Culture, Brexit, Andrew Roberts, Bishop Aylmer, Boris Johnson, Charles Haughey, Denis Healey, Donald Trump, Enoch Powell, Geoffrey Howe, George Orwell, Hannah Arendt, James Bible, James Joyce, Jane Austen, Jo Cox, John Waters, Margaret Thatcher, Michael D Higgins, Nigel Farage, Peter Casey, Seamus Heaney, Theodor Adorno, Thomas Docherty, Vera Lynn, Eu, University Of Warwick, Decca Records, England

Culture, Brexit

Decay of English language makes it perfect for lying

Political rhetoric of our time is conditioned by insult and hardly concealed violence

15/09/2019 07:00:00

Political rhetoric of our time is conditioned by insult and hardly concealed violence

Political rhetoric of our time is conditioned by insult and hardly concealed violence

as occupying a special place of world leadership, and ascribes this to the status of the language. Roberts adds to this, but measures the value of English as being demonstrated in terms of wealth. In one passage, he claims that “English is today the language of wealth”. Mandarin speakers are worth a measly £448 billion, Russian-speakers £801 billion, German-speakers, £1 trillion and so on. English speakers are worth “a staggering £4.2 trillion”. This, claims Roberts, proves the intrinsic worth of English as the language of truth. For him, it is a truth universally acknowledged that, in today’s world, truth is measured by wealth. The richer you are, the more right you are, the more worthy you are – and the more ethnically English you are, as seen in your fundamental and intrinsic link to spoken English.

Coronavirus: No new deaths and 68 new cases confirmed in Ireland Coronavirus: Non-essential travel from US set to be banned within days Covid-19: 68 new cases and no further deaths

Nigel Farage visits Donald Trump shortly after his election as US president. The Brexit Party leader said during the visit that ‘our real friends in the world speak English’. File photograph: Nigel Farage/ PA WireThere is, however, one modification that the Anglospherist makes to this. Today, the best English is not that spoken in Drumcondra, despite James Joyce’s claims; rather, it is that spoken in America. That is the English of Trump, where all nuance is lost under a sclerotic and minimalist lexicon of the “big”, the “best”, the “amazing”, the “really excellent” – and nothing else. It is also a vocabulary that damages politics itself, replacing politics with violence. When a supporter suggested that the way to deal with migrants was to shoot them, Trump laughed; later that month, a man killed a number of migrants in El Paso. On May 18th, 2016, Trump’s UK counterpart Farage told the BBC that “it’s legitimate to say that if people feel they have lost control completely – and we have lost control . . . then violence is the next step”; a month later, the Labour MP and Remain supporter

was shot and stabbed to death by a far-right extremist. Read more: The Irish Times »

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