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July 13th 2009 print

John Izzard

I love a sunburnt country

Project Lexicon is a planned attempt to re-educate Australians in the use of language. That is the English language - as it is used to describe terrorists.  Apparently to use such words as “terrorist”, “jihad”, “martyr” and “the war on terror” is likely to offend Muslims, or at least give them bad press - so the Ministry of Love is about to teach us how not to offend Muslims. 

It has been a great week for students of culture, multiculturalism, thought control and the nation’s theatre of the absurd. 

Although we keep going back to Orwell’s Winston Smith and his battles with the Ministry of Truth, the Ministry of Plenty and all things to do with Newspeak and the Thought Police, there really is no better refuge in English literature than 1984 — that is, if you want to maintain your sanity. Remember 1984’s most enduring motif — Ignorance is Strength. It might also work as Strength is Ignorance — in government circles. 

The week got off to a ripper of a start. At the Ministry of Love, aka The Attorney General’s Department, Citizen McClelland launched — or to use his words “rolled out” — Project Lexicon. This is a planned attempt to re-educate Australians in the use of language. That is the English language — as it is used to describe terrorists. 

Apparently to use such words as “terrorist”, “jihad”, “martyr” and “the war on terror” is likely to offend Muslims, or at least give them bad press — so the Ministry of Love is about to teach us how not to offend Muslims. To use Orwell’s example, any words that might suggest that terrorists, jihadists or Muslim religious fanatics are, to put it mildly, crazed killers, is according to Senator McClelland — doublespeakungood

The fact that something over 95% of acts of terrorism are committed by Muslims, cannot be reduced to another Orwellian notion — minitrue. The BBC and at times the ABC like to indulge in word-games by using terms like “militants”, or in some instances “insurgents” to describe “terrorists”. For instance a “terrorist” attack in an Iraq market place, full of both Sunni and Shia shoppers is often described, after blowing up scores of people, as a “suicide bombing”. Heaven forbid that anyone should suggest that the act was an act of “terror” or that the perpetrator was a Muslim “terrorist”. 

Oh! By the way. Just to ensure that Project Lexicon is kosher, Citizen McClelland has appointed Mr. Hass Dellal, from the Australian Multicultural Foundation to conduct focus groups and develop the Lexicon. Mr. Dellal says people don’t want “a new wave of political correctness.” Oh really! 

In March this year McClelland opened the 7th Annual National Security Australia Conference with the words “ First, may I acknowledge the traditional owners of the land we meet on — and pay my respects to their elders, both present and past”. 

He went on to remind his audience of Kevin Rudd’s explanation of what “National Security” means. Two of Rudd’s five notions of our national security were; “maintaining our political sovereignty” and “preserving our hard won freedoms”. Hold those thoughts a moment. 

Meanwhile at the Ministry of Kindness, Citizen Peter Garrett was engaging in a bit of goodthinkful — the banning of non-Aboriginal people from climbing Ayers Rock, a.k.a. Uluru. 

Reasons given for the ban by Aboriginal activists were “damage to the Rock, litter created by tourists and cultural sensitivity”. Just how you damage the largest monolith is not explained, while the notion of litter is a joke, considering, as The Australian stated “the nearby settlement, Mutitjulu, is a filthy, litter-strewn, dangerous outpost where violence, pedophilia, drug-taking and petrol sniffing” are rife. Which brings us to the notion of cultural sensitivity. 

If a white person suggested that Aboriginals should be banned from their local pub or church because of “cultural sensitivity” all hell would break loose. Interestingly the local Aboriginal community had no trouble, until recently, taking the tourist dollar. The notion that people can’t climb the rock because of the colour of their skin or their ethnic background isn’t “cultural sensitivity”, it’s racist. 

So while Citizen McClelland was setting up a quango to create a politically correct Lexicon to treat kindly Muslin terrorists, and Citizen Garrett was planning to ban whites from climbing Ayers Rock, our Prime Minister had agreed to meet the Pope. 

And while this was taking place, Phillip Adams was telling listeners of the National Broadcaster on Late Night Live that Christ’s crucifixion was someone who decided to kill himself. It was just suicide! 

It’s spooky that George Orwell named his imagined country Oceania. As a friend reminded my recently, “the Left are so comfortable with their superiority and arrogance”. I love a sunburnt country!