Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Left, Right

Left, Right

Ah, Simon Heffer.  It’s been too long.  It was always on the cards that the new Coalition was unlikely to win Heffer’s approval – it is, after all, a coalition between socially-liberal Conservatives and economically-conservative Liberals.  Be that as it may, I note with dismay yet another example of clumsy and ambiguous language – akin to another of his favourite hecatombs.

What does the phrase "Right wing" mean, whether as a noun or an adjective? I ask because I read it bandied about carelessly not as a descriptive term, but as an insult, and its use in this fashion is starting to have sinister connotations.

If the right is sinister, presumably the left is dextrous?

1 Comments:

Blogger Pat said...

Firstly, the idea that a set of ideas in the range of human thought can be represented as a point on a line is laughable. A point in three dimensional space would be simplistic.
There is however a group which self identifies as "Left" and which does appear to have a lot of shared views- so it is reasonable to refer to "the left" but only because they have named themselves such- Wishful thinkers or power hungry bullies would seem more appropriate names, but in the end its only a label.
Those who disagree with them have been labeled by them as right- notwithstanding that there are many very different views differing from theirs. Those self described as left regard this as a pejorative term, but recently people have increasingly been willing to claim as honourable- notwithstanding the considerable differences between those who disagree with the left.
Pray god that the left now slides into oblivion, so that we can have a grown up discussion as to the best policy rather than a team game.

9:10 pm  

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