The Cameronite-Conservative-To-English Dictionary

April 26, 2015

by Martin Odoni

This dictionary is a simple guide to understanding and navigating the dizzying labyrinth of reality-free English customarily employed by members of the Conservative Party in England and Wales.

The guide cannot hope to be comprehensive, but it shall provide a handy analysis of the frequent and misleading phraseology of Tories, both individually and collectively, making it easier to interpret their crude and obscure alien language.

Each guide entry will open with the unconverted phrase, followed in brackets by an identifier of type e.g. a noun will be marked as {n}, a verb as {v}, an adjective as {adj.}, a mindless party motto as {pmt}, a Cameronite-ism as {cant}, an IDS-insinuation-term as {idiot}, an Osbornite-buzzword-grammaticism as {o-bugga}, a Boris-Johnson-enunciation as {bore}, a Govian-assertion as {gass}, May-ist-declaration-words as {madcow}, a communication-by-Hunt {c-unt} etc. (There is also a type called a Shapps-iteration, but the reader is left for the time being to guess for himself/herself what the identifier is for that.) There will then be an apparent translation, followed in turn by an actual translation.

Entry 1:

“We are adhering to our long-term economic plan, of which this current action is a necessary part.” {O-bugga}

Apparent translation:

This Government has calculated in precise detail, while taking into account as many  integral factors that can affect the course of a national economy, the best possible strategy to ensure the ongoing health of British industry and its workforce, and our present policies are a necessary part of this strategy. Carrying them to their conclusion will reap dividends in the long run.”

Actual translation:

“This Government is just doing what a handbook written by some bloke called Milton Friedman keeps telling them to do, and then getting taken completely by surprised when what it tells us will happen doesn’t happen at all. But please keep voting for us, and we’ll then start rolling the dice at random and hoping better numbers come up further down the line, which we will then assure you was exactly how we planned it to happen all along.”

Entry 2:

“Labour got us into this mess, we are simply clearing it up.” {cant}

Apparent translation:

“The previous Government of the Labour Party created the economic turmoil of the last seven or eight years, and we are simply making the unhappy choices required of any responsible Government who wishes to repair the damage that has been done.”

Actual translation:

“The banks got us into this mess, but we don’t want to do anything to rein them in because over half of our party and its funders are bankers themselves, so instead we are creating the perfect conditions for the banks to get us into an even bigger mess in a couple of years’ time.”

Entry 3:

“We are paying down Britain’s debts.” {cant}

Apparent translation:

“Britain’s National Debt has declined since this Government came to power due to our shrewd handling of the public finances.”

Actual translation:

“Britain’s National Debt has almost doubled since this Government came to power due to our cack-handed butchery of the public finances, and we haven’t the remotest scooby how to stop it.”

Entry 4:

“Tax-cuts for the wealthy create more jobs.” {o-bugga}

Apparent translation:

“Reducing the tax burden for the well-off and the business-owning classes will make extra money available for them to hire more staff, combating unemployment.”

Actual translation:

“Tax-cuts for the wealthy create more off-shore bank accounts for people who look and sound an awful lot like ourselves, and who are also likely to offer us directorships in their companies once we’ve given up this politics-malarkey.”

Entry 5:

Employment frees people.” {idiot}

Apparent translation:

“Getting a job and a regular wage is the best way to escape the hardship of poverty.”

Actual translation:

“Getting a job that includes a regular wage is almost impossible due to almost all the workers’ rights we have ruthlessly hacked away, and so you are now compelled to accept work on slavery-level terms to keep you trapped in the hardship of poverty, because even that is preferable to actually starving to death, which is what will happen if you don’t do precisely what we tell you.”

Entry 6:

British education should teach our children British values.” {gass}

Apparent translation:

“Britain has a proud history of dignity, of law and order, and of human rights, and we will raise a generation of better people if they are taught from the cradle to respect and prize that heritage.”

Actual translation:

“Britain has a dark and shameful history of imperialism, slavery, manipulation and bullying of the poor, rigid and indefensible hierarchism, militaristic aggression, and borderline genocide, but we don’t want our kids to know about those things, so we’re going to teach them heavily-selective and jingoistic claptrap in history classes instead.”

Entry 7:

“As a country, we have run out of money.” {cant}

Apparent translation:

“After long years of excessive public spending of borrowed funds, our country’s debts are simply too high and we must make cutbacks if we are not to go bankrupt.”

Actual translation:

“As the UK has its own currency, there is no such thing as ‘excessive public spending’ or ‘the threat of bankruptcy’ as any amount borrowed, plus interest, can be issued back to the lender through our central bank, and if we are worried about this causing inflation, we can just raise taxes and force the well-off to give a little bit back. But we don’t want to do that, because rich people are the ones who vote for us, so we’ll just keep on making scary noises about the National Debt to frighten you into tolerating the unnecessary total destruction of the public sector.”

