|Mr & Mrs Andrew Brons MEP|
An attempt to smear by association
Earlier this week, Andrew Brons wrote the following letter to the editor of the Daily Telegraph. As of this morning, the letter still hadn’t been published.
“The use of the word extremist in two quite different contexts, by no less a figure than your deputy political editor, deserves comment, if nothing else.
“In an article on the AV campaign (25th April) reference was made to, “extremist parties, such as the BNP”. It would be curmudgeonly to point out that extremist is a noun and that it is the job of adjectives (extreme in this case) to describe the following noun, so I shall not do so. In this context the word extremist is used to mean, disapproved of greatly by the Political Class and its journals but without any suggestion that the party named is involved in violence, other than as a victim of it. It therefore tells us everything about the writer and nothing about the person or party described.
In an article on London, as a hub of Al Qaeda (26th April), the word extremist is used to denote those who plot acts of terrorism against civilians and attacks on British servicemen in Afghanistan.
The use of the same word to describe two quite different phenomena is, at best, a sign of slovenly thinking and, at worst, an attempt to engage in smear by association.