Author and mathematician
The Ministry of Truth
In Orwell’s dystopian world of 1984, the role of the Ministry of Truth is to reinterpret or delete facts and redefine words so that the citizen his/herself alters their memories and opinions to glorify Big Brother. A word is hijacked to mean its opposite - like ‘diversity and inclusion’ nowadays. And the Indian variant has been renamed the Delta variant, so that over time we forget its origin and, more importantly, Big Boris’s role in importing it to Britain (see May newsletter). The mere mention of ‘Indian variant’ and ‘Chinese virus’ have been classed as hate crimes (though they are factually accurate, unlike the ‘Spanish Flu’ pandemic name. In 1918 wartime governments censored news of the death toll in their own countries, so the only reports published came from Spain, a neutral country in the Great War).
Here’s another example. When the UK Press report on an ongoing court case, they normally refer to ‘the defendant’ or ‘the accused’. But there are now types of case where the accused has become ‘the perpetrator’ and their accuser ‘the victim’ (it started as ‘the alleged perpetrator, the alleged victim’, but such niceties have now been dropped). A particularly egregious case is the prosecution in March 2020 of Alex Salmond, former First Minister of Scotland. He faced 14 charges ranging from sexual assault to attempted rape, brought by the government of his successor Nicola Sturgeon. The ‘victims’ gave evidence anonymously (though they were all government or party officials, and it became clear that they had colluded in their evidence). The judge refused to allow much of the defence evidence. Despite this, the female-majority jury quickly found him innocent of all charges. Normally, witnesses appearing to have lied under oath would be prosecuted for perjury, but the still-anonymous ‘victims’ have not even been questioned by police.
Virtually the only source of news about the trial, and the judge’s behaviour, was the former UK ambassador Craig Murray (craigmurray.org.uk). His blog reports have now been censored but I found this article remaining, in a local newspaper.
At the same time as she was overseeing this trial, the judge, Lady Dorrian, was preparing a report commissioned by Sturgeon on ways to increase the rate of convictions in rape trials. Her proposals include lifelong anonymity for complainers irrespective of the trial outcome, denial of mention of their sexual history in court, their evidence pre-recorded, and - in a move more reminiscent of Kafka than Orwell - special training of defence lawyers in how to increase the chances of conviction of their clients. To avoid juries making the wrong decision, they should be given ‘plain language directions’ by the judge. Finally, if all else fails, a court with a specially-trained judge and no jury should be used. So you can imagine her fury at the outcome. See below for her revenge against Murray.
As the word ‘victim’ has become debased (mainly by Meghan and Harry) the new term is ‘survivor’. You can be a survivor of anything. Over sixty UK universities, including Cambridge, have purchased software which allows students and staff to make anonymous accusations of ‘microaggressions’. Cambridge inadvertently made public what counts as a micro-aggression. And the software company refers repeatedly to complainers as ‘survivors’. You can be a survivor of a raised eyebrow, a rolled eye or being told to ‘cheer up’.
Craig Murray As I reported last month, the same judge as in Salmond’s trial, Lady Dorrian, has sentenced Craig Murray to 8 months in prison for ‘jigsaw identification’ of the complainers in his blog. A sentence which, if his appeal to the Supreme Court fails, will probably kill him, given his medical condition. In her findings she still refers to ‘victims’ and ‘offences’ despite the not-guilty verdicts.
Please remember this next time you hear sanctimonious reports by BBC journalists about prosecutions of dissidents in Russia and elsewhere.