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Orwell Prize: Who Made the Cut We take a look at the shortlist, and ask “what does it take to earn a nomination?”

The Orwell Foundation has announced the shortlist for the 2019 Orwell Journalism Prize, we thought it would be interesting to simply list the nominees and some examples of their work (The Orwell Foundation has not yet released what works were considered).

For those of you who don’t know, the Orwell Prizes are annual awards for political writing and journalism which “turns political writing into an artform”, according to the Orwell Foundation’s website:

The Orwell Prizes aim to encourage good writing and thinking about politics. The winning entries should strive to meet Orwell’s own ambition ‘to make political writing into an art’. They should be of equal excellence in style and content – the writing must be both political and artful – and live up to the values of The Orwell Foundation.

Now “what are these values?” I hear you ask, well you can read them here, and I will summarize.

  • Artfulness and clarity of writing
  • Quality of critical thought
  • Public and educational benefit
  • Contribution to the quality of public discourse
  • Intellectual courage and critical thought

That said, let’s take a look at the nominees, you can judge for yourself how well they fit these criteria.

3. Robert Guest – Foreign Editor, The Economist

Guest is Foreign Editor of The Economist, as such we can find very few articles directly authored by him in the last year, however here are some of the Economist’s foreign policy cover stories under his editorial guidance:

5. Lois Kapila – Managing Editor, Dublin InQuirer*

*Dublin InQuirer is a local paper, dealing largely with urban development, community projects and property issues.

Maybe we should look back at the Orwell Foundation’s values, and ask: do these people display…

  • Artfulness and clarity of writing?
  • Quality of critical thought?
  • Public and educational benefit?
  • Contribution to the quality of public discourse?
  • Intellectual courage and critical thought?

For that matter, do any of the previous winners meet these criteria?

You be the judge.

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Orwell was a literary genius. Works like 1984 and Animal Farm were masterpieces, as was much of his other work, and they will stand for all time. However, his disillusionment with communism from Spain onwards led him along a path of McCarthyite cooperation and snooping with the Spook Agencies.

This is a pattern we have seen since – all the present day Neocohens are ex Trotskyists. You see the same in the UK – ex wannabe Revolutionaries like Aaronovitch turned arch reactionaries. Maybe what motivates them is a lust for power for its own sake, like 1984’s Ingsoc. A desire to control and exercise power over others. The ideology is purely secondary.

There may be a sadistic sexual element in this, though that’s one for the headshrinkers. They seem to derive a vicarious thrill from harming others, and causing death and suffering at a safe distance. Certainly people like Blair, Bush and Trump like to strut around like sawdust Caesars while taking great pains not to expose themselves to any danger.

People often say that medieval times were barbaric, but in a sense the opposite is true. Rulers had to put their life on the line in the thick of battle. In 1066, 3 men wanted to be King of England. The winner was literally the last man standing. He was nearly killed himself, and the other two were cut up into pieces the size of oxo cubes. James IV of Scotland was killed at Flodden in 1513, standing in front of his men holding a 16 foot pike. Or Richard III at Bosworth Field, amongst others. Or Frederick the Great in more modern times, leading his infantry on horseback from the front and taking three musket balls in one battle, one through his coat, one through his snuff box and one in the chest which had lost a lot of its energy, knocking him off his horse.

That is something worthy of respect. More than sending off kids from some crappy council estate to come back with their legs blown off. Maybe that’s the way they should choose the next leader of the Tory Party/ prime minister. Let Johnson, Gove and Hunt fight it out with their choice of spear, sword and axe. Last man standing the winner. If nothing else, it would be entertaining.

Steve Hayes
Reader

If we recall that Orwell worked as a propagandist for the BBC, the list is hardly surprising. If, however, we think of the Orwell who wrote “Politics and the English Language” the list is a travesty.

Martin Usher
Reader
Martin Usher

It depends on whether you think of this award as a sort of journalistic igNoble or not. From the titles cited I honestly thought the prize was for the best NewSpeak piece, one awarded tongue in cheek to journalists who masters of the art of DoubleThink. Then I read that the awards are actually for serious journalism. I am humbled.

ANDREW CLEMENTS
Reader
ANDREW CLEMENTS

Running concurrently with
The Road to Wigan Pier angling awards 2019

Roberto
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Roberto

” … the writing must be both political and artful – and live up to the values of The Orwell Foundation.”

Just the fact that there is an “Orwell Society” is astonishing – unless they’re just having a laugh, rather like the Flat Earth Society.
‘Best wishes’ and ‘good luck’ to all the ‘candidates’.
“Everything I say is ironic, not excluding what I have just said (or written)”.
attributed to: – Not-Orwell.

Gwyn
Reader
Gwyn

The 2019 Pusillanimous Pathetic Piss-taking Presstitute Prize™.

John
Reader
John

Never forget Orwell was a grass who was ratting out his mates in Catalonia to British intelligence

Francis Lee
Reader
Francis Lee

News to me. Have you any evidence for your claims?

mark
Reader
mark

Just read any biography. He supplied lists of people for the Spooks to target. If we’d had a House Unamerican Activities Committee here, he would have been their star witness.

Noddy Bother
Reader
Noddy Bother

Daily Columnist Sarah Macclesfield’s article, “Merkel: Refugees drowning for Russian dolphin livers” would be my pick. It showed me a side of reality that we just don’t ever see or experience.

Mucho
Reader
Mucho

Brendon O Connell keeping up the groundbreaking work…….

wardropper
Reader
wardropper

We always have the problem of what it means to be a politician today:
Say the nice words today, but do the ugly opposite tomorrow.
So many of our social problems can be traced to people like this senator having had a mother, father, grandmother, or whatever, who “LOVED politics”.

I don’t know about most of us here, but when I heard her say that, alarm bells rang in my house in places where I wouldn’t have thought there was even room for an alarm bell.
About 53 alarm bells altogether, I would guess.

What on earth is there to LOVE about politics?
It’s like a doctor who says he loves pustules, although I can see the abstract notion of helping others as a rewarding field to pursue.
Somebody needs to set the senator straight on one thing: Politics is NOT a lovable thing in the 21st Century.
It is an abomination, and only those who can see no other way to educate themselves and their fellow human beings should even dream of going there.

Brian Steere
Reader

(resending as the DDOS seemed to block posting)

Orwell described a problem in a way that seemed to be some sort of sketching out of a dystopian trend – though his original title was ‘1948’ …
Doublespeak is the mind’s capacity to package toxic contradiction into narrative acceptance so as to avert, escape or mitigate ‘Room 101’.

Perhaps the elephant in the room regarding such masked and deceitful tyrannous thought, word and acted-out outcome is fear of pain of loss.

Orwell’s crucifiction of his protagonist is without any resurrection or redemption and so is a toxic message that SEEMS to impart privileged information to an actually controlled ‘opposition’.

Addressing the fears, hates and denials in our psyche as a willingness for healing instead of the persistence of an opposition to the conditioned and induced hatred, is to stop feeding the Troll and open to other ways of seeing, which includes uncovering and undoing self-contradictions in our thought and emotional investment.

Part of the issue I see is the attempt to morally coerce the mind set in fear and division or ‘evil’ towards ‘goodness’. For it is the same force that effects a state of division in the first place.

This signature pattern is pervasive to our thinking and so to our world, as a protection racket. That is it offers ‘protection’ in exchange for sacrifice of Life – but as a self-justified and necessary lesser evil, packaged as if a positive or a power in its own right.

How does one uncover, face and allow fear to be undone of its hidden role in the mind?
By watching the mind (our thought, emotional and physical reaction), instead of running it – or rather allowing it to run unwatched while diverted and distracted by a false flagged world.

It is the nature of denial to project away as an exclusion or rejection, by the same law that a positive appreciation automatically shares out or radiates. To know what we do, is to be awake and on purpose. That we can think we know when we are in fact sleepwalking is so self -evident as to need no other example than any moment of observation.

Part of the role of demons or terror symbols is of guarding the treasure. Fear of love’s intimacy generates diversionary drama to protect the fear from full exposure or transparency and accountability. And does so in the name or under the symbol, image or wish of love. Masked in the forms of what it is the denial of.

Love is the capacity to be with what is to the revealing of the recognition of truth.
What is a cage of starved and ravenous rats set about one’s head but the symbol of an inner conflict fleshed out? Enforced scarcity under deceit breeds controllable appetites or indeed golems for needs must and invested wants become socially inducted and accepted as needs and thus a social exclusion to be without. Social credit (carbon-guilt) or otherwise is a development of the idea of a rigged system of control. Those who comply and conform in allegiance to a god of sacrifice temporarily gain support in keeping their fears outside their bubble.

Who can call on truth while engaged in its denial as bubble of self-protection – excepting in imaged symbol or concepts that reinforce the bubble of separation from the feared or hated?

We assign to conditions the results of our own conditioning. To rewaken as presence is not an act of rebellion to a past made in anger but the freedom to walk out of a mind no longer spellbound under its own word.

As for the call to give attention to a substitute reality? Let the dead bury the dead is not an abandonment or judgement against the living, but rather a refusal to join in the reinforcement of false thinking or emotional coercion. No one actually IS the role they play in the world or in any particular relational context. But we all assign or cast others in the roles we give them.

The core elements or archetypes of myth or drama structure our psyche as the basis for the development of the personality construct. Prometheus’ room 101 was the flip side of stealing the ‘light of the Gods’.
But if we have it – is is freely given to the asking. We only run off with the guilt of a false light, by which to seem to become ‘as gods’ yet meet its flip side as a sense of subjection and powerlessness.
Our core separation fallacy re-enacts as the victim and the victimiser down through the millennia – as if the latter could ever become victorious over Life – as its usurper and replacement. Chasing a fantasy by which to evade or avert a feared self-revealing. “It’s life Jim, but not as can be truly known or shared”.

‘Zombie Apocalypse’ or’ Alien disclosure’ may be closer to home than ‘Out There’. Sleepwalking minds in blind bodies invoke an alien will – a power from ‘outside’ to save them from themselves. The demand for unconsciousness generates the conditions that support and maintain it – under some guise of passing off a placeholder instead of a living presence.

The ability to Call or Ask is not hardwired to a self-conflict, but having received it we cannot see any real choices. This is the same as saying we are free to deny our free will, so as to no longer recognise that its consequence is also an expression of freedom as power to accept. Whatever we accept as our self/reality we go forth from and multiply in our relational experience. The idea of the denial of the will by the limitation and division of mind, is an illusion of power that depends on what it attacks to seem to exist. Such self-contradictions do not bear exposure, and so secrets and lies operate notional security or ‘intelligence’ that makes sacrifice of the Living to keep a dead system ‘sustainable’.

‘Too big to fail’ means too invested in to allow willingness to re-evaluate. ‘The Show must go on!’ But are we a captive audience, or are we always inherently free to give attention, and thus value and meaning, to thought arising from wholeness absent coercion – instead of doublethink in support of a driven or compulsive re-action? For not all thought is a ‘blocking signal’, but only that which gnaws like rats at our mind in guise of ‘protecting us’ from a defencelessness against truth and freedom, as hidden agenda of pain masking as joy.

Gwyn
Reader
Gwyn

And the coveted 2019 Government Stenographer of the Year Award goes to…

paul metcalf
Reader
paul metcalf

am sure hyde and moore et al will be chuffed with themselves now.champers all round eh girls? i hope you are pleased with your efforts.slimey bastards.

Seamus Padraig
Reader
Seamus Padraig

I’m thinking they should rename the Orwell Prize, calling it the IngSoc Prize instead.

Kaiama
Reader
Kaiama

Javid signed the Assange extradition order today. Will be put to the court tomorrow.

mark
Reader
mark

Funny how they all hyperventilate about Beijing bringing in an extradition law for Chinese people from one part of China to another to face criminal charges. That’s all wrong, apparently.

But extraditing Assange for a secret trial in a secret kangaroo court on secret charges is perfectly okay, apparently.

wardropper
Reader
wardropper

What an ignorant fool Javid is.
Should have been flayed alive by the more intelligent elements in Parliament long ago.
An opportunistic nincompoop, easy for unscrupulous others to manipulate.

