It’s easy to scoff at woke nonsense like Oxfam’s language guide. But it’s not a fad – it’s a sinister cultural sea change

Mar 19, 2023 by

by Andrew Neil, Daily Mail:

Oxfam apologised for the English language this week, describing it as ‘the language of a colonising nation’. It also counselled against using the words ‘mother’ and ‘father’ because they ascribed ‘gendered roles’.

Thus, in this charity’s right-on eyes, has the language of Shakespeare (hiss) and Churchill (boo) — the most successful language the world has ever known — become a matter for regret and embarrassment, while simple, clear words that have stood the test of time are to be abandoned. Oxfam says it’s only offering guidance not prescription. Fair enough. But I wouldn’t fancy the career chances of any Oxfam staffer who cared to flout it.

Oxfam has come a long way since it was founded 81 years ago. There was a time in the dim and distant past when its primary purpose was to raise money from well-meaning, relatively affluent folks and use their donations to assuage the hunger pangs of the poor and downtrodden across the globe. It was a worthy cause.

Those days are long over. For some time now it’s been more associated with Left-wing agitprop than famine relief. Indeed, you almost get the impression feeding the famished is now seen by some in Oxfam as an annoying diversion from the far more important work of political activism.

Hence all the effort that’s gone into its 92-page ‘Inclusive Language Guide’. It won’t fill a single empty belly but it will sure warm the cockles of its increasingly woke staff, with its insightful injunctions to avoid using words like headquarters (‘implies a colonial power dynamic’), aid sector (‘cements’ idea of those with ‘resources’ giving ‘charitable aid’ — which I stupidly thought was the founding mission of Oxfam) and, incredibly, field trips (‘reinforces colonial attitudes’).

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