“Newspeak” : Why erasing the past won’t solve issues of racism, mysogony and inequality.

Dr Alan Jones PhD FRSA
7 min readNov 9, 2021
Image by Clker-Free-Vector-Images from Pixabay

“Don’t you see that the whole aim of Newspeak is to narrow the range of thought? In the end we shall make thoughtcrime literally impossible, because there will be no words in which to express it.” — George Orwell

I was a Baby Boomer. Growing up in the 1960’s and 70’s didn’t seem that revolutionary at the time, however, in retrospect they most obviously were.

The Hippies of the peace and love movement gave rise to the Yuppies of the 1980’s; The Beatles passing through their own psychedelic revelations gave rise to the no nonsense anti-establishment aggression of the Punk movement; there was Rebellion in the air. Every generation believes it has the monopoly on that.

Looking back from today’s perspective some of the language and idioms being used by my grandparents, parents and peers were ignorant, ill-informed and most certainly Empire-centric. (And that’s being kind!)

I cringe at TV shows like The Black and White Minstrels, Till Death Us Do Part, Love Thy Neighbour, On the Buses replete with their racism and mysogony that were popular TV fodder. Dancing to the Rolling Stones’ Brown Sugar didn’t seem like a celebration of slavery, but simply moving to a good tune with a memorable hook. So, whilst the dancing may have been offensive the lyric was, well, just the lyric.

We kind of “grooved” to the apparently “right on” message of Blue Minks “Melting Pot” which was really about cultural homogeneity but seemed to make some kind of sense to younger ears. During the Brixton Riots I was teaching in South East London so witnessed how naive and offensive the “melting pot” lyric was.

The early 1980’s found me working in Youth Centres in Eltham, Brixton and Honour Park. Whilst the educational programme in Eltham was about challenging ingrained white supremacist ideals. The other placements saw me working with the Black communities and witnessing the endemic racism of the police force. The Special Patrol Groups (SPG) cruising the areas in the guise of prevention and protection were preferentially stopping and searching Black and Asian young people. (Seems like little has changed there).

Dr Alan Jones PhD FRSA

Director of Elyn Bres writing about personal development, the mind, spirituality and future histories. Elyn Bres is Cornish for Clear Mind www.elynbres.com