Entry 8:

“Personal responsibility.” {pmt}

Apparent translation:

“People who wish to live free lives and to make their own choices must also be able to stand on their own two feet, and not expect others to have to shoulder the burden of taking care of them.”

Actual translation:

“We don’t want to have to give a single blob of cow-shit about anybody except ourselves, so when anyone poor needs help, we will always go out of our way to find reasons to say it is their own fault that they are in trouble to begin with.”

Entry 9:

“We cannot continue subsidising people who choose benefits-as-a-lifestyle.” {idiot}

Apparent translation:

“People must be motivated to work for their upkeep, we cannot keep expecting the industrious and talented of the UK to prop up the workshy and the indolent.”

Actual translation:

“A tiny proportion of benefits-funding in the UK goes into supporting people not in work, with most of the funding going to pensions, and a significant amount going into necessary support for the sick and the disabled, but as we need someone we can demonise to draw attention away from what a bunch of greedy money-hoggers the bankers are, we’ll keep investing ludicrously-excessive resources into clamping down on benefit fraud.”

Entry 10:

“I am doing what I earnestly believe to be right! I am proud of my reforms!” {idiot}

Apparent translation:

“This system is old, obsolete, and has too many loopholes that need to be closed to curb the ongoing abuse of it. I must continue with my work, it will all come good eventually.”

Actual translation:

“WAAAAAHHHH!!! I don’t like it when people point out to me what a monumental balls-up I’ve made of everything, so stop pointing out to me all the solid facts that prove beyond any sensible doubt that I have! I rate my opinion far more highly than mere facts, and I mean, I’m going to keep doing my job this way anyway, because I hate smelly, unclean, badly-spoken, poor people that much, so you might just as well stop telling me how much money I’ve pissed away on this broken new system, or how many people I’ve killed. Leave me alone, you bullies!”

Entry 11:

“The rich are an oppressed minority.” {bore}

Apparent translation:

“Rich people get so much undue criticism simply because they are successful. It’s a sign of the jealous British tendency to resent success.”

Actual translation:

“Rich people get so much criticism because they already have more money than they are ever likely to need, and take far more from society than they are ever going to put into it, but they also still insist on hogging more and more wealth while the poor are left abandoned to struggle without even a basic income, which in any industrialised society is categorically unjust, unfair, and counter-productive.”

Entry 12:

“Ed Miliband looks weird.” {sh-it}

Apparent translation:

“I don’t mean to sound superficial, but let’s be honest; a British Prime Minister needs to be statemanlike, and you see the present Labour leader and he just doesn’t have that look. He looks so undignified eating a bacon sandwich, and his nose looks weird, and he always sounds like he has a cold! We’ll be laughed at in the international sphere if this is the man to represent us as a country.”

Actual translation:

“Oh bollocking hell, I just can’t think of anything sensible or important to criticise the Labour leader for that we can’t be criticised for in the Tory Party too! This is what being a Party Chairman has reduced me to; having a pop at some Jewish baseball-fan-cum-violinist for having a big nose! WHAT HAPPENED TO MY LIFE, DAMMIT?!?!?!?”

Entry 13:

“These new powers are necessary to combat the threat to the West from international terrorism.” {madcow}

Apparent translation:

“Radical Islam is a growing and terrible threat to the West, and, despite our reluctance to erode the liberties and rights of the British people, in order to protect them from this threat, we must give our security forces greater powers and resources.”

Actual translation:

“Radical Islam is overwhelmingly an issue in parts of the world outside the West, and only plays a very intermittent role in Britain at all, but we need some pretext for silencing people’s right to protest against our policies, or otherwise more of them might vote against us.”

Entry 14:

“This atrocity is an attack on our values.” {cant}

Apparent translation:

“This atrocity by militant extremists must not go unpunished, and we must invest considerable resources into tracking down the perpetrators and bringing them to justice, lest they attack again and harm our society in more fundamental ways.”

Actual translation:

“This atrocity by extremists took place in another country, whose values are not all the same as ours, and had nothing to with our values, because if it did, they’d have attacked us instead, and now we are going to respond by eroding people’s freedoms and privacy even more than ever, because there is no surer way of defending the values of a country that believes in liberty and the rights of the individual than by reducing individual privacy and the right to a fair trial.”

Entry 15:

“The NHS is safe in our hands.” {c-unt}

Apparent translation:

“We will do all in our power to protect the institutions of the National Health Service, to make certain it remains properly funded at all times, that it is always a receptacle for care and never a tool for profit, and that the guiding principle of free treatment at the point-of-delivery is always respected and defended.”

