Everybody knows what political ‘buzzwords’ are. Words which have become so ubiquitous simply to mean ‘a Good Thing™’ - empty words which convey a feeling, rather than a meaning. Words like ‘democracy’ and ‘freedom’; everyone means slightly different things when they say them, but that doesn’t matter - they don’t need qualifications or explanations, because they instantly connote a vague feeling of positivity, and ‘being on your side’.
I have noticed, however, an opposite group of words - words which are used interchangeably without context, to mean a vague, generic ‘Bad Thing™’. I am calling these zzubwords, and I am hoping to compile a small dictionary of some of the more common ones, and to make this into a semi-regular feature on this Blog.
Although not exactly first in our Dictionary Of Zzubwords alphabetically, in the wake of last month’s referendum on Scottish Independence, this seems an apposite starting point for my collection. Westminster, of course, is actually just an area of Central London - but those who prey on the prevailing disaffection with mainstream politics to advance their own aims and agendas have realised that an association with politicians and traditional political processes can make almost anything seem sleazy and corrupt.
By perpetuating the idea of some great, expansive divide between ‘ordinary people’ and ‘professional politicians’ - two apparently separate species, who simply cannot understand each other - it is possible to make people suspicious and mistrustful of almost anything, just by associating it with ‘Westminster’, the by-word for self-interested, out-of-touch politics with nothing to offer.