Buxton 2011: Is politics corrupted by corrupted language?


Sadly, Nick Cohen had to pull out


One of George Orwell’s most famous essays, Politics and the English Language, criticises the ‘staleness of imagery’ and ‘lack of precision’, particularly in political writing, where muddled language masks insincerity. ‘If thought corrupts language, language can also corrupt thought’. 65 years on, is it still ‘broadly true that political writing is bad writing’? What corruptions of language have appeared in the age of the internet and breaking news? What can be done to reverse the process?