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“Control language and you control thought” 

A decade ago, The Guardian issued a bizarre style guide banning the word “grandmother”, in case older women didn’t want to be defined by the fact “their offspring had themselves produced offspring”, says Rod Liddle in The Sunday Times. Other casualties included “illegal asylum seeker”, “gypsy” and “turn a deaf ear”, which could “offend deaf people, although not, presumably, if you whisper it”. I didn’t think too much of it: after all, it was The Guardian’s usual “asinine leftish effluent”. But now the Local Government Association has decided to devise a similar rulebook for councillors. “Mother” is to be swapped for “birthing parent”; it’s an “office offence” to use the words “white”, “homeless”, “disabled”, and “deprived neighbourhoods”.

As George Orwell recognised in his novel 1984, “control language and you control thought”. That’s exactly what the authors of this guide are doing: using language to push their radical political agenda. They want to banish the idea of the “nuclear family” as the norm and entrench a notion of “perpetual victimhood” among those who are not “white and straight”, fostering social division. But not calling someone “disabled” doesn’t alter the fact that the person we are referring to is “disabled”. These descriptions aren’t used to “demean” or be “un-inclusive”, but to identify people for “practical purposes”. That’s why “wokespeak” is so ridiculous: it’s “deliberately delusional” and works against identifying problems. “And it is here, coming to a local council near you.”