Gareth Wardell can be an anti-Semite so long as the definition of antisemitism is suitably adapted to fit the accusation against him. Stu Campbell can be a homophobe so long as the definition of homophobia is tailored to fit a description of his attitudes and opinions. Anyone can be a woman so long as people who menstruate are reduced to a physical function of their bodies. Her behaviour betrays her. Nothing of this is about antisemitism, homophobia, or transphobia. Her linguistic gymnastics have utterly devalued real antisemitism, homophobia, and transphobia.
Bad Language: Gaelic and Britain’s Cultural Genocide
So long as “our language” – as the BBC in Scotland was once proud to describe it – was seen as a quaint fossil of a defeated nation; a Scotland wholly absorbed into Great Britain qua Greater England, it was ignored or treated with a benign touristic or voyeuristic passing interest. Now that Scotland is well on its way to independence, that patronising benevolence has been replaced by an open hostility fast approaching that displayed by the British nationalists in the north of Ireland towards Gaeilge.
“Scexit:” Language and the Psychology of Control
“Scexit” has entered the field. This isn’t quite the #Sexit of sexy socialism. This is a fundamental reframing of independence as a Brexit-like Scottish exit from the United Kingdom rather than the affirmation of nationhood-to-statehood that independence describes. Just as Brexit requires Europe in order to have meaning, Scexit requires England. Scexit, as an imposed terminology, makes Scottish independence about England – whereas “independence” was and is only ever about Scotland.
Britain: Defining the Definitions
'Britain' is the acceptance of the unwritten yet implied reality that Great Britain is the de facto expanded English state as liege owner and suzerain of its nations-possessions.
Britain’s War of Words
Any population that has ingested, over a protracted period of time, the continual state propaganda of fear inevitably succumbs to paranoia – a key ingredient of the right-wing Brexit vote.
Racism in Britain: The Tail is Already Wagging the Dog
That the Leave campaign thrived on these instruments explains why hate crime and racially motived violence have spiked in the wake of the Brexit victory. In the eyes of those whose racism has been unfettered and legitimised by this populist climate the vote has vindicated them
Dealing with Post-Truth Politics
Truth – or what we have come to call the truth – is the narrative. Yet the term “post-truth” itself confuses these categories and in so doing misdirects our attention back to the less important facts, and facts have always been unimportant to politics.
Dinnae Gie Up Yer Mither Tongue
A huv bin spennin’ some time hinkin’ ae whit it means to bei a Scot an’ tawk oor ain leid in oor ain plot ae urth. We kin blame ithers fur the pair state ae Scotland, an’ much ae that micht bei true. Bit we hae a pairt tae play in aw this annaw.