Repeaters, pyramid men, corporate golems, civil servants and other Agent Smith wannabes will do well to take note of this absolute gem of triplespeak, issued by a master-repeater. In a BBC Breakfast interview on the tenth anniversary of 9/11, recalling those short, intense, dust-cloud and Giuliani-filled moments between the planes hitting the towers and the remarkable discovery of a Quran and a passport bearing the name Mohammed Atta in the glove compartment of a car in the car park, former British prime minister Tony Blair said of radicals:
[They] believe in what they believe in because they believe their religion compels them to believe in it.
Breaking this out into a diagram we have:
Which is, structurally, a device comparable perhaps with the water molecule, or perhaps heavy water (H3), in terms of solidity and durability. Dynamic too: the sense of agency flows around and around, moving from They, to What They Believe, to Their Religion and back to They. Here, Blair is telling us that Nothing Can Be Done, which is the perfect TripleThink premise to his next statement, that the War on Terror would only end,
when we defeat the ideology.
Ideally, he should have left it at that, his words diabolically (tribolically?) ringing in the air. But the hoop is launched with a fatal wobble – perhaps, in a funny old way, evidence of some last shred of goofish goodness:
I think it will take a generation, but the way to defeat this ideology ultimately is by a better idea, and we have it, which is a way of life based on openness, democracy, freedom and the rule of law.
Avoiding Blair’s mistake, I will do as the Guardian article I have quoted from, and leave it, ringing like a Tibetan bowl, at that.