Conservatives’ doublespeak translated – parts 1 and 2

Keppler, Udo J., 1872-1956, artist

Maybe we should review all the false language that has been used by the Tory Party over the last twelves years as they have been dismantling the country?

Part 1:

Brexit Benefits’ & ‘Brexit Dividend’: Ok, so this was supposed to be an incentive for people to relinquish all the genuine benefits of EU membership. A financial payoff of sorts. One of the vaunted benefits was going to be £350m per week extra for the NHS. NOPE.

‘Northern Powerhouse’: We’ve known for a long time that Britain has a North/South divide. As a Northerner living in the South I see it with my own eyes. I believe George Osborne started the ‘Northern Powerhouse’ lie and guess what? Nothing ever happened with it.

Levelling up‘: We even have a department of ‘Levelling Up’. There has of course been zero evidence of any ‘levelling up’ and indeed since Brexit we have only see negative impact and socio-economic real terms decline.

‘All in it together’: This takes us back to the days of David Cameron. His version of ‘all in it together’ was to insulate the wealthiest and recoup the costs of a global financial crisis from the poorest by slashing provision and public burning services.

‘No front line cuts’: This lie sought to persuade people that you could cut services without impacting the quality or quantity of support provided. It was about ‘red tape’ and ‘backroom staff’. Of course it was an absolute load of b*llocks.

‘Red tape‘: This is the lie trotted out when the government wants to compromise human rights and health & safety. These pesky regulations that give us time off, clean water, maternity/paternity pay, freedom of thought, speech and association… ‘red tape’.

Trickle Down Economics’: Ah the splendid idea that if you make the rich even richer, their wealth will somehow flow out of their huge off shore bank accounts and into the economy and the pockets of the many. Of course if you refuse to tax the super rich nobody can say how this will happen.

Illegal Immigration‘: This phrase as been used to confuse people between real humans who legitimately seek refuge in the UK risking life and limb to escape persecution, war and exploitation – with horrible brown people stealing our jobs and committing crime.

Economic migrant‘: the mislabelling of people who fear for their lives and wish to give their children a better home. Designed to undermine sympathy and support for people who are in desperate need of help.

Protective ring around care-homes‘: ah yes. This meant knowingly sending Covid positive patients back into care environments where the most vulnerable would undoubtedly contract and pass on a deadly virus before dying alone.

‘Nightingale Hospitals’: Fake clinical environments to support people with Covid-19 through the pandemic. Described as warehouses full of not-fit for-purpose sh*t that Tories bought from their friends at public expense.

‘Test and Trace‘: a £37 billion bung to people very close to the Conservative Party, sponsors and party members under the guise of a technology-driven solution to the pandemic.

Get Brexit Done‘ and ‘Got Brexit Done‘. When defending Brexit or Boris Johnson – use ‘Got Brexit Done’. When seeking extra impetus to do something ridiculous with foreign policy or the economic wellbeing of the UK use ‘Get Brexit Done’.

The Will of the People‘: a subjective test. In the case of Brexit a slender 2 per cent margin with crumbling popularity is enough to absolutely devastate the entire nation. In the case of needing an urgent general election the use of overwhelming polling data is absolutely not.

Strong and Stable‘ – sold as government of fiscal responsibility, tough on crime & strong on personal integrity. Delivered as irresponsible government with no care for financial consequences, breaking the law frequently, demonstrating no personal responsibility at all.

Transparency & Accountability‘: Well, Suella Braverman did send government classified information into an unprotected environment and she did resign for it. Is it her fault if Rishi Sunak reappointed her?

Looking after our own‘: Read – slashing the international aid budget? “Let’s look after our own”. Then tell our own to f*ck off when they ask for help because it only creates dependency.

‘Gold plated pensions‘ – when a hard working public sector worker, such as a teacher, police officer, doctor or nurse has a decent retirement to look forward to in their twilight years it’s a ‘gold plated pension’. When it’s an MP, it’s not.

Big Society‘ – supposed to evoke images of neighbours who care for each other. In reality it means withdrawing public services and asking people to volunteer to do essential and complicated work for nothing.

Crack down‘ – tough on crime narrative often used by Priti Patel to try to persuade people that she was strong and capable (but definitely not a bully). ‘Crack down’ was used in connection to immigration, drugs, organised crime & corruption. But never successfully.

Eat out to help out‘ – instead of giving genuine financial support to people as most other developed economies did during the pandemic, here – have 15 per cent off at Pizza Express and a free Covid infection. Don’t mention this offer to members of the Royal Family.

