One of the first casualties of decreasing democracy and the rising probability of a dictatorship is the degeneration of the language. This was noticeable during the time when Spiro Agnew was Vice President of the USA during the later stages of the Vietnam War. Then, when someone in the military decided to murder one of their officers they named it “fragging”, which was a euphemism for slinging a fragmentation grenade into the officer’s tent. The results were obvious, but the slang somehow decreased the obscenity of the action.
Many of you will have noticed that this trend has continued and flowered with a whole selection of Big Brother type re-naming that has legitimized a million small cuts into the democratic fabric of our evolved societies.
Now we don’t have terrorists as the media have re-branded them freedom fighters if they find their views acceptable politically and morally, this despite the fact that they might behead some kidnap victims, now recast as prisoners as if this were a legitimate action, or blow up some children as if a 4 or 5 year old is a combatant.
The list of such anomalies is virtually endless and angers so many with rival views that there are many of us, myself included, who have simply stopped watching certain television stations or reading certain newspapers or magazines. Of course this devalues legitimate debate because we no longer put out trust in factual statements put out by the opposition’s media depending on our view.
I was having a fairly important economic debate with an economist yesterday and I quoted some statistics I had gathered the previous day from the fairly left of center Guardian newspaper. Their reaction was to reach for what they considered the more authorative Economist magazine to double check these “facts”. This is a very dangerous trend that shows itself in many ways.
Yesterday it was revealed that certain UK police authorities had mis-reported various crime statistics. Their contention was that they had got the total crime figures correct, but had under estimated the total number in the serious crime column as required by their statistical analysis. However, they went on, the figures they had given did tally with the method used by the courts to calculate these figures, Therefore, in an age where we are already very worried by the seeming rise in crime figures in this country we are told, on the one hand, that the figures were actually considerably worse than those previously listed, but don’t worry, the number of actual crimes committed has really decreased; really?
In the same time frame we were authoritively informed by the government that they have education at the very top of their agenda, and that this is an area of growing achievement. At the same time they abandoned almost their entire testing methodology after insisting it was adopted for the last years of their administration.
We all know of similar financial, health and defense issues to add to our litany of woe. And, instead of addressing the issues and trying to fix them, our government simply finds another piece of spin to re-label the problems and make them appear victories so that they can have a chance in future elections.
Right now the British government is committed to spending its way out of the present economic disasters and there is probably a good deal of sense in this as a general principle. However, wouldn’t it be great if just for once the money was spent on the infrastructure projects the country so desperately needs and deserves.
What a shambles of misleading liars this government is, and what a pity that their opposition is shaping up to be equally incompetent.