labour are quick to prefix the word using whatever ethnic, sexual, or social minority whose favour they wish to curry. They cannot bear to acknowledge that they have to appeal to a group of people indivisible into ‘oppressed’ identity groups. Also see For the many.
Change is coming – Be afraid, be very afraid. When Labour talked about media industry reform, the cut-through was that freedom of the press would be compromised to the detriment of everybody. ‘Change’ can also be for the worse. People are free to choose which media they consume, and if that media is critical of the Labour Party, people are free to choose media that does not. The fact that media that is critical of Labour is also popular was a bit of a hint that the comrades chose to not only ignore, but to threaten. But then this is easier than acknowledge some difficult truths. This boast came across as quite threatening. Labour did not notice.
For the many – for the few. It is a fiction that the economy works for only a small minority of the population, and yet this fiction is enshrined in Tony Blair’s Clause IV. It allows Labour virulently to attack quite a large segment of the population and get away without attracting too much criticism, but of late not enough votes. Socialists also portray themselves as the champions of ethnic, sexual, and social minorities, but they implicitly regard anyone not of a defined minority identity as an ‘oppressor’, who can be redeemed only through being an ‘ally’, apologising for being an oppressor, or just shutting up. A prime example of this mindset is the exchange between the Question Time panellist and actor Laurence Fox and Dr Rachel Boyle who was in the audience. When Fox disagreed with Boyle by stating that the UK was actually one of the most racially tolerant and pleasant places to live in the world, Boyle was intolerant and unpleasant, unselfconsciously denouncing Fox over the colour of his skin without a hint of irony rather than debating the issue. Boyle has form for being obnoxious. She had previously came to public attention by tweeting her response to the exit poll of the December General Election: ‘Historically the exit polls have been pretty reliable. May God help us all. If you made this happen – a plague upon your house. I. Have. No. More. Words.’ .
Labour courts the votes of minorities. It is now finding this leads to the party getting a minority of the vote.
Anti-Semitism – a badly-defined sliver of physical characteristic-based racism. This is the only explanation I can make as to why socialists are able to boast they they have never witnessed anti-Semitism while it has careered through the Labour Party at a fair old clip. It is instructive that most of the comrades closest to the thoughts and words of the soon-to-be-departed Dear Leader (who I maintain will soon be elevated to a new position of Life President à la Scargill) opposed the adoption of the IHRA definition of anti-Semitism, and probably still use their own quite narrow version in defiance. What their definition is remains unclear, but it seems to allow conduct that most would regard as anti-Semitic. An example of this could be the reaction to the mural in Tower Hamlets which showed conspiracy theory-based symbols together with old men with Jewish physical characteristics playing Monopoly with the board mounted on the back of men bowed in a slave-like repose. They would probably see bankers who happen to be Jewish, rather than Jewishbankers, which is what the rest of us normal folk would see. The Jewish men in the picture would be criticised by socialists for being bankers despite having Jewish features rather than because of them. While socialists regard mocking Jews over their physical features as anti-Semitic, everything else would seem to be fair play from the perspective of the comrades. Certainly when Jeremy Corbyn objected to the effacing of the offending mural, his later excuse was ‘I sincerely regret that I did not look more closely at the image I was commenting on, the contents of which are deeply disturbing and anti-Semitic’. I am sure he is to be believed, especially as he has taken to wearing some thick-lensed glasses so he won’t make the same mistake in future. The same excuse cannot be used by his racist supporters who infest the party. Commenting on the same issue, Corbyn’s spokesman said: ‘In 2012, Jeremy was responding to concerns about the removal of public art on grounds of freedom of speech. However, the mural was offensive, used anti-Semitic imagery, which has no place in our society, and it is right that it was removed.’ Orwell himself would be amazed that such a spectacular piece of doublethink was in a British newspaper and not from a work of fiction.
The next Labour leader will be a lawyer. It is to be hoped that this means that language will be less distorted by socialists, but I feel that future guides to this new use of English may be even more needed. Stay tuned.