Saturday, 8 March 2008

Governments' way with words impacts all

[...] Document after document, all with their enormous numbers of kilobytes listed, sit there, each hatching out of the other. There is a Single Equality Scheme Delivery Plan. Every area of equality, since legislation in 1997, requires an Equality Impact Assessment (EQUIA). There is an EQUIA for Children's Play and an EQUIA for Early Years and an EQUIA for Special Educational Needs, as well "Narratives" and "Action Plans" so that equality may be delivered safely.

The department offers a "Proforma for an Early Years EQUIA". This is how it ends: "We will be working with partners to develop the 0-7 partnership into implementation phase, and to develop criteria to select pilot authorities, including criteria relating to equalities and gap-narrowing. The pilots will be monitored and evaluated, including for their impact on equalities and gap-narrowing." All helping make England the best place in the world for children to grow up.

Some might agree that all this is rather depressing, but say that bureaucracies always have their wordy ways of doing things: the rest of us should leave them to their pointless, nonsensical documents and get on with life.

But it is not so. The documents, unfortunately, are not pointless or nonsensical, though they are atrociously written. In the Style Guide that it attaches to its equality policies, the DCSF explains the power of words. It says that the meaning of words changes "because various groups and communities ('speech communities') gain greater power and influence than hitherto".

Yes. The "speech community" of the post-1960s Left has gained almost complete power and influence over the administration of government. Its concepts, its way of putting things, now have the force of law. It is producing the slow death of free institutions in this country. Read more

No comments will be posted without a full name and location, see the

No comments: