It has been a truism at least since Orwell’s 1984 hit the bookstores that the control of language is the control of thought. And this is an exercise that our politicos, media and much of academia have been involved in for decades now.
I’d like to examine some examples…
“Ethical living”. Now a naive person might assume that means living by the tenants of one of the great ethical philosophers, or perhaps one of the great religions. Except it doesn’t. It means being a Green. Being Green means opposing GM crops on principle and regardless of any scientific evidence or the fact that such crops could dramatically improve the lives of some of the very poorest people on this planet. Hardly a viewpoint I can regard as being ethical unless you are a complete git.
“Homophobic attack”. Parsing that literally it makes no sense. If you are irrationally afraid of homosexuals you don’t go out of your way to pick fights with them. I for example am (rationally) afraid of bears so I tend not to steal their honey and then kick ‘em up the arse. This of course also applies to the similarly disingenuous term “Islamophobic”. In this case it implies that not liking Islam is by definition an irrational response. For me it isn’t. I have read the Qu’ran and a lot of hadith and listened to fatwas and I just don’t like the religion. But that’s just me. How about Jihad Watch’s (it’s blog-rolled) Robert Spencer. He’s an erudite scholar of the Arabic language, Islamic culture, history and theology and he doesn’t like it much either yet despite his exhaustive studies that dislike is branded “phobic” in the sense of being irrational. Not wrong or bad as much as mad. This is interesting because if you can merely dismiss someone as being round the bend you can get away with not arguing with him or her.
I am not arguing here at all that certain pathetic individuals don’t sometimes engage in “queer-bashing”. I’m arguing against the words and as a blogger I know words matter. As I see it people who think it’s amusing to beat-up homosexuals purely because they are homosexual aren’t acting from an irrational fear – they are acting from an irrational hatred. I guess to tie back into Islamophobia one of my many beefs against Shariah law is that it advocates the execution of homosexuals. Is that an irrational argument on my part? Odd in that context that the PC elite apply the same terminology to both fauxbias.
On very similar lines we have the catch-all term “hate-crime”. Oddly enough it really is a catch-all though not in the sense our Lords and Masters use it. I would argue that almost any crime against a person is a “hate-crime”. Criminals don’t tend to mug, rape or murder people they like do they? Oh, I know there is the crime of passion but love is hardly coursing through the perp’s CNS as they bring the claw-hammer down upon their beloved’s head repeatedly now is it?
And now… The real stormers. “Eurosceptic” and “Anti-European”. I am both of course. I do not think the EU is a good idea or in anyway shape or form needed to ensure the free movement of goods, people and cash around the continent. The governments of Europe could have all just have signed a free trade agreement and then gone home. Job done. There is no need for a bureaucracy or president or the troughers in Brussels. For example my wife is a translator of Scandinavian languages. She gets work in from Norway (not EU), Sweden and Denmark (both EU) and there is no difference in legalistic or payment difficulty. Oddly enough she sometime gets work in from Taiwan or Russia and that goes OK too. The EU’s narrow geographical thinking is truly out of date in the C21st century world of cheap broadband.
But back to the language…
“Eurosceptic” implies almost a lack of belief in the existence of Europe. I shall refute that silliness thus. I shall do it with a list. I have been to:
France, Spain, Portugal, Holland, Belgium, Yugoslavia (as was), Italy, Austria, Germany, The Irish Republic, The Czech Republic, Greece, Malta, Poland and Hungary.
Many of them more than once.
That is quite a lot of Europe. Certainly enough to convince me it exists, which should put the “Eurosceptic”, tag out of its misery. So what now of my “Anti-Europeanism”? Well, none of those were forced trips. They were holidays. I chose to go. Does that sound like the actions of a confirmed Little Englander? And yes, dear reader, I ate the local food and drank the wine and sometimes even managed a few words of the local tongue. I am not the kinda guy who goes to Benidorm to eat chips, drink John Smith’s Bitter and read The Sun in the saloon bar of the Red Lion. I am in fact a Europhile. I’ve had some great times over the Channel. I am though not a EUrophile because I regard that as not being the same thing at all. If only our Lords and Masters could see that but the mere capitalization of one letter seems to escape them.
And you see the thing is… A great many of those continental types feel the same. The Czechs certainly seem to be inclined that way and I for one can see exactly why. On pretty much the twentieth anniversary of escaping Soviet tyranny to be being cajoled, bribed and intimidated into accepting the Lisbon Treaty and all that entails is a tragic irony. I hope the Czechs stand firm. They give me the impression of being a bloody-minded lot of individualists and long may that remain so.