Two Items from 2015

A couple of items from 2015, both just as relevant today as they were last year;

First, Daniel Hannan’s A Lesson in Newspeak:

But if, like most of his contemporaries, he was too gloomy, Orwell got one thing uncannily right. In an appendix to his dystopian novel, he discussed how an idea could be made literally unthinkable if there were no words to express it. The illustration he gave was the word “free.” In Newspeak, “free” could be used only in the sense of “this field is free from weeds” or “this dog is free from lice.” The concept of political or intellectual freedom had disappeared, because no one could put it into words.

What an eerily prescient example to have chosen. In recent years this is more or less what has happened to the word “free.” In 1948, “freedom” still had its traditional meaning of a guarantee against coercion: freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, freedom of worship. Since then, however, “freedom” has come to mean “entitlement,” as in “freedom to work,” “freedom from hunger,” “freedom from discrimination,” and so on. Thus, the notion that the state ought not to boss us around becomes harder to convey, and the politician who supports that notion is disadvantaged.

Of course, “smoke-free” is a prominent contemporary example of this sort of deformation of the idea of freedom, by which a real loss of freedom is presented as a gain in freedom. He lists a number of other words whose meanings have changed, but neglects to include “liberal”, which now means the opposite of its former meaning, and which I mentally translate to mean “illiberal”.

Second, Roger Scruton explaining British reservations about the EU in an illuminating 20 minute speech that could easily have been delivered last week, rather than last November.

About Frank Davis

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14 Responses to Two Items from 2015

  1. garyk30 says:

    As Humpty Humpty said: “Words mean what I want them to mean”.

    In the USA, being ‘extremely careless’ is not the same as ‘grossly negligent’.
    Or; if you are grossly negligent, you can be deemed extremely careless and innocent of responsibility.

    Especially if you are among the self appointed elite.
    The ‘Annointed Ones’.

    • Joe L. says:

      I was also floored to learn that ‘extremely careless’ and ‘grossly negligent’ no longer mean the same thing, Gary. However, I was even more floored when FBI director James Comey, while being questioned by Congress a few days later, stated that in order to be prosecuted for ‘gross negligence,’ there needs to be clear ‘proof of intent.’ So it appears ‘gross negligence’ now means ‘intentional negligence.’ How the hell can anyone prove something as oxmoronic as that???

      • waltc says:

        Maureen Dowd (Dem op ed-ist fot the Dem NY Times) bashes the Clintons (plural) but undoubtedly will still vote for her. Nonetheless, kinda fun to read

      • garyk30 says:

        Such a statement makes sense when they want the law to mean whatever they wish it to mean.

        Of course, that depends upon whether or not they are dealing with another member of the elite.

        Thus, they do not have a double standard, just a logical way of applying the law to more deserving people.

        Sadly, our judges do the same thing, they ‘interpret’ the law to mean whatever they want it to mean.

        Therefore, a criminal may be not blamed for his crime; because, the judge feels that society is to blame for him being the way that he is.

  2. garyk30 says:

    Another example of ‘newspeak’ is to be found in the terms EQUALITY and DIVERSITY.

    Equality only is extended to those the Elite want to be treated Equal.
    This does not include smokers.
    They must be demonized until they have seen the error of their ways and been re- educated.

    Terrorists must be treated with love and compassion; but, smokers must be treated with contempt.

    It is the same with Diversity.
    Smokers, at least many of them, are not worthy of being allowed to be different.
    They are not subservient enough and insist on following their own desires.

    The elite do not want the masses to think for themselves, only the elite are special enough to be decision makers.

    • harleyrider1978 says:

      BREAKING NEWS: Theresa May is to become the next UK Prime Minister after Andrea Leadsom withdraws from the leadership race. The Queen is expected to return from Scotland to oversee the handover from David Cameron to Theresa May:

  3. harleyrider1978 says:

    Didnt even wait for the new PM news to settle and then this

    Parliament should make final decision on whether to leave EU, barristers say


    More than 1,000 barristers sign letter to PM arguing referendum result is advisory as it did not set a threshold for leaving EU

  4. harleyrider1978 says:

    Theresa May generally voted against smoking bans

    TheyWorkForYou has automatically calculated this MP’s stance based on all of their votes on the topic. You can browse the source data on

    Key votes about smoking bans:

    On 14 Apr 2003:
    Theresa May was absent for a vote on Smoking (Restaurants) Bill Show full debate

    On 14 Feb 2006:
    Theresa May voted no on Health Bill — New Clause 5 — Smoke-free premises: exemptions — as amended Show full debate

    On 13 Oct 2010:
    Theresa May was absent for a vote on Public Houses and Private Members’ Clubs (Smoking) Bill Show full debate

    On 22 Jun 2011:
    Theresa May was absent for a vote on Ban on Smoking in Private Vehicles Show full debate

    On 10 Feb 2014:
    Theresa May voted against a new law requiring private vehicles be smoke-free where a person under the age of 18 is present in the vehicle. Show full debate

    On 11 Feb 2015:
    Theresa May was absent for a vote on Offence of Failing to Prevent Smoking In an Enclosed Vehicle in the Presence of Someone Under 18

  5. Joe L. says:

    Spot on descriptions of the evolution of both ‘freedom’ and ‘liberal,’ Frank.

    Also, we have recently seen ‘Social Justice Warriors’ here in the U.S. and ‘Remainers’ in the U.K. liberally (as well as Liberally) applying the terms ‘racist,’ ‘bigot,’ ‘xenophobe,’ etc. as derogatory synonyms for ‘nationalist’ and ‘anti-globalization.’ And this behavior is coming from the same people who preach ‘political correctness!’ It’s disgusting.

  6. nisakiman says:

    Interesting article from a financial magazine across the pond:

    • harleyrider1978 says:

      Im still trying to figure out how the dow jumped yet again,I guess its because the faked jobs report wont get downgraded until Tuesday or wednsday.

  7. Smoking Lamp says:

    “Newspeak” is frequently accompanied by censorship and suppression of dissent. Just look at all the media sites that removed dissenting comments on smoking bans and anti-tobacco policy. Of course such suppression of dissent (including valid empirical evidence) is required by the FCTC.

  8. smokingscot says:


    They’re speculating Philip Hammond may become the new Chancellor.

    So I checked on what Tobacco Tactics had to say about the chap.

    Oh it’s scathing, it really is folks. He accepted a free invitation to a flower show from Japan Tobacco! Oh the naughty, naughty boy.

    Screen save it folks. It’ll come in handy.

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