"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.

24 comments for: Newspeak

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.