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?


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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