Ian Malcolm-Walker

Letter to the Editor

Ian Malcolm-Walker

Owen Smith has been quoted linking the word 'lunatic' to the leadership of the Labour Party. The real issue is not whether he considers Jeremy Corbyn to be the ‘lunatic’ or not but his language.  Words build up language and language constructs ideas.

These words do not come from nowhere.  Those who use such language have such negative views in their head in the first place. The language works because it builds on negative images of mental ill-heath; an issue one in four of us will face at some time.

Disabled People are disabled by barriers which block their equal participation in society. Those barriers include attitudes such this one displayed by Smith. Language which implies we are outside the ordinary; abnormal or lesser people allows cuts in our benefits, the abolition of the ILF and even hate crime and murder to be tolerated.

Removing the barriers including these attitudes and such language is the first step towards equality. It is also true if any principled socialist said anything like it about any of their lot there would be queues outside the compliance unit.