IF our present history is demonstrating anything, it is the real and graphic evidence of the power of language. We are seeing daily how words are both symbolic and meaningful and being utilised to spread a hatred and division within our societies that is having real and tragic consequences. Language has power.

It has become essential, indeed incumbent on us, to highlight and call to account those powerful people and institutions who habitually demonise others, who utilise language to promote the hatred and division we are seeing so graphically and tragically on a daily basis – hatred and division that terrorises some and motivates others to kill.

It is time to say enough to those sowers of poison, the liars and propagandists, whether politicians, the press, or influential individuals and groups. By calling those who disagree with us, those we do not like, members of our own society, enemies of the people, parasites, not like us, etc and portray our own citizens as “others”, outsiders who don’t belong, we promote an image, and exert a powerful influence that encourages others to refuse to see such people as real and appropriate human beings.

By such methods we create an image of real and concrete enemies, see other people as threats not only to our way of life and culture, but to our very existence.

When we seek to quite deliberately demonise individuals and groups, we should not be surprised, or feign innocence, when such people are actually viewed as demons, as monsters who are not legitimate human beings but are something else. We create a society where people do not see Jewish, Muslim, Black, LGBT, immigrants etc as human beings; instead they see demons, others, monsters who threaten them and their way of life. It therefore becomes our duty to oppose such demons and object to their presence amongst us.

In the same way, we create demons who are a real and existent threat to our society when we label people on welfare, the unemployed, the disabled etc as scroungers and skivers, as parasites depriving us of our hard-earned money through the need for taxation to provide for those we deem undeserving and ungrateful.

By this process we create an alternative reality of an underclass of subhumans who are different from us and not deserving of the normal considerations we give to real people, and importantly, who do not belong amongst us. These are the people who are taking

our jobs, our houses, destroying our children’s education, living off the benefits system and all the other malicious and mendacious propaganda we are subjected to on a daily basis from those who seek to profit from other people’s misery.

Thus we reduce living human beings to the category of those untermenschen who were so powerfully and effectively demonised by Hitler; that subhuman underclass who threaten to engulf society and destroy our culture and our way of life and who should be removed for the greater good of those of us who are real people, real citizens and meaningful members of society.

When such language is being deployed from 10 Downing Street, the Home Office, the White House, the Daily Telegraph and the Daily Mail, it carries the cloak of authority and respectability and therefore gives permission for others in society to share such opinions and indeed promote them.

However, it is then only a short step from holding such respectable opinions of hatred and division to acting upon them as we see being so horribly enacted in the United States and increasingly on our own streets.

It must stop, now!

Peter Kerr