Let me go over; that the men of Gilead said unto him,Artthou an Ephraimite? If he said, Nay;Then said they unto him, Say now Shibboleth: and he said Sibboleth: for he could not frame to pronounceitright. Then they took him, and slew him at the passages of Jordan.
(Judges, Chapter 12)
A shibboleth is a splendid way of identifying your enemies. But it has little to recommend it as a way of conducting first-past-the-post-politics. Why single out and alienate those not of your tribe?
I ask because it has become a practice of many Grand Men of the Left. The frequent epithets: “Blairites,” “neoliberals”. They are so protean, so bereft of content, as to shrink to little thing more than a desire to articulate a loathing of some other.
It’s foolish politics. Bad enough to hate Conservatives who, like it or not, form a large part…
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