The Evolution Of Language

This was going to be a fairly straightforward re-post of a story in Cambridge about a new word. Then it started to get more complicated and to go beyond a single word. The use of language to explain why the system needs to change and the motives and reasoning to underpin that change are evolving.

We did not seek permission to re-post but consider it ‘fair use’ to re-post in full and credit the original source. Please get in touch if you are the original author and would like the post altered or taken down -The Editors.

This is a reprint, published on 1st February, 2019, by Mike Scialom mike.scialom@iliffemedia.co.uk:

‘Nepocide’ coined by Cambridge Professor

https://www.cambridgeindependent.co.uk/news/nepocide-coined-by-cambridge-professor-9060783/


Extinction Rebellion on Parker's Piece. Picture: Finlay Cox
Extinction Rebellion on Parker’s Piece. Picture: Finlay Cox

A new word to describe the willingness of the current generation to sacrifice the wellbeing and even survival of future generations has been coined by Professor Tony Booth, a Research Fellow at the Centre for Commonwealth Education at the University of Cambridge.

“Nepocide” takes the word “nepotism”, which is defined as “any favour granted to relatives in various fields, including business, politics, entertainment, sports, religion and other activities” and splices it with genocide, which is described in Article Two of the UN Convention on Genocide as “acts committed with the intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnic, racial or religious group”.

“Nepocide is the conscious willingness to sacrifice future generations for current convenience.”

“I originally started thinking about the dynamics of cross-generational responsibility during the Thatcher era. Back then I called it ‘grandchild murder’ – the conscious willingness to sacrifice future generations to poverty, but with climate change it’s become literally a reality for everyone, so I coined a name for it.”

Professor Tony Booth, speaking at an Extinction Rebellion event outside Parkside police station on January 31st, 2019

Extinction Rebellion is a movement which began in October, 2018. Its aim is to galvanise governments and councils to declare a climate emergency. Some UK councils have already done so, including Cornwall.

A petition to request that Cambridge City Council declares a state of climate emergency is due to be handed in this month.

The protest at Parkside police station centred on campaigner Ms Angela Ditchfield (twitter @GreenKingsHedgs), who belongs to King’s Hedges Green Party. Ms Ditchfield was requested to attend Parkside in connection with events at Shire Hall last month when graffiti was sprayed on a wall.

“They watched while the spray painting happened and didn’t arrest me. They then contacted me a couple of days later to ask me in for a chat and I had an interview under caution. Accepting a caution means accepting criminal guilt and that didn’t happen. They’ve called me back in to charge me.”

Ms Ditchfield, speaking to the Cambridge Independent before entering the police station.
Angela Ditchfield of King's Hedges Green Party with Professor Tony Booth. Picture: Mike Scialom
Angela Ditchfield of King’s Hedges Green Party with Professor Tony Booth. Picture: Mike Scialom

“Criminal damage against property is a crime, but what about criminal damage against the planet – who can I talk to about that?”

Ms Ditchfield spoke to the Police Officier on the front desk, accompanied by a group of campaigners who also enquired as to who else would be arrested for criminal damage.

The officer replied: “I agree with a lot of what you’re saying but this isn’t the platform to express those views.”

“We would like to plead guilty to criminally damaging the world by living a privileged western lifestyle involving flying and driving, eating the products of the meat and diary industry, using plastic products and consumer electronics and buying unsustainable supermarket products.

All of these practices have caused irreparable damage to the world’s ecology. The glittering wealth grown in Britain’s economy is built on the extraction and theft of resources from countries in the global south.

It is built on the endless extraction of fossil fuels, a resource for which we have hideously violated human rights, started brutal wars, and killed millions.

The wealth and privilege has caused loss of life and irreparable damage to the world’s ecology, and we have benefited from it. We have enjoyed the fruits of the destruction of others.

Charge us with all of that.”

Read out to the Police Officer by one of the group

The officer explained that there would be no charges. “We’ve just taken in a lot of people and it’s full now.”

Extinction Rebellion campaigner reads statement at Parkside police station. Picture: Finlay Cox
Extinction Rebellion campaigner reads statement at Parkside police station. Picture: Finlay Cox

“Can we come back later?” the spokesperson asked.

“No.”

Another officer then asked: “Why don’t I just have a chat with two of you?”

“Well we’re all guilty,” was the response.

“OK,” the officer replied, “but if there’s two of you who you trust I can listen to them.”

Two campaigners then stepped forward and were taken through.

The officer later reported that the chat went “very well”

“I thought they were going to charge me but they’re doing it in a different way. Technically I’ve not been charged yet but I’ve just been notified that I’ve been reported to be charged.”

Ms Angela Ditchfield

Ms Ditchfield awaits postal confirmation of the next stage of the case.

Angela Ditchfield's homemade armband. Picture: Mike Scialom
Ms Angela Ditchfield’s homemade armband. Picture: Mike Scialom

You can find a personal account by one of those attending the police station here.

Evolution, as one by one everyone in the country turns up at their local Police Station to hand themselves in like good citizens.


One thought on “The Evolution Of Language

  1. why dont we all – en mass – continue in our duties as ‘good consumers’ buying stuff –
    but unwrapping absolutely everything at the checkout and transferring our shopping into our own containers –
    – then we walk away leaving all the plastic and packaging on the deck –
    if every customer did that – there’d be a problem –
    come on!
    every customer
    spread the word
    lets try

    Like

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