Thursday, January 28, 2016

Hate Speak

That David Cameron, eh?  What a card!  The man who is happily making hate speak legitimate.  To him, refugees aren't human beings, they're a 'bunch of migrants', or a 'swarm of people'.  Oh, and let's not forget those Muslim women who are 'traditionally submissive'.  Like a submissive woman, do you Dave?  Oh no, that's right, pigs are more your thing.  Allegedly.  But really, this, along with Cameron's attempts to brand Jeremy Corbyn as some kind of unpatriotic terrorist appeaser, mark an alarming development in the nature of political discourse in the UK.  To be sure, robust exchanges and political slanging matches have always been part of political life in Britain, but Cameron's recent utterances (and those of his cohorts) represent a new low.  As I said at the outset, it is, in effect, hate speak, no different from the bile spouted by right wing extremists.  It is the language of fascism.

Not that I'm accusing Cameron of being a Nazi - I don't expect to see him pulling on the jack boots any time soon.  I don't think that these utterances actually represent Cameron's true views, they are simply another manifestation of his political opportunism: he senses that attitudes on things like immigration are moving rightward - fuelled by the likes of UKIP and the right-wing press - so he feels he has to seize the moment and move with them.  Rather than lead opinion, as any decent conviction politician would do, opportunist Dave simply goes with the flow, hoping that he can avoid losing part of his natural constituency to the extremists by showing that he can be just as extreme and offensive himself.   Of course, there's undoubtedly another factor in play here - Cameron and co are spouting this stuff because they can.  It's a way of asserting their mastery of the current political landscape.  The fact is that there is no one to stop them, no one to hold them to account: the majority of the media are their bosom buddies, whilst the BBC has been cowed into subservience when it comes to reporting the news and the political opposition ineffective.  Don't get me wrong, I respect Corbyn's attempts to establish a new kind of political discourse, which rises above Cameron's jibes and insults, by example.  But I'm afraid that the situation requires a somewhat more robust approach.   Because, whilst Cameron might not be a full-fledged Nazi, he and his friends, with their manipulation of constituency boundaries and attempts to starve other parties of funding, do seem set upon establishing what would effectively be a one-party state.  



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