Words matter, and far too many people repeat the language that permeates the field of mainstream political and social discourse. The father of modern linguistics, Ferdinand de Saussure, said that language is a “system of signs”. Words are like pictures, and when we think of a word, an image of the object comes to mind. Like me, George Carlin was interested in language and how it’s been used, some would say ‘hijacked’, by the dominant ideology to shape the way we see the world and ourselves. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vuEQixrBKCc
In political discourse certain words and their definitions are mini soundbites. They are hooks onto which an argument can be attached and they are guides to direct the perspective of the opponent or the observer.
New words and new meanings for existing words acquire a majority consensus for their respective definitions quickly which are difficult to alter. Many of these definitions are specifically designed to hide or to distort.
For example, “alt-right” was invented as a tool to humanise and to downplay extreme-right racists, “populist” was given a new definition that sought to obscure the extreme-right nature of the politics to which the word is applied, “gig economy” was invented as a jaunty neutral description of low paid, insecure, unsafe, unregulated employment with no statutory rights, and “moderate” was given a new political definition that sought to describe nothingness as a viable entity…
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Since the story broke last week, Margaret Hodge has been mythologised by the right-wing of the Labour Party, who are eager to do anything it takes to remove Jeremy Corbyn as party leader. This blog article puts paid to the notion that Hodge singlehandedly destroyed the BNP in Barking. In fact, the opposite was true: she actually appropriated some of their rhetoric around local housing issues.
Hodge, in my view, is little better than the racists she claims to loathe. by pandering to racists, she has shown that she is nothing but a cheap opportunist, who will do anything to cling to her parliamentary seat, even if it means adopting the BNP’s clothes.
Not content with calling Jeremy Corbyn a “fucking antisemite and racist”, and treating herself as the victim when the Labour Party threatened to act on a third party complaint about her use of outrageous and abusive language against a fellow Labour MP whom she has known for several decades, and is the leader of the Labour Party, Margaret Hodge has had the chutzpah to compare her fight against Corbyn’s alleged antisemitism with her fight in her Barking constituency against the British National Party (BNP). She has cynically drawn on her family’s direct experience of the Holocaust to bolster her special right to pronounce on the subject.
The usual suspects who regularly target their venom at Corbyn instead of the Tory Party, (and happen, coincidentally, to be members of Labour Friends of Israel), Ruth Smeeth, Luciana Berger, Jess Philips, Chuka Umunna and others, have all lined up to defend Hodge’s comments…
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