George Orwell might have been rather surprised to see his words “Europeanised intelligentsia” taken by John Hayes to refer to “big banks, soulless corporations and human rights lawyers” (Free Press, October 11).
Mr Hayes takes the expression “liberal establishment”, popular in the USA, and uses it like a tar brush to smear an apparently wide segment of British public opinion.
He is up to the old trick of taking a slogan and using it to save the bother of dealing in reasoned argument.
“Liberal establishment” is up there with “capitalist running dog” and “enemy of the people”: you only have to use it for it to be understood that all those you lump into the description are to be despised and dismissed.
Essentially, any of those (and similar) slogans mean: “I’m in the right and anybody who disagrees is wrong.”
As to solicitors who have lined their pockets, it’s lucky Mr Hayes has never made a big profit out of his (quite legal) access to public funds.
And since his column is apparently used for political propaganda, rather than legitimate information to the public, I trust he declares his access to it as a received benefit for accounting purposes.
Back to George Orwell. I believe Mr Hayes found the quote in an eleven-year-old article about Orwell freely available on the web, and lifted it pretty well as presented there. A lazy form of research.
Actually, it’s quite worthwhile to read the article (on the Daily Telegraph site), which shows that Mr Hayes was very selective in his representation of Orwell’s opinions.
Even more, it’s worth reading, for example, Orwell’s article “England, Your England”, cited in the same article and also available on the web.
Orwell, unlike Mr Hayes, was trying to give a true overall view of Britain, particularly England, and did not focus only on a narrow party-political objective.