Have you ever heard of ‘dog-whistle politics’? We hadn’t, until one of our American friends used the term recently in reference to their election primaries (which we also don’t really understand, but that’s a whole other matter).
As it turns out, dog-whistle politics is a type of political messaging that uses coded language: to the general public, the words have one meaning; but they have an additional, different, or more specific resonance for a targeted subgroup.
You know how, once you’ve had something pointed out to you, you start to notice it wherever you turn? That’s what happened to us.
We were reading Belinda’s strangely muted description of Maggie Tuttle’s ‘Children Screaming to Be Heard’ event this past Saturday, and suddenly the dog-whistle words and phrases began leaping out at us: 1. “Many probably decided they could get all the speeches and discussions on line afterwards, so best save themselves an expensive journey“: Decoded, this means “most of my audience is either unemployed or underemployed, and none of them own a house in Highgate…so I’ll pretend to be sympathetic to their piddling concerns. Besides, if I’m nice to them, perhaps they’ll throw a few coins in my tin can”.
2. “(T)he seemingly relentless, continuing and unchecked assault on children and families in UK by the local authorities“: This translates to “you are all vulnerable, every last one of you. They are coming to get you, to steal your children, destroy your family, and there’s nothing you can do about it…unless you listen to me”.
3. “(I)n ancient Babylon two dozen centuries back being ruled against our human will by a politicised priesthood with a particularly horrible sadistic mindset, devotion to the darkest of dark gods and zero empathy for human suffering“: This one’s easy: it means, “SATANISTS!!!1! THE SATANISTS ARE COMING AND THEY’RE GOING TO CONTROL YOUR MIIIIIIIIIND!”
4. “(T)he barbaric and debauched epoch of ancient Babylon ad (sic) worship of Baal” comes out to “MORE SATANISTS! WE ARE NOT FOOLING!!”
4.1. “Day 1 of the 13 years (sic) leading up to the ‘fire and fertility’ occult festival of Beltane of May 1st“: This one equals “More occult shenanigans, probably Satanist, will definitely result in baby-eating”. (It also somehow conflates Beltane, the Celtic May Day celebration, with ancient Babylon. Well, she did say she is an amateur historian. And presumably her interests don’t include geography.)
5. “(T)he gateway or portal to the ancient Temple to Baal at Palmyra, Syria, blown up supposedly by ISIS”: This one is masterful. Belinda manages to include the Temple to Baal (clearly Satanist and therefore evil), Syria (source of refugees that will no doubt be Muslim or some damn thing), and basic false flag conspiranoid woo (the claim that the Temple to Baal might or might not have been blown up, maybe by ISIS, maybe by someone else.
(We’re not sure whether she’s insinuating that it was blown up, and the culprits are supposedly ISIS, or that it might not have been blown up at all. Doesn’t matter, really: the point is, she’s hit all the right bells for her audience of consipraloons.)
6. “Having been unable to attend either the unveiling nor the taking down after 3 days of this ir any of giI n the heyday“: Even our expert dog-whistle cryptographers were stumped by this one. Had Belinda dipped a little too heavily into the amontillado? We just don’t know. If any of you have an idea of what she might have been trying to convey here, please do let us know.