May 10: he who robs me of my words robs me of my past

The Labour party had a poor performance in regional elections this week, many of their traditional strongholds in the north, the so-called red wall, turning Conservative blue. Many commentators agree that their problem is not so much policy as connection with voters, a personality deficit. The party has become the party of metropolitan elite Guardian readers and the factory worker in Durham and the supermarket checkout worker in Manchester don’t feel the link anymore. What they also don’t hear is the vocabulary. The lexis has shifted. When a politician talks about calling out or shouting out even I feel the disconnect; toxic is another one of those modern words that alienate and even that word oversight now apparently means supervision and not what it used to mean which was something that you neglected to notice. When you rob a person of their words you rob them of their past. The new lexis does not connect with the traditional working class who might not read The Guardian. What the party needs is some clever people who are not locked into the maze of buzz words of the modern left. Intended to free you, in the end these words will just create a new prison.

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