Actual translation:

“The NHS is safe in our hands, but we have no intention of keeping it in our hands for long, which is why we are selling off component after component of the Service to private companies whose only interest is making money.”

Entry 16:

“We must learn the lessons from this.” {madcow}

Apparent translation:

“What we did was wrong, but on the plus side, we now know better and will not repeat the mistake in the future.”

Actual translation:

“What we did was wrong, and we knew full damned well at the time we did it that it was wrong, but we did it anyway, and we’d do it again, only what we’ve now learned is that we won’t get away with it if we do it again, so we won’t try, but we’re not going to accept any actual punishment or repercussions for what we did.”

Entry 17:

“This behaviour is criminality, pure and simple.” {cant}

Apparent translation:

“This behaviour by certain members of the public is unacceptable and should be met with the severest sanctions.”

Actual translation:

“We are far more comfortable getting angry and self-righteous about the crimes these plebs are committing, because they are not members of the same party or social class as us. Hence we are far happier imprisoning them for stealing a bottle of water from a shop than we are imprisoning our colleagues for fraudulently claiming Government money as ‘expenses’ for ornaments to place on their mantelpiece.”

Entry 18:

“The banks are entitled to be well-rewarded for the wealth the City brings into this country.” {o-bugga}

Apparent translation:

“High rewards encourage talented people into the sorts of work that enrich the country.”

Actual translation:

“Bankers are unaccountable greedy buggers.”

Entry 19:

“Banks should not be hampered by excessive rules and regulations.” {o-bugga}

Apparent translation:

“A free banking sector is necessary to ‘lubricate’ the mechanisms of the economy with loans and credit for starting and building businesses.”

Actual translation:

“Bankers are unaccountable greedy buggers.”

Entry 20:

“My colleague has apologised and returned the disputed money, and we believe that should be an end to the matter.” {cant}

Apparent translation:

“We all make mistakes, and as long as remorse is shown and some attempt is made to undo the initial damage, there is no need to make anything further of the matter.”

Actual translation:

“Cabinet Ministers are unaccountable greedy buggers.”

Entry 21:

“We have halved the public sector deficit!” {o-bugga}

Apparent translation:

“The rate at which the National public sector debt is increasing has slowed to half what it was when we came to power.”

Actual translation:

“We have cut the public sector deficit by about one-third, but want people to think we did better than that, having promised as we did to balance the books entirely by the end of the outgoing current Parliament, a target we have missed by about a thousand light-years.”

Entry 22:

“We’re the victims of intrinsic liberal-left bias in the mainstream media!” {Sh-it}

Apparent translation:

“There is a cynical left-leaning tendency in the majority of the British media, which is leading most newspapers and television news to report our policies and actions in unsympathetic terms.”

Actual translation:

“It is very frustrating for ourselves in the Tory Party, after all these decades of browbeating the British media into becoming the unquestioning mouthpieces of the free-market-right, that some news outlets forget that they are supposed to just believe and uncritically report everything we say.”

Entry 23:

“This Government will not allow the Trade Unions to hold the country to ransom.” {cant}

Apparent translation:

“Unreasonable threats and demands by workers’ representatives to withdraw labour until their terms are met will not result in any concessions from this Government.”

Actual translation:

“Trade Unions cannot bend this Government to their will, because only big international conglomerates and foreign-owned utilities companies can do that.”

Entry 24:

“I support Aston Villa.” {cant}

Apparent translation:

“My favourite football team is based in the Aston area of Birmingham, and play under the banner ‘Villa’.”

Actual translation:

“’Football’? Football… football… what’s…? Oh yes! I remember. Football. Yes, my favourite team is West Ham United. What do you mean ‘Aston Villa’? They’re the same team aren’t they?”

Entry 25:

“We are the party of working people.” {cant}

Apparent translation:

“Our policies are specifically designed to make sure that those who are industrious and want to earn their way in life get rewarded, while those who are not will receive nothing.”

Actual translation:

“We’ve cut in-work benefits by hundreds of millions over the last five years and taken away employment rights to such a draconian extent that the way of life of most working people is insecure, squalid, stressful and frightening from day-to-day. But so long as we can keep blaming the European Union and immigrants for the scarcities besetting the working class of our country, we know these silly plebian suckers will keep voting for us.”

Entry 26:

“We face a stark choice.” {cant}

Apparent translation:

“There are only two options, one is good, the other is bad.”

Actual translation:

“We have loads of different options, most of them unpleasant, but we don’t want you ignorant members of the public realising how complex it is, because then you might start thinking about what everyone is saying, and realise how almost everything we tell you doesn’t add up.”

Please note, this dictionary is an ongoing project, and extra entries could be added to it at any time. Furthermore, any additions readers might wish to suggest are welcome.

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