Sunday, July 29, 2007

Linguistic Double Standards

There's some sage advice for 'Squealer', aka Lord George Foulkes, in this morning's SoS editorial when it advises that:

"George Foulkes, for one, needs to take care that his instinctive hatred of nationalism does not blind him to the need for a mature debate on constitutional evolution. He should tone down his vitriol accordingly".

In full Westminster braying mode, that sentiment gains a hearty 'hyeah, hyeah, hyeah' from me. However, without wishing to single out SoS for any particular criticism, isn't there a double standard at work here in our public discourse, in that while a professed 'hatred' of (Scottish) nationalism (the more atavistic and unanalytical the hatred the better) can garner in certain quarters a veneer of intellectual credibility and an impression of implacable principle, any reciprocation of the sentiment would instantly mark one out as a lunatic nationalist, a barker, a racist, an obsessive and a fruitloop?

For what it's worth, in my book anyone who professes a hatred of any kind of idea, has probably managed to disqualify themselves for all time from taking part in any kind of intelligent discussion on the subject. Nonetheless, this dislike of the other seems to be another one of those irregular verbs which the English language throws up from time to time: 'I am principled; you are misguided; he is a nutcase'. Maybe a return to Westminster for Lord Foulkes would be best, both for the standard of discourse in Scotland and his own personal equilibrium.


Richard Havers said...

Good post!!

Richard Havers said...

Hatred is at the root of all evil...