The Orwell Prize

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Some 28 years past, I found myself on the Isle of Jura for several weeks. It was a full on professional committment but I managed to smuggle some me time to visit a midge besieged cottage on the north end called, 'Barnhill'. This location was George Orwell's home for 2 years immediately post war and where the old Etonian penned the seminal, '1984'.

Eric Blair had watched Europe disolve in the previous two decades into totalitarian states of various political hues. The Spains, Portugals, ....................... Soviet Unions continued to persist with systems that allowed NO opposition. Orwell had voiced opposition with Animal Farm, but his rile and rage continued and through terminal tuberculosis he completed the tome.

Nineteen Eighty-Four was a school text in my day, I am sure it remains so today. The main character, Winston Smith and his lover, Julia linger in my memory. The juxtapositions of language and the reality of their true meanings really linger : the Ministry of Peace dealt with war, the Ministry of Plenty dealt with rationing and starvation, the Ministry of Love dealt with torture, and the Ministry of Truth dealt with propaganda. Newspeak and Doublethink are words that still carry currency.

During the last year, how many times did you open a newspaper or turn on your radio/TV and be confronted by a journo/talking head talking at the Rangers support by presenting the opening line, 'what Rangers fans should be thinking'? Sometimes it advanced to, 'what Rangers fans should be saying/questioning/doing'? We were being conditioned, particularly by use of language and a favourite of the hardcore haters, 'the new reality'. Rangers supporters were somnolent proles who needed to wake up but were only going to be allowed to smell the coffee if we accepted the prepared new reality.

It became obvious that a line was being adhered to, all that chorused did so from the same hymn sheet. The usual suspects moved to lionise the new gospel of the Rangers Tax Case blog. Cosgrove and Spence held it aloft and declared it was the epitome of new cyber journalism, running ahead of the old ways. Heady days hjad arrived, the Fans' Revolution was born with, "Say No to Newco". These last seven months, Spiers, McLaughlin, Gordon, Delahunt, ........ et al have habitually utilised the RTC blog as their preferred crib sheet on all things Rangers. It was proclaimed, "NEUTRAL". I am surprised the Barnhill cottage did not collapse at such seismic irony.

The RTC blog was eulogised to the extent it was entered for and won the Orwell Priaze. The judges, Suzanne Moore, Hopi Sen, and Sean Dodson stated, "the RTC blog showed how expertise and incisive writing can expose the hypocrisy the powerful use to protect themselves from the consequences and actions. It is a worthy winner".

I wonder what Suzanne, Hopi, and Sean think this morning? The RTC blog has disappeared into the ether, a matter of weeks after receiving the prize and praise. What do the usual suspects think now; particularly since there is no crib to consult? Further, who did the Orwell Prize judges give the prize to, given the identity of the blogger is the big secret? Maybe they handed it to a balaclava clad Big Brother?

Of course, Winston Smith was betrayed and the consequence was torture and re-education. by Thinkpol. Over these last several months of tortue and attempted re-education, the usual suspects have held firm to Thinkpol's favoured word, "CONSEQUENCE". It was constantly utilised to whip us into line. There will be further consequence, the first should be Suzanne, Hopi, and Sean withdrawing the prize from something that no longer exists.

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