Using quotations can be a risky enterprise at times, especially when employed for nefarious or misleading reasons. Indeed this device is used by extremists everywhere to justify the plainly unjustifiable. The usually inchoate Nigel Pike is, for once though, right to say that George Orwell might be weeping, given the sheer naked intolerance that is abroad.
This intolerance extends to these page with brazen attempts to rehabilitate a known criminal who passes himself off as “respectable” while hiding behind pseudonyms, the latest of which is Tommy Robinson (who has incredibly been called a “journalist”), to divert attention from convictions for assault, violence, abusive behaviour, drug possession and mortgage fraud going back years, and leading to custodial sentences.
As for Nigel Pike’s fear that fellow anti-democratic extremist writers might disappear from these pages, let us fervently hope not. Kicking democracy-averse bigots back under their stones does not eradicate their venom; keeping them snivelling in the light reminds us of the depths to which some people will go to promote their oleaginous zealotry.
When we contemplate Orwell’s words, perhaps the following might serve to expose anti-democracy thinking: “Political language ... is designed to ... give an appearance of solidity to pure wind.”