THE LAST DITCH An Englishman returned after twenty years abroad blogs about liberty in Britain
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A new age?

A language of lies

In my last post I made a rash promise to address the abuse of language by the Left; the way in which they weaponise it to undermine opposition to their ideas. Most friends of Liberty are naggingly aware that it's going on and routinely irritated by it but when I started to research it, I realised it was a big, difficult subject to sum up in a blog post. If there were enough liberty-minded academics to fill a faculty, it could be that faculty's sole field of research. 

Orwell exposed it beautifully in his book 1984 where the English Socialist Party (IngSoc) was introducing a new form of the English language; "Newspeak". He explained that: 
...the purpose ... was not only to provide a medium of expression for the world-view and mental habits proper to the devotees of IngSoc, but to make all other modes of thought impossible. Its vocabulary was so constructed as to give exact and often very subtle expression to every meaning that a Party member could properly wish to express, while excluding all other meaning and also the possibility of arriving at them by indirect methods. This was done partly by the invention of new words, but chiefly by eliminating undesirable words and stripping such words as remained of unorthodox meanings, and so far as possible of all secondary meaning whatever...
For example an IngSoc member could use the word "free" to speak of a garden free of weeds, but not to speak of free expression. That outdated, bourgeois concept would constitute crimethink and therefore did not need a word. 
Isn't this is precisely what the post Soviet cultural Marxist Left is now doing world wide? In Newspeak it's now called "political correctness". Why is that term Newspeak? Because to oppose it is to identify yourself as "incorrect". Your wrongness is built into the term itself.
Orwell's fictional language was being introduced by law but the Left realised that there was no need for that. The English language itself was formed, not by Parliament, but by men of letters and everyday folk in daily use. If a word or expression was useful, it caught on. So cultural Marxist academics just used their positions to introduce "useful" concepts (to them at least) into the language. Their eager students, innocent or otherwise, then took them into the wider world and most dangerously into the field of public policy. Political correctness is a pollution entering the stream of English thought from the Academy.
Orwell's Newspeak included simple things like the sinister interior ministry being named the Ministry of Love or MiniLuv, just as in real life Britain the Ministry of War became the Ministry of Defence. That's not a specifically leftist trick. Wasn't George W. Bush using the same technique when introducing one of the greatest modern assaults on Liberty; the USA Patriot Act? It's a useful tool of persuasion. We don't call a law "the imprisonment without trial act" because who would vote for that? We call it the "Prevention of Terrorism Act" even though it most likely won't do the latter, but will definitely do the former. 
The Soviet era Left sneered at "bourgeois" freedoms by questioning the value of freedom or a vote  to a hungry man. The post-Soviet Left has gone further. It has usurped the term "human rights" to frightening effect; proposing "rights" than can only be delivered by the use of force on others to fund them. There can only be a "right" to work, to education or to housing if there is a force powerful enough to compel others to provide them. The true test of a human right is whether a man or woman can enjoy it without compelling another – not merely to abstain from interfering with it – but to pay for it. Regular readers know my view that anything funded by force will tend to corruption.
Newspeak is alive and well in the text of a letter written by fifty academics opposing the right of Milo Yiannopolous to give a talk at his old school in Kent; a talk that was cancelled under pressure from the Ministry of Education. How much more elegant to censor by pressuring a humble headmaster than by invoking the majesty of the law. Matthew Baxter, the head of Milo's old school, said:
This decision was taken following contact from the Department For Education’s counter extremism unit, the threat of demonstrations at the school by organised groups and members of the public and our overall concerns for the security of the school site and the safety of our community.
We note that within 24 hours of advertising the event, more than 220 Langton sixth formers had, with parental consent, signed up for the event and that objection to our hosting Mr Yiannopoulus came almost entirely from people with no direct connection to the Langton.
What a wonderful confluence of career-threatening bureaucratic pressure, agitation, threats of criminal damage and academic pomposity. Who needs a law when a clear-thinking, respectable head-teacher can be so easily cowed? Just as, long ago, a thoughtful head teacher in Manchester was first demonised and then "persuaded to take early retirement" after he made politically-incorrect (but highly prescient) observations in a conservative publication. 
Which brings us to the most freedom-chilling concept of political correctness; hate speech. We are free to say what we want now, as long as it does not incite hatred (as defined by the Left) against protected groups (as defined by the Left). And any crime we commit motivated by ideas that would be hate speech if expressed is a "hate crime" to be more severely punished. Fictional policeman Gene Hunt ridiculed the suggestion that a murder might be a "hate crime" by asking
What as opposed to one of those I-really-really-like-you sort of murders?
The nonsensical thinking is as easily exposed by the hateful remarks of its proponents. It's wicked to worry so much about illegal immigrants that you vote for Donald Trump, for example, but it's fine to suggest that
"... if you're voting for Trump, it's time for the urn"
Hating on haters is ok, you see. I agree. I just don't accept the Left's right to define "hate" and "hater" or to protect particular groups or ideas from being hated. Neither, dear reader, if you value your liberty, must you.
I was let off the hook I made for myself in my last post by this wonderfully detailed article from the C2C Journal in Canada concerning the cause celebre (or at least it should be celebre) of a a contemporary hero of the cause of Liberty; Canadian academic, Dr Jordan Peterson. He is currently in what is almost certainly his last month of employment at the University of Toronto because he has publicly stated that he will not use "non-binary pronouns" such as "zhe" if requested to do so. That is in breach of a proposed new law and his university's HR policy and his employer is steadily delivering the HR warnings in preparation for his dismissal. 

