"Political language has to consist largely of euphemism, question-begging and sheer cloudy vagueness."
With that quotation from George Orwell, the Centre for Policy Studies introduces its 2008 guide to ‘Newspeak’ and "the language of bureaucracy [that] has long provided a convenient disguise for government action, or inaction."
Here are a few of the terms from the CPS’ 2008 Lexicon:
Anti-social behaviour: Anything of which the government does not approve.
Bandwagon: Something a political opponent is jumping on when he is closely in tune with public opinion.
Blue skies thinking: Uncosted ideas for further government activity.
Community leader: A self-appointed or government-appointed leader of a community group.
Czar: The well-paid head of a quango appointed to demonstrate activity in dealing with a problem (not to be confused with solving a problem).
Dialogue (meaningful): The pretence of genuine two-way communication.
Guidance: Government interference.
Looked after children (referring to children in state care): Children who are not looked after.
Multi-agency: No one’s responsible.
All too true but not – in our humble opinion – quite as good as Inigo Wilson’s famous Lefty Lexicon of August 2006.
Download a PDF of the CPS’ Lexicon from here by clicking ‘View’.
10am: The CPS’ Jill Kirby writes about ‘Newspeak’ for today’s Independent.