I read with interest your excellent feature 'War of the words'. For some time, I have been criticising the manner in which government departments and regulators use language that is intended to mislead.
It seems to me that the deceptions of business language to be found almost everywhere in advertising and marketing materials have been learned by government. This is evident in the so-called annual reports which government departments appear to be duty-bound to ham up. These self-congratulatory documents, with their mission statements, statements of achievements and aspirations, would do credit to any PLC.
David Cameron, and I fear Nick Clegg, have bought into this use of business language as they mistakenly argue that this kind of verbiage represents ‘transparency’ and ‘accessibility’. In addition to the specious language of the ‘annual report culture’ (a possible riposte to government’s abuse of the expression ‘compensation culture’), we have the various MoJ consultations, and Eric Pickles’ carefully targeted attacks, which use language chosen to evade and misdirect.
I also note that lawyers and judges seem to possess the power to make Mr Cameron physically sick. I did wonder whether he has a weak stomach. But then I realised he had shrewdly elided prisoners, paedophiles, lawyers and the EU. With so much tabloid-ish bile retching forth on those four topics, I guess that even the prime minister's stomach could be excused the odd twinge of discomfort.
John Holtom, managing partner, Legal Solutions Partnership, Luton