Saturday, July 16, 2005


Giving an appearance of solidity to pure wind

"Political language... is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind." Orwell

When, several years ago, I was teaching classes to English schoolchildren on George Orwell and referring back to the frightening events in his own lifetime, I naively congratulated myself on living in an enlightened and truly democratic age.

Now I feel the deepest unease. Opposition is going out of fashion," wrote Jacky Ashley in Thursday's Guardian - and the lack of it is truly frightening, especially after what is - inevitably and sickeningly - being referred to as "7/7".

I hadn't - all those years ago - realised how forward looking were George Orwell's insights about the nature of power and the need of people to believe and trust their rulers even when the evidence of lying and corruption piles up in front of their eyes.

Here is an extract from the blogger Riverbend here about listening to George W Bush's speech on July 1. (River's latest entry tells us that blogger Khalid has been imprisoned. I have written to the Iraqi Embassy and I hope many, many others will too.

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