Strand: Crisis of Political Language

Is political language becoming bastardised and irrelevant in a changing political landscape? Traditional terminology can seem out of sync with new realities. Left and right seem strangely redundant; terms like populism used as an insult rather than description, and what does it mean to be liberal, when liberals embrace illiberalism? And when is it really appropriate to wheel out a word like fascist? New developments give us new words altogether, like the capitalised Leaver and Remainer. Having survived more than a year after the Brexit referendum, are these terms here to stay? Identity politics has created a whole new vocabulary, from CIS to intersectionality that can baffle those not trained in the linguistics of gender or race theory. And can we agree on a shared political language that allows us to express and debate even fiercely conflicting ideas? Or is language itself always political?