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.