David Cameron moved swiftly today to deny that new government guidelines on use of technical jargon amounted to an “Orwellian hijack” of the English language. ‘We know there are subtleties the electorate struggles with’ said the PM. ‘For example, we are not seeking Regime Change in Libya, we are looking to cause the regime to change. And when we announce next year that Free Schools will be free to charge top-up fees, they will still remain Free - just not in a cost sense. Or a regulatory sense.’
The Civil Service, previously considered the agent of the state carrying out the government’s bidding but now labelled an “enemy of enterprise”, felt compelled to request emergency guidelines on representing coalition policy after the health minister announced a simultaneous “bottom-up, top-down” review of the NHS. The result was the “speakdouble” memorandum on “publicising the unfinished product of cognitive dissonance”, issued last Thursday.
Whitehall aides struggling to explain the “Small is beautiful’ concept were given the following example: “We believe large inefficient bureaucratic organisations stop neighbourhoods controlling their own destiny. Every community will be empowered to chose its local service provision from one of ten companies, each of them able to offer services better than the council- and more cheaply - through transnational economies of scale”. The section on council housing reads “households who cannot afford to rent at market levels should be offered an Affordable rent solution, which in most cases will cost as much as the market rent”.
A spokesman for the civil service union said ‘we could forgive them all this if they explained the biggest contradictory statement of all: “Liberal Conservative”. Are they neocons who like S&M, or socialists who still wear Sunday best? I think we should be told.’