Tom Paine
Reader
Tom Paine

Does anyone know how his health is? Will Jeremy Corbyn speak out against the extradition?

I feel a lot of anger at the way he has been treated but I don’t know how to express it or what can be done.

John Thatcher
Reader
John Thatcher

I honestly thought this was a satirical award for the most Orwellian contributions to abusing the truth.

Ramdan
Reader
Ramdan

…yup….sort of the Ig-Nobel

Simon Hodges
Reader

Fairly astonishing that they are blissfully ignorant of the irony. Our struggle is resisting the elite’s daily deluge of totalitarian groupthink.

Simon Hodges
Reader

Amazing! The world is abandoning democracy, national and personal sovereignty and sleepwalking into a AI based technocratic dystopian corporate/government capitalist surveillance society in the most Orwellian sense possible and none of these people have anything to say about it.

Mucho
Reader
Mucho

Demonocracy, I should say, pardon the mistake!

Simon Hodges
Reader

I was scratching my head trying to work out precisely what you may have meant. If George Orwell were writing today he’d be labelled and smeared as a conspiracy theorist.

Mucho
Reader
Mucho

Democracy is a beautiful thing

Question This
Reader
Question This

Democracy is basically mob rule.

Mucho
Reader
Mucho

British Politicians Signing Pro Israel Pledges……..
More than 200 parliamentary candidates from a range of political parties have signed a pledge created by two pro-Israel grassroots groups.
We Believe in Israel and the Israel Britain Alliance, a project of the Zionist Federation, said activists had persuaded 210 candidates to sign the General Election Pledge for Israel.
There are 3,300 candidates from all parties standing in this year’s election, meaning six percent of all candidates have signed the pledge.
IBA director Michael McCann said activists’ work represented an “unprecedented grassroots mobilisation,” adding: “It means candidates across the UK understand there is public support for Israel and we hope they will reflect this in their contributions and voting in Parliament.”
The pledge includes commitments to oppose boycotts and to support the new working definition of anti-Semitism from the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance, which has been criticised by leading lawyers and academics as conflating anti-Israel sentiment with Jew hatred.
We Believe director Luke Akehurst said: “It is great to see cross-party support.”

Ieuan Einion
Reader
Ieuan Einion

Where’s Carol Codswollop and Luke Harding; in fact why don’t they just get it over with, announce they are giving just one further prize to last for all time and hang it on the staff-room wall of the Guardian next to the portrait of Big Brother?

George
Reader
George

All award ceremonies are exercises in self-congratulation and in petting the heads of subservient hacks. The general message is, “Hey you were great! And you too! Hell – you’re all great! We’re all great! And over to Bobby who will tell us all how great we are”. etc. Occasionally someone rocks the boat ever so slightly and will be ignored until that is no longer possible. At which point the disruptive one will be neutered as much as possible, accepted into the fold and this acceptance will be taken as proof of how fair and open the whole system is and therefore of how it proves how “great we all are!”

Francis Lee
Reader
Francis Lee

It is difficult to take these people seriously. They are just hacks; centrist extremists bought and paid for. There should be an O’Brien prize, Winston Smith’s interlocutor in room 101. ‘How many fingers am I holding up Winston’? Or perhaps and Emmanuel Goldstein prize, author of the forbidden book ‘The theory and practise of Oligarchic Collectivism.’

The thing that really stands out for me is the way the intelligence services are now embedded in and run the media. This was pointed out by Gekaufte Journalisten by Udo Ulfkotte a work which would rank alongside Goldstein’s subversive book. Shortly before his death Udo pointed out that almost all the journalists in Germany were on the CIA payroll. The German edition is available but the English language edition will cost you £299.99.

Yes, Operation Mockingbird is still in full swing and it seems that NATO intelligence services are beginning to merge into one global configuration.

Rhisiart Gwilym
Reader
Rhisiart Gwilym

O’Brien Award it has to be! Dead right.

Harry Stotle
Reader
Harry Stotle

Can’t we send them all to room 101?

wardropper
Reader
wardropper

We could, if all of us here showed up at their offices.