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.
Used mainly by the press, anything can be described as 'taxpayer funded' to make it seem venal and self-serving. A story in a newspaper about the Prime Minister going to negotiate with the European Union in Brussels won't excite much of a reaction; a taxpayer funded trip to Brussels, on the other hand, sounds like the greedy bastard is just going off on a jolly and letting someone else (you and me!) foot the bill.
"The Chancellor Of The Exchequer eats some cheese on toast." Well, fine. The guy's got to eat!
"The Chancellor Of The Exchequer gorges himself on an enormous plate of taxpayer funded cheese on toast." How dare he?!
See what I mean…?
Unless we privatise Parliament (can you imagine the rumpus that proposal would cause?!), of course politicians' pay, diplomatic trips aboard, etc. will be paid for with public money. Using the phrase 'taxpayer funded' to smear politicians as greedy even when they're not being greedy and just doing their jobs is hardly in the public interest, and only serves to drive a wedge further between politicians and the public.