Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The joys of jargon

It isn't often that a Parliamentary Select Committee report has me laughing out loud. Prompted by this item from the BBC, I turned to the Innovation, Universities, Science and Skills Committee's review of the DIUS's Departmental Report 2008. It is savage.

They must have loved describing it as being filled with "jargon-riddled phrases, assumptions backed-up with no clear evidence but which appeared to be designed to provide a positive tone to the Report, and euphemisms deflecting likely failure".

Could the committee have suppressed their smiles as they dryly noted the following?

During the evidence session with officials in DIUS we selected at random and read the following extract from the Departmental Report to Mr Watmore:

"An overarching national improvement strategy will drive up quality and performance underpinned by specific plans for strategically significant areas of activity, such as workforce and technology. The capital investment strategy will continue to renew and modernise further education establishments to create state of the art facilities".

Mr Watmore was unable to explain the meaning of the passage. He conceded that “documents written by people in senior positions can often be very inaccessible to the public”

Inaccessible? Meaningless more like. Managerial bollocks shown up for what it really is. And I have to labour under the policies that these officials dream up. Bravo to those MPs who can spot a distinctly naked emperor.

Hat tip Ian

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