Jowell: “I talk bollocks”

Tessa Jowell, culture secretary, tells the FT in an interview today that ministers are talking too much meaningless government jargon that “real people” do not understand. Tessa reveals she keeps a “little book of bollocks” listing the gobbledegook spouted by her and her colleagues. She calls on the government to “cut the crap” and reconnect with the public in the forthcoming general election campaign. “I have what I call a bollocks list where I just sit in meetings and I write down some of the absurd language we use – and we are all guilty of this, myself included. The risk is when you have been in government for eight years you begin to talk the language which is not the language of the real world,” or the truth, eh Mr Blunkett?

“Reprofiling expenditure”, “sustainable eating in schools”, “regional cultural data feedback rollout”, “strategic objectives for evaluation”, and “weaning the profile”, are some of the more unintelligible catchphrases on Ms Jowell’s hit-list.

Saying that bureaucratic language has become a “barrier” between ministers and the public, she urges the government to reach out to voters in the run-up to the election. “It’s cutting the crap, talking directly to people and facing their anger, their optimism, their frustration, their enthusiasm.” Hmmm, I would love to see a few ministers reaching out to hunt supporters.


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