All in a Day’s Words
The Telegraph came up with a crackerjack collective noun for migrants earlier today, albeit unconsciously: ‘a backlog’. This is what every UK Party should guarantee at the next General Election. But have you noticed how, under New Labour, immigrants became migrants? It’s all part of the Lexicon of the Left, is it not? Immigrants are a boo term, let’s call them migrants and be all EU and fluffy free-market about it.
In the same way, at some point between 1961 and 1981, racialism became racism. So much easier to spit a two-syllable word, is it not? How much more honest it would have been to accept that ethnicity isn’t really the issue, the real problem for immigrants wishing to integrate into British society is culture. And so of course, it was necessary to invent multiculturalism. This word in time became equivalent to ‘nice’, as opposed to what it really was, a recipe for disaster with a long track record of internecine conflict and civil war.
It is one of the great ironies that language was developed to make finer, more subtle communication easier; but in the two great Anglo-Saxon democracies, English has become a vehicle for obfuscation. David Cameron’s speech yesterday was a classic example of the genre, but it was always going to be so: if you have to try, at one and the same time, to please the 1922 Committee, the majority of voters who want to leave the EU, the Civil Service and Tory modernisers who don’t, the Palace, Rupert Murdoch, the Barclay brothers, and Angela Merkel, there is no chance of anything comprehensible as a direction emerging.
Cameron is merely a bloke with no beliefs, a chap unable to grasp that, as a politician, you can’t please everyone: so instead of doing that, build a belief system and then please yourself. The only advantage he has is that he speaks English as his native tongue. English – the language of diplomacy, and quite rightly so. The language of ‘be sincere, even if you don’t mean it’. The language of, “With the greatest of respect”, “Can I help you at all?”, “I must warn you sir” and “Not at all – feel free”….all of which mean the diametric opposite of the words uttered.
But it is also a language that creates more humour and nonsense poetry than all other languages put together.
Transcendental: Rising above the pain of having teeth extracted.
The Elephant is a dainty bird/ It swings from bough to bough/ It makes its nest in a rhubarb tree/ And whistles like a cow.
Table Mountain: EU carpentry glut.
And so on and so on.