Wednesday, October 05, 2011

The subtleties of language

The European Parliament has today passed the legislation in Committee that will create what they call a European Heritage Label. UKIP made a bit of hay with this when it was first presented, and rightly so.

But I have been looking at the legislation and I was struck with the language in which it is counched.

Look at the language here, being part of the EU is part of a 'sense of belonging' whilst diversity is to be 'appreciated'. One is integral to one's very being - that is being a European citizen and one's feelings towards the benificent EU, whereas diversity is externalised and to be appreciated, thus not actually part of us.

The Commission's proposal
The aim of the proposal is to strengthen European Citizens’ sense of belonging to the European Union, based on shared elements of history and heritage, as well as an appreciation of diversity, and to strengthen intercultural dialogue.
Very sly. Because of course it is our diversity that makes us who we are, not our similarity.

Of course this whole program, to cost 650,000 Euros is specifically targeted at kiddies,
The label is not about a site's beauty or its architectural quality, but rather its symbolic value for European integration and the history of the Union. It is not about conservation of sites in itself, but rather about the activities they can offer and their educational dimension, especially for young people.

And my favourite recipient of this glittering honour?

A shoe factory.

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