The Government of Gobbledygook

After the week in politics, I realised how much I miss Yes Minister (and Yes Prime Minister too!). I especially miss Sir Humphrey Appleby.

Ostensibly Appleby often spoke in riddles,paradoxes and contradictions. His self articulation was comprised of and constituted obfuscation and circumlocution both written and verbal.1249432_54026452

Yet given the fullness of time, as he would say, it was possible to make sense of what he said. Certainly he made more sense than at times nearly indecipherable academic writing I encountered as a student and the business speak I encountered as a technical writer and trainer. Again in the extended fullness of time, I managed to make sense of both.

Appleby was a master of rhetoric. He knew his content (too well), his purpose (power) and his audience. As a result he often prevailed over Jim Hacker.

Unlike the Government. Here are only a few examples.

We’ve had Matthias Corman say there will be no cuts to the ABC despite Mark Scott’s view. We’ve had Malcolm Turnbull carefully craft words to defend Tony Abbott’s pre-election promises. Without too much effort I could find many more.

Despite what Andrew Bolt says, the Government lacks purpose, has lost connection with its audience and cannot express even simple let alone complex content. As Michelle Grattan points out in this article and also Katherine Murphy‘s comments regarding the ABC and climate change, the government has become inarticulate and incoherent.

In other words, not to put too fine a point on it, we have a government of gobbledygook.












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