A few years ago, someone invented the phrase “virtue signalling”. (If I told you that this person writes for the Spectator, you might have a vague idea of the context, even if you hadn’t heard the phrase. Basically it means not being a cunt.) If you try not to be a cunt, you’re virtue signalling.
Virtue signalling has developed mission creep over the years since this terrible writer, whoever it was, I can’t bring myself to look him up, but it’s definitely a man who writes for the Spectator, invented it. So now it means anything you want it to mean, but specifically, anyone trying to have any faint trace of humanity or compassion, which you know to be risible and daft and not the kind of grown-up intelligent politics that you stand for, which completely coincidentally means you keeping a lot more of your money.
If you vote for something you believe in, you’re virtue signalling. If you think that rich people should pay more tax than poor people, you’re virtue signalling. If you think dropping bombs onto people isn’t a clever and good thing to do, you’re virtue signalling. If you think anything other than a brutal, horrible, vindictive, spiteful, cruel, unpleasant existence and hateful attitude towards everyone else is the right way to conduct yourself, you’re virtue signalling.
Virtue signalling is what cunts used to call being a “bleeding heart”, and the sentiment is similar. The “bleeding hearts” used to have weak, foolish, unmasculine traits such as caring about other human beings, thinking that killing other people or letting them die was in some strange way a bad or incorrect thing to happen. Nowadays, virtue signalling goes that little bit further. It’s not just that people dare to have these views, which are clearly incorrect and wrong and naive and foolish and stupid and should be endlessly mocked by those of us who realise it’s right to be a hateful prick; no, they have these views and dare to express them. Not in the shiny paper pages of superior right-wing political magazines, of course, because only the right kind of people with the right kind of friends get to write their opinions there – where they are transformed from the ramblings of unkind bastards into the sage savouries of bright, hilarious and intelligent men – but elsewhere. Maybe in tweets, or somewhere in a meme that gets more retweets than is deemed appropriate for someone without the proper clearance and authority; maybe on a Facebook page or on one of those news websites we can call “fake news” because it’s not done by someone in nice clothes who does the paper review on the BBC News channel at three in the morning.
It’s a phrase used by gatekeepers. It’s designed to shut down, dismiss and keep at bay those unruly plebs who are tapping at the drawbridge and demanding to actually be allowed to have a say about things – you know, plebs, morons and the great unwashed. Some of them think they’re allowed to have opinions on politics without even having gone to the right kind of Oxbridge college and studied PPE or PPS or whatever it is they grow chortling sketchwriters in nowadays. Stop these people in their tracks. Virtue signalling. You may think that, but that’s just the kind of virtue signalling a virtue signaller would use. You want other people to know that you’re a purity politics idiot who would rather believe in things than be in power; you would rather vote for things you want rather than things you don’t want by people you don’t like that might somehow lead accidentally to half-decent things, if you’re lucky, and if they aren’t too busy dropping fucking bombs on people halfway around the world in the name of humanitarian intervention – not that THAT’S virtue signalling, of course, because dropping a bomb actually creates peace, whereas wanting peace means that terrible things happen. Do you see?
But let’s call this what it is. What it really is. It’s cunt signalling. If they can use a dismissive little phrase to say that giving a shit about other humans is somehow invalid and pathetic, let’s have one for them. Cunt signalling. When you scoff at the idea that someone wouldn’t incinerate millions in a nuclear first strike: cunt signalling. When you tell people that actually taxing the rich more doesn’t raise significantly more money and therefore, let them keep it all, after all, it’s their money: cunt signalling. When you say that, actually, the best thing to do for the poor is to let them suffer, cut off their benefits, sanction them, stop them from getting the help they need, make it harder and harder to jump through the hoops they need to in order to be kept alive (and if a few of them drop dead in the process, well, so be it, lessons will be learned, and so on): cunt signalling.
Every time you see the phrase “virtue signalling”, used sincerely, it means that person wants you to know they’re a cunt. They’re telling you they’re a cunt. They are cunt signalling, very clearly. They don’t care about others and they want you to know that, because they’re proud of it. Happy to hate. Proud of hatred. Proud to be scum.
As soon as those two words come together, everything else disappears.