Dear, lovable Canada, the country that no-one can be bothered to hate, has actually been breaking ground for a while on suppressing free speech. It has form on using the law to do so. Ezra Levant's epic battle with the Newspeak-named Ontario Human Rights Commission is an old story now. His astute insistence that his hearings with the grey bureaucratic minion claiming the power to censor him be videoed exposed her idiocy to the disinfectant of sunlight. That led to the specific law he fell foul of being repealed. Now the Canadian Thought Crime legislators are at it again with their obnoxious Bill C16.
in the above-referenced interview with Dr Jordan he says; 
Bill C-16 writes social constructionism into the fabric of the law. Social constructionism is the doctrine that all human roles are socially constructed. They’re detached from the underlying biology and from the underlying objective world. So Bill C-16 contains an assault on biology and an implicit assault on the idea of objective reality. It’s also blatant in the Ontario Human Rights Commission policies and the Ontario Human Rights Act. It says identity is nothing but subjective. So a person can be male one day and female the next, or male one hour and female the next.
I will defend to the death the rights of Leftist academics and other rascals or morons to promote such a stupid idea as social constructionism. Quite frankly, I am amused by it. To quote my only Labour Party hero, George Orwell, once more;
Some ideas are so stupid than only intellectuals believe them
Which is precisely why Michael Gove could safely observe that the people are tired of "experts". Dr Jordan goes on to say;

So with the hate speech issue – say someone’s a Holocaust denier, because that’s the standard routine – we want those people out there in the public so you can tell them why they’re historically ignorant, and why their views are unfounded and dangerous. If you drive them underground, it’s not like they stop talking to each other, they just don’t talk to anyone who disagrees with them. That’s a really bad idea and that’s what’s happening in the United States right now. Half of the country doesn’t talk to the other half. Do you know what you call people you don’t talk to? Enemies. If you stop talking to people, you either submit to them, or you go to war with them. Those are your options and those aren’t good options. It’s better to have a talk.

If you read the rest of the interview with Dr Jordan, you will know everything I would have wished to say on the subject of the left's abuse of language. He says that "we are teaching university students lies" but he understates the point. We are teaching them in lies. The social sciences faculties of the West's universities are the Spanish Inquisition of the post-Soviet Left. They are quite simply, hostile to the truth. They are the most dangerous enemies of freedom. The most saddening fact in my life is that so much of it was spent earning money to be taken from me by state violence to fund that enmity.


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Ah yes, that catch all word - racist. To most normal folk, a racist is someone who is discriminatory against another person who is visually clearly not of the same racial origin. In broad terms this would be split on a Mongol, Caucasian and *egroid basis (N word is verboten remember). To apply it to say, to someone who is French, who objects because their village is full of Poles for example is not racist, given that they are more than likely to both be caucasian. You could level the charge of xenophobia, but not racism. To the Left however, racist means something else completely different. Wanting to have borders is racist, belief in the nation state is racist. Anti-globalisation is racist, voting Brexit is racist, voting for Trump is racist.

As you so presciently point out, people get somewhat tired of everything they do or say being "racist" If you're going to give me that label, then I might as well live up to then hadn't I.

Sometimes the Left is too clever for it's own good. They forget that two can play this game - and Milo Yiannopolous is very good at playing it.


That said, much of it is becoming meaningless. So much so, that despite being abused as racist and xenophobic, large proportions of the electorate in the UK and US voted for "populist" choices - and France may prove to do likewise. Perhaps, finally, they took the view that if they are going to be called these things, they might as well live up to the name and damn their eyes?

James Higham

Think you're marked down for re-education, Tom, after that.


My adopted country-Canada (for those who do not know)- does indeed have a penchant for the worst lefty-thinking idiocy supported by ridiculous "human rights commissions" and their made-up "law" based on the most ridiculous suppositions. Every once in awhile these commissions need to be publicly embarrassed.

Thankfully there has been a robust group of thinkers willing to refute the nonsense, occasionally going even so far to challenge the nonsense in the courts at great expense, I refer to Ezra Levant, Mark Steyn and now professor Jordan.

The dangerous ideas propounded by these "human-rights commissions" have emanated from the social faux-scientists and trendy legal "minds" at third-rate university faculties, we no longer it seems subscribe to the common-law but a strange concoction of very uncommon (indeed minority) law.

John miller

The hate crime laws chief obscenity is that the hate bit does not have to be proved. This is expressly defined in the legislation. The hate bit is determined by whether the, ahem, victim believes it to be so. The legislation expressly states that no proof is required.

This is crossing the Rubicon as far as English law is concerned. No other law in the nation's history states that no proof is required when considering an alleged crime.


For years, I've maintained (sometimes in the face of incredulous disbelief and anger) that one of the great victories of the political Left is the rebranding of "Fascism" as a feature of the "right wing" - see any BBC / meejah reference to Nazism. The defining characteristic of Fascism is that it puts the desires of the State above those of the individual; it takes but a moment of reflection to see that this is a characteristic of Communism and Socialism - including National Socialism. And, regrettably, oft-times of allegedly non-Socialist politicians such as the Conservative Party.

After all, if Fascists are to blame for the world's evils (and God knows, they are for most of them) we can't have Fascists who are Socialists, can we? Socialists are nice people with the best interests of the hoi-polloi at heart; and a velvet glove on their iron fist.

Phillip Downs

I have just written off a large part of my morning watching most of that debate. Fascinating and utterly chilling - a confrontation between 'weaponised' political correctness and what 99.9% of society would imagine was common sense. It is terrifying that the law is involved in issues like this and, at least in academic circles, I am not confident that the side of common sense is winning. That is no reflection on the strength of the arguments but merely that so many are now enslaved by this idiocy. And I think idiocy is the right word for it!

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