Deaths of “international students” now covered by the “Official Secrets Act?”
Posted by te2ataria on January 9, 2016
Sent by a reader in Auckland
Who was the man killed in fall from Auckland apartment building 10 days ago
Who was the victim? Why was he killed? Where did his body go? Why the police doublespeak? Why block news updates?
A man, probably an international student, was killed after falling from the 12th-floor balcony of an Auckland apartment building early on Wednesday, 3o December 2015.
“Police and ambulance officers rushed to the Aucklander Apartments at 25 Rutland St, in the central city, at 2.45am,” according to a local report.
However the 32-year-old must have been killed on impact, if not before, and was stone cold before the cavalry arrived.
To confuse the interested parties and our readers, Auckland police used their “doublespeak” technique to shed more light 😉 on the event:
“A police spokeswoman said she was confident there were no suspicious circumstances. Officers at the scene said they were not yet able to determine whether or not the fall was accidental.”
No additional news is currently available about the victim’s ID, or the circumstances that led to the tragic fall.
Mystery NO. 2
And what happened to the other guy who fell from a building in Greys Avenue, Auckland two days earlier?
Man falls from Auckland apartment building
7:49 AM Monday Dec 28, 2015 – A man has been taken to hospital with critical head injuries after falling from a building in Auckland last night. It appears the man fell from an upper level of a residential building in Greys Avenue. Police were called at 12.30am.
At this stage it is not clear how far he fell, or the circumstances of the fall. Police are investigating. http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11566702
Doublespeak is language that deliberately disguises, distorts, or reverses the meaning of words. […] It may also refer to intentional ambiguity in language or to actual inversions of meaning. In such cases, doublespeak disguises the nature of the truth. Doublespeak is most closely associated with political language.
Origins and concepts
The term “doublespeak” probably has its roots in George Orwell’s book Nineteen Eighty-Four. Although the term is not used in the book, it is a close relative of one of the book’s central concepts, “doublethink”. Another variant, “doubletalk,” also referring to deliberately ambiguous speech, did exist at the time Orwell wrote his book, but the usage of “doublespeak” as well as of “doubletalk” in the sense emphasizing ambiguity clearly postdates the publication of Nineteen Eighty-Four. Parallels have also been drawn between Doublespeak and Orwell’s classic essay Politics and the English Language, which discusses the distortion of language for political purposes.
Edward S. Herman, political economist and media analyst, has highlighted some examples of doublespeak and doublethink in modern society. Herman describes in his book, Beyond Hypocrisy the principal characteristics of doublespeak:
What is really important in the world of doublespeak is the ability to lie, whether knowingly or unconsciously, and to get away with it; and the ability to use lies and choose and shape facts selectively, blocking out those that don’t fit an agenda or program.
In his essay “Politics and the English Language”, George Orwell observes that political language serves to distort and obfuscate reality. Orwell’s description of political speech is extremely similar to the contemporary definition of doublespeak;
In our time, political speech and writing are largely the defence of the indefensible… Thus political language has to consist largely of euphemism, question-begging and sheer cloudy vagueness… the great enemy of clear language is insincerity. Where there is a gap between one’s real and one’s declared aims, one turns as it were instinctively to long words and exhausted idioms, … https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doublespeak
[A note to our overseas readers: The New Zealand Official Secrets Act of 1951 was replaced by the weasel-worded Official Information Act 1982.]