In the US, a very similar campaign to discredit the word “liberal” has been under way for a few years now. Shock jocks and the rightwing media more generally have evolved a test that can help you work out whether the politician you’re listening to is a “patriot” or not. It’s this: are they, or have they ever been described as, a liberal? If the answer to either of these questions is yes, then you should disregard anything they say in future as pinko commie nonsense. The idea that “liberal” means the same as “socialist”, which is just a short leap from “communist”, is one that has become increasingly embedded in US political discourse. And of course, anything that carries even the merest whiff of communism has no place in a real American’s head.