By Rab Bruce’s Spider

Language is important, and the media knows this, as do politicians. That is why comments on the Black Lives Matter protests included such words as "Thuggery" and "violence", while the actual violent scenes from London at the weekend were described as "scuffles", and the people who protested in Glasgow were described as "activists" or "loyalists".

You may also have noticed that the few statements from Right Wing politicians are bland enough that they ensure no one group is specifically targeted by their words. There are, as Donald Trump said, very bad people on both sides. This is, of course, true, but any rational person looking at what is happening in the UK just now must surely recognise that, while a minority of BLM protesters may have resorted to drastic action by hurling an offensive statue into the water, the sole purpose of the self-confessed racists was to harm other people. It was not a minority who attacked the Police. Indeed, they attacked the Police because the people they really wanted to attack had the good sense not to turn up. Driven and motivated by hatred and anger, they simply directed their hatred at the nearest available target. The evidence has been widely shared on social media, yet the mainstream media still insists these were scuffles. And, as usual, the loudest howls of outrage were about one of the thugs urinating against a statue of PC Keith Palmer. Given that the thugs’ stated aim was to protect the statues, I doubt very much whether the man in question even considered where he was urinating, but he provided an excellent distraction for politicians and the media to focus on instead of condemning the violence.

We’ve also seen some comments which can only be described as showing how out of touch the commenters are. Lord Ashcroft, for example, went on Twitter to state that "We were once a tolerant country". Since he is English, one assumes the country he is talking about is England, although it is not inconceivable that, like so many, he equates England with the UK and thinks the UK is a country rather than a sovereign state comprising three countries and a province. Setting that aside, though, either he is attempting to reinforce the official view of England/the UK, or he has himself fallen for the one-sided view of British history. Sadly, racism has always been a part of British culture. There have always been bigots who can only express themselves through anger and hatred. The difference now is that Right Wing politicians have led these people to believe that their views are acceptable. Instead of keeping a low profile, they have been enabled to such an extent that they have no qualms about taking part in violent protests. Even if some of them are arrested and convicted, they will wear such convictions with pride because they believe they are patriots. That’s another word you’ll see used quite a bit because, as patriots, they distinguish themselves from vile nationalists who are, if the media is to be believed, the people who cause all the trouble. That claim is quite hard for them to justify now, so I expect most headline news programmes will either downplay or completely ignore the Right Wing thuggery.

The pen, so the saying goes, is mightier than the sword. When it comes to shaping public opinion, the pen has now been replaced by the keyboard, but the principle remains true. Words are important, and it has long been official policy in the UK to keep the population ignorant of facts which do not fit their narrative. In place of knowledge, they are fed slogans and a skewed history of past glories. Can we really be surprised when some of them resort to violence when they have been raised on a diet of hate?

Sadly, we can expect to hear and read a lot more carefully chosen words. It is a feature of most Governments who have a compliant media. Watch out for it, and call it out when you come across it.