Monday, May 14, 2018

Kinder, Gentler politics - NOT

While I was driving back to Copeland after the Cumbria Health Scrutiny meeting in County Hall, Kendal today, there was a mock "mastermind" quiz of a political journalist on Radio 4 about the new language of the hard left in Britain.

One of the five terms was an expression of praise for Jeremy Corbyn ("The Absolute Boy") and the other four were relatively new insults such as "slug" now in vogue among Corbynistas for various flavours of people whose views differ slightly from theirs. Their other disparaging names for people judged to be insufficiently robust in the left-wing cause are "Centrist dad," "Melt" and "Gammon."

You can tell quite a lot about a group of people if they start adding expressions to the language and if insults outnumber complements by four to one, one of the things it tells you is that whatever "The absolute boy" might prefer these are not practitioners of "kinder gentler politics."

What really struck me was the extent to which this range of terms indicates a range of disdain for everyone else in the political spectrum. You might expect that Conservatives like me might be the main target of Corbynista insults but actually I don't qualify as any of them - but almost everyone else does.

"Gammon" is a word for a working class supporter of Brexit, while "Centrist Dads" who are often Labour voters are the opposite - they are Remain supporters who are worried that Jeremy Corbyn is insufficiently opposed to Brexit.

The insults "Slug" and "Melts" are usually used of Blairites or soft-left Labour supporters who are perceived as trying to sabotage, or not have the courage to forcefully back, the Corbyn project.

If this is what has been added to the English language by the new left, one concludes that these people don't merely dislike Tories, they don't seem to like each other very much either!


Jim said...

its pretty much it. they don't want to hear any opinion too far from their own. So they invite people from their own side to "demolish", but any other sides are immediately "no platformed" - they are either sexist, racist, Islamophobic, non gay friendly, trans phobic etc. what ever they can make fit so there is no debate.

Chris Whiteside said...

You are entirely right, but it doesn't even stop there.

People on their own side who are insufficiently vigorous in "demolishing" the ideas of those on the other side become "melts" or "centrist dads" to be demolished or "slugs" to be "salted."