In human terms

The election campaign is warming up. David Cameron is quoted as saying

Full employment may be an economic term, but this is what it means in human terms: it means more of our fellow men and women with the security of a regular wage; it means you, your family and your children having a job and getting on in life

We could pick on hundreds of such statements written for politicians by nameless speech-writers. This is a good example. Its single sentence contains many of the themes of the new political language, themes which are completely common between all the major political parties. We can note:

i). He is talking down to people. It is assumed that the “economic term” “full-employment” is too challenging for people. It needs to be explained to them in “human terms”. Remember, little children, that the election will be a “big choice” election. (A term used by both main political parties).

As the poet Geoffrey Hills points out this “accessible” language is in fact anti-democratic.

Author: justinwyllie

EFL Teacher and Photographer