F*ck business‘ – an unusually candid phrase used by Boris Johnson in a rare moment of honesty before he actually did destroy the livelihoods of many small business operators.

Don’t forget to write to your MP and demand a general election NOW!

Part 2

I started a thread on all the Tory phrases we’ve been subjected to over the last 12 years. There have been some fantastic additional suggestions – and here’s the second volume as a consequence:


Oven ready deal‘ – A deal that was ready for the oven…if the oven was an incinerator and what we were putting into the ‘oven’ was the GFA, our access to the single market and our human rights.

Global Britain‘ – A reference to our inability to trade freely and easily with our nearest neighbours and most important allies. Now we have to try to sell pork to Israel and sand to the Arabian states.

Growth Growth Growth‘ – Remember: cancer is a form of growth, too.

Got all the big calls right‘ – An implicit admission from everyone working around Boris Johnson that the vast majority of anything he touched turned to sh*t instantly. The idea that he got any ‘big calls’ correct is also bullsh*t, too, btw.

Choice in public services‘ – Do you want to go to this underfunded hospital or do you want to go to that underfunded hospital?

The magic money tree‘ [allegedly non-existent]- A phrase coined by Theresa May just before she gave £1bn to the DUP to bribe them for support in a power sharing arrangement.

We will deliver‘ – What will be delivered might be different to what is advertised. It’s like you voted for your government manifesto via Wish.

‘Better Together/Taking Back Control’ – If you’re Scottish the Conservatives believe we are better Together. If you’re a Brexit voter they believe in self determination and taking back control locally.

Taking back control’ – Knowing that FPTP produces elected dictatorship for 5 years, without the checks and balances of other courts and obligations, the Tories would like to have absolute power. Brexit – and ‘taking back control’ gave them a right-wing sex dream.

Energy Price Guarantee / Price Cap‘ – meaningless phrase about keeping energy prices down. Have risen by more than 50% above the rest of Europe and the cap can rise as well. Inexplicable.

Hard working people‘ – the only validity in society is to not have a work/life balance and to have to evidence your entitlement to anything through blood sweat and tears. Unless you’re a Tory – in which case don’t be silly.

Build back better‘ – “Well listen, we wrecked the economy through Brexit. We’ve done a terrible job of managing the pandemic. We’ve damaged the economy through multiple chancellors and prime ministers doing silly things – but we can bodge it back together again.”

40 new hospitals’/’20,000 more police’ – counting painting and decorating old hospitals and cutting 25,000 experienced police officers to replace them, eventually, with 20,000 inexperienced trainees that cost a lot less.

Getting on with the job‘ – Ok, so they committed another horrendous and egregious abuse of privilege and/or committed a crime. It’s time to ‘move on’ and ‘get on with the job’.

Hard working families‘ – the Tories look forward to when they can send your children back up the chimneys.

World-beating‘ – A fantastic phrase where a senior member of government will either promise to deliver something that is better than anywhere else on the planet OR will make up a statistic about something they did being better than everywhere else. Utter b*llocks.

‘Patriots’/’Red White & Blue Brexit‘ – anything that appeals the flag sh*gging, right-wing, swivel-eyed fantasists. Also see any reference to the second world war or Winston Churchill.

‘Political correctness gone mad’ / ‘Woke agenda‘: Phrases that are designed to make you feel antagonised by people who care about inclusion and equality.

Let me be very clear‘ – a phrase used to pause for thought in a tricky situation allowing the user the time to pause for emphasis. ‘Let me be very clear’ usually comes before a fudged answer that is not at all clear and probably not relevant to the question either.

Paying down the debt‘ – even though the national debt has risen from £900bn under Labour to £2.2 trillion under the Tories and the budget has never broken even, so we’ve always had a deficit under the Tories.

Fixing the roof while the sun shines‘ – An Osborne statement. Tories felt that the sun was shining in a global financial crisis, and probably again in a global pandemic, and again throughout Brexit.

Project Fear‘ – the factual acknowledgement of the consequences of Brexit and a refusal to believe in unicorns. Also see ‘I think we’ve had enough of experts’.

The Elite‘ – used by the Party of billionaires with no degree of self awareness. I mean, the Tories aren’t at all elitist and only a few of them went to Eton. Some didn’t even get to go to Eton.

Long term economic plan/vision‘ – an implicit admission that this isn’t going to work in the real world right now, but if you can be conned into thinking that long term it will suddenly get better, that’s fine. See also ‘jam tomorrow’.


You can follow Philip on Twitter: @PublicPriestley