We Positive Moneysupporters in the North East of England are a talented lot. Me in particular, of course. But there's also Gillian Swanson. Below is Gillian's variation on William Wordsworth's poem "I wandered lonely as a cloud", followed by Gillian's cynical definition of various fashionable Weasel words.
I wandered, gloomy, sad and bowed,
From store to store, by Sales, by tills,
And thought, all sweaty in the crowd,
How little Christmas shopping thrills:
With feet than ache and wobbly knees -
Oh! but this season is a tease!
Continuous as the lights that shine
And twinkle down the streets today,
They stretched in never-ending line
To have their goods wrapped up and pay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance
Staring ahead, as if in trance.
The tills beside them rang, as they
Out-did the Jones’s shopping spree:
The old, the young, the straight, the gay,
All spendthrift flocked in company,
While, dazed and fazed, I little bought:
What wealth I had too soon fell short.
And now, as on the couch I lie
With vacant purse, in pensive mood,
I wonder at that dash to buy,
At how each docile wally queued:
For when they start to measure bills,
Finances bust, they’ll curse the tills.
Weasel words and phrases.
“Centres of excellence”: establishment-approved set-ups.
“Best practice”: establishment-approved ways of doing things.
“Stakeholders”: carefully chosen special-interest groups courted and flattered into the belief that they are helping the powerful to shape policy.
“Civil society”: members of any special interest groups considered important/amenable enough to be “stakeholders”)
“Governance”: the replacement of representative government with techniques that steer tame “stakeholders” along pre-determined paths towards a desired outcome.
“Consultation”: the process by which “stakeholders” are fooled into believing that they actually wanted to go down those paths anyway.
“Facilitator”: the stooge trained in group dynamics who makes sure the “consultation process” doesn’t go astray.
“Consensus”: the apparent unanimity resulting from the elimination of opposition by a skilled “facilitator”.
"Participatory democracy”: the side-lining and ostracism of dissenting majorities and minorities by systematically excluding them from participation in “civil society” and “the consultation process”.
"Networking": collusion among “stakeholders” in pursuit of their own interests, without regard for those barred from participation in “participatory democracy”.
“Opinion-formers”: the supra-national political and academic establishment, plus influential “stakeholders” who have achieved “consensus” via corruption or the “consultation process”.
“Law-makers”: an up-and-coming term, increasingly used as a synonym for representatives, heaven help us!