Burying the truth with garbage

Theodore Dalrymple once wrote, of a piece by Marxist Jurgen Habermas defending the EU, that it was “every bit as stilted as the thought behind it, as if almost every sentence concealed a guilty secret”.

Language is the expression of thought; as Orwell wrote, politicians endeavour to control language in order to control thought. At its worst, Political Correctness for instance, language “is engineered to remove even the possibility of rebellious thoughts”. Quote:

Contrast two statements, which I saw in the Daily Telegraph last Friday. The first is by Luke Foley. “The allegations against me today made public by the ABC are false.” The second is by Scott Morrison. “The alleged behaviour of Mr Foley is very, very shocking and concerning.” For obvious reasons I do not want to comment on what did or did not happen between Foley and Ashleigh Raper…

Foley’s reported comment above is fine in respect of the English language. Morrison’s is not. What exactly is he saying?…An allegation is just that. And if any allegation proves to be untrue then perforce however shocking is the alleged offence, it is not shocking at all because it never happened…

A second example is an article I read by Sharri Markson, also in the Daily Telegraph. She starts out this way. “As a politician Luke Foley counted on a woman’s silence and timidity – regardless of the truth or falsity of his accusers claims.” I ask, quite honestly, what does this mean? How did it ever get past a subeditor? End of quote.

But nowhere in politics is more cant and obfuscation to be read and heard than in responses to the outbreak of Islamic violence and mayhem du jour. Quote:

Nonsense is everywhere these days, particularly as the intelligence of politicians appears to be in serial decline. At no other time can this be more acutely observed than when bloody Islamic terrorism strikes. As it did again in Melbourne last Friday. “These are traumatic events, they are terrifying,” the Australian reported Daniel Andrews as saying and then adding: “We will not be defined by this.” At these times, political leaders need to talk plainly to concerned citizens. If we were to be defined by Islamic terrorism exactly what would that look like?

…Morrison chose a different word to describe what Islamic terrorism wouldn’t do to us. “Australians will never be intimidated by these appalling attacks,” he was reported as saying. So, to sum up, we will neither be defined nor intimidated by Islamic religious fanatics who kill us randomly on the streets and in places where we congregate for entertainment. But, but… haven’t we already been defined and intimidated by these things?

Recently I bought a home safe. But you understand I am not intimidated by burglars who might want to steal my paltry valuables. I am wary of walking alone down streets in rough neighbourhoods. But you understand I will not be defined by that. Ordinary people, like me, have no idea what Andrewss and Morrison are saying? That is because there is no intelligent thought behind their clichéd sound bites. End of quote.

We are neither intimidated nor defined by Islamic terrorism. Just ignore those ugly diversity bollards spreading like a cancer across our cities. I also remember a time when guards with military rifles weren’t stationed at public landmarks. But, Nothing To Do With Islam™ of course. Quote:

Let me see if I’ve got it. We are not defined nor intimated by Islamic terrorism. Yet we have uglified the environment, placed ourselves in security straitjackets, and have been bullied into accepting the immigration of more adherents of a religion which produces fanaticism and violence.

Better and more precise use of language would not solve everything. But it would, I think, make society a better place. For example, people would recognise the stark difference between allegations and evidence and be less likely, so to speak, to dunk witches. People would be impatient with meaningless clichés and more likely to elect straightforward politicians who tell it as it is. End of quote.

Politicians and commenters prefer gobbledegook, “in every phrase of which a falsehood is suggested and an evident truth suppressed”.

Because, if they spoke plainly, then the vacuousness and even mendacity of their words would be plain. Which wouldn’t do at all. Quote:

PS: The PM’s later remarks on the dire threat of radical Islam – for which he is apparently being criticised by the usual suspects – were on the money in telling it as it is. Goodonya, ScoMo. Don’t back down. End of quote.


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Who is Lushington D. Brady?

Well, a pseudonym. Obviously.

But the name Lushington Dalrymple Brady has been chosen carefully. Not only for the sum of its overall mien of seedy gentility, reminiscent perhaps of a slightly disreputable gentlemen of letters, but also for its parts, each of which borrows from the name of a Vandemonian of more-or-less fame (or notoriety) who represents some admirable quality which will hopefully animate the persona of Lushington D. Brady.

To read my previous articles click on my name in blue.

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