Results 1 to 3 of 3

Thread: Political bullshit

  1. #1
    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Durban, South Africa
    Posts
    20,977
    Thanks
    3,055
    Thanked 2,462 Times in 2,067 Posts
    Blog Entries
    12

    Red face Political bullshit

    Here are some samples of terminology that has crept into political rhetoric and what they really mean - once again from the Dictionary of bull.shit by Nick Webb. Buy the book - it's worth it.

    accountability (abstract n.) A mysterious virtue that all politicians claim to possess until the time comes to demonstrate it.

    capability gap (np.) We can't do it.

    charm offensive (np.) This started life as a witty oxymoron, but familiarity has inured us to its absurdity.

    commission fees (n.) In large export deals, a euphemism for bribes.

    consensus (n.) Politicians often claim a consensus for any opinion they hold dear. How do they know? If they've conducted a poll with a large, demographically weighted sample and rigorous statistical analysis, they may be entitled to use the word. (Such polls are extremely difficult in practice.) Otherwise it just an expression of their own opinion.

    dogma (n.) The other guy has dogma, but you have passion.

    fast track (n. and v.) Trust us. We will torture our civil servants to drop the rest of their duties until the media spotlight has moved on to some other issue.

    full and frank (diplomatic adj. phrase) The negotiators are bitterly irreconcilable; they loath each other with unimaginable passion. After days of wrangling, they struggle to issue an anodyne statement as bland as a bread roll. "Full and frank" is one step away from screaming invective and throwing Perrier at each other.

    God (n.) A mysterious entity that some people believe created the universe. God also provides the authority for many of our behavioural rules and acts as guarantor of post-mortem survival of the spirit. This potent hurrah word is often invoked to lend cosmic significance or moral cartainty to some iffy enterprise. God is always on the side of the speaker.

    high net worth (np./jargon) Individuals with high net worth are rich.

    hypothetical (adj.) A useful term to describe the kind of searching question that will not under any circumstances be answered.

    investment (n.) Spending, as in "we're investing in schools."

    it has ben pointed out (phrase) Similar expressions include "some argue...," "there's evidence to suggest...," "many are of the opnion...," "arguably..." They all mean: I think, but I'm waiting to see how it goes down with the audience before committing myself.

    Law of Inverse Seniority, the (political expedient) If something unpopular must be announced, the president regrets that he or she has an unbreakable schedule of engagements elsewhere and is unavailable for interview. Instead the government fields someone of whom the public has never heard. The more loathsome the message, the less senior the spokesperson. An announcement of thermonuclear war would probably be delegated to the cleaners.

    monitor (v.) "We will monitor this issue..." means doing nothing except watch TV and read the papers. "Carefully monitor" could mean a civil servant or a press clipping service keeps an eye out for it, but probably not. "Maintaining a watching brief" is another spuriously positive way of doing nothing.

    Move on (cliché and v.) "We must move on..." is an expression uttered in terms of the death heroically suppressed irritation. The silly old public bangs on about her past delinquencies when the promised land live in the future. Translation: forget everything, elect us again.

    out of context (phrase) what a politician says when caught by the media saying something unpopular, stupid, or inconsistent with party policy. "I was quoted out of context." Who cares enough to check the context? Nobody. Besides, politics runs on mass amnesia.

    Perfectly clear (cliché) "I have made my position perfectly clear..." Actually, I obfuscted madly, and because - despite my mastery of bull-shit - you understood enough not to like it, I am unwilling to repeat myself. "I have nothing to add" (to my statement of three weeks ago last Thursday) serves a similar function.

    under review (phrase) We are doing nothing.
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

  2. #2
    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Durban, South Africa
    Posts
    20,977
    Thanks
    3,055
    Thanked 2,462 Times in 2,067 Posts
    Blog Entries
    12
    Here are my interpretations of a few I've heard locally recently.

    Feel free to add your own. There certainly is enough of them going around. We could even build a South African dictionary of our own local brand of political bullshit.

    lacks substance As in "the report of my alleged misconduct lacks substance." You have not shown me you have enough hard evidence that would hold up in court.

    my conscience is clear I have managed to justify my actions to myself, but you might not like the details so I'm not giving any.
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

  3. Thanks given for this post:

    Yvonne (11-Aug-08)

  4. #3
    just me duncan drennan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Cape Town
    Posts
    2,642
    Thanks
    119
    Thanked 94 Times in 77 Posts
    my day in court: what everybody should believe I want, and no one will ever see. Wanting this displays innocence and purity.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

Name:	me004073.jpg 
Views:	86 
Size:	30.1 KB 
ID:	476  
    [SIGPIC]Engineer Simplicity[/SIGPIC]
    Turn ideas into products | The Art of Engineering blog

Similar Threads

  1. Corporate bullshit
    By Dave A in forum Entrepreneurship and Business Management Forum
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: 26-Oct-08, 10:39 AM
  2. Southern African political stability and economics
    By Christob in forum Business Finance Forum
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 14-May-08, 10:14 AM
  3. Zambia economic march marred by political squabbles.
    By Dave A in forum General Business Forum
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 08-Jan-07, 12:20 PM

Tags for this Thread

Did you like this article? Share it with your favourite social network.

Did you like this article? Share it with your favourite social network.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •