What colour is your politics?
13 January 2011
When Deputy Labour Party leader Harriet Harman drew attention to Danny Alexander’s ginger coloured hair and unfairly compared him to a “ginger rodent”, it highlights the colour of one’s language as well as the colour of one’s politics.
The colour of one’s language
Across the Pond, another female politician Sarah Palin, a possible US Presidential candidate, is battling it out over accusations of violent rhetoric in American politics after a fatal shooting in Arizona. She responded to media criticism of her language “to take up arms” by explaining that she meant votes, and she took issue with critics for indirectly linking her to the shooting. She counter-charged the media: “Journalists and pundints [sic] should not manufacture a blood libel that serves only to incite the very hatred and violence that they purport to condemn.”
This accusation and counter-accusation is part of the growing intolerance in our society. Pundits are debating the growing anger in society.
This was highlighted in the Scottish Christian Party Manifesto for Holyrood in 2007 and it will be highlighted again in the new Manifesto:
“The Scottish Christian Party does not support the claim that we have a right to give offence, but since the Macpherson Report has re-defined racism in subjective terms, ‘taking offence’ has become as important as giving offence. A private individual’s complaint instigating a police investigation simply because they have taken offence, when possibly no offence was intended, will prove to be unworkable, and will itself contribute to louder and louder protests at being offended by disparate groups. This new criminal offence has worked its way through Equalities legislation and it will only stoke up charges and counter-charges of being offended by each other’s speech and way of life. Those who can shout loudest and make most use of the judicial system will prevail. This is not the sort of society the Scottish Christian Party wishes to promote. We will introduce legislation to restore an objective definition of offence in order to restore free speech.”
So what colour should your politics be?
Harriet Harman got it wrong. Danny Alexander is not a rodent, but after watching the number of Liberal Democrat U-turns, she might have opted for a chameleon which has the ability to change its colours depending on the background.
Not blue, nor red, and certainly not yellow nor green (a poorly disguised pink), but you can have the whole lot rolled into a balanced composite - the purple of the Scottish Christian Party, without the purple prose, but pointing to the royalty of king Jesus.
The Christian Party believes that it represents the best balance of the distinctives which characterise the other main parties - the financial prudence of the Tories and their conservative instincts, the social conscience of Labour and their concern for the working man, our paramount concern for religious and civil liberties seen in the Lib Dems and their regard for freedom of speech and the individual, and the care for the environment and conscientious accountability for the use of the Earth’s resources seen in the Greens. So purple has it.
Update: This news item was not 24 hours old when the subject of language was raised on the BBC “Question Time” programme: click here.
Is It Wrong To Say ‘Homosexual’? Getting tired of changing our language because of offence?
25/11/2011 Andrew Neil on This Week discussed swearing in society after Mr Justice Bean ruled that police officers heard expletives too frequently to be offended by them. This, of course, is the opposite of the more modern doctrine that offence is in the eye of the beholder, and it is moving in the direction of the Scottish Christian Party’s contention that there should be an objective standard instead of a subjective standard when dealing with offence in public life, especially when criminalising it.
On the other hand, the police have objected to swearing at police officers. This shows us that the debate has some course still to run, because intelligent people can see in a few minutes what will take society a few decades to implement.
The declining and changing standards in public life was discussed on This Week but to little effect. Michael Portillo’s usual perception deserted him when he declared swearing by stand-up comedians to be very funny. None of our wise gurus mentioned that swearing is a symptom of uncontrolled temper, poverty of thought as well as of language, mindless banality and quite demeaning of the person swearing and their audience. Instead This Week debated the boundaries being pushed on various words: black and racism, the f word, b word, c word, n word, etc. There was general surprise that the use of the word “sod” on Strictly Come Dancing brought in 600 complaints. Portillo tried to explain that ‘damn’ was taboo because it referred to damnation, but this is to suggest that people actually think about their choice of swear words. The frequency and regularity of the use of the same swear word suggests the opposite, and even Portillo’s lack of thought on the subject can be illustrated by the fact that there is next to no difference between damn and hell. It is the vacuous use of Christian words such as God, Jesus, Christ, Lord, hell, damn, etc., which is offensive to the godly, demeaning of the serious use of these words and thus constitutes blasphemy or swearing as the case may be. Just as the humanist lobby has tried to replace the sovereignty of God with the sovereignty of the people, so people are now more shocked by calling someone a sod than by blaspheming God. They think nothing of offending God, but they are very sensitive of being offended themselves, or offending some other, self-selected people. The most noticeable change in the last decade is the charge “that is a homophobic remark” has overtaken “that is a racist remark”.
- Demeaning religious terms
- “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatever a man sows, that shall he also reap” Galatians 6:7.