In July last year we published the first part of ‘The Brexicon’ in which we explained some of the jargon encountered in the Brexit debate (see Brexicon Part 1). Many of the words used don’t seem to have the same meaning as they do in normal use, in fact they often have the opposite meaning, probably to deceive the public. We have now added more terms.
When David Cameron described UKIP members as ‘fruitcakes, loonies and closet racists’ everyone understood why – it was even quite funny. However, the Brexit debate is being debased by a more subtle use of language. The Independent Group (TIG) of MPs who have left their parties to oppose Brexit describe themselves as ‘centrists’; John Major calls the European Research Group (ERG) ‘extremists’ because they want to leave the EU, just like the majority who voted for that in the 2016 Referendum. But there are many, even more subtle misuses of everyday words intended to blur our understanding of reality.
Below is a list of some of these smokescreen-terms and a brief definition. Despite the satirical intent of the initial definitions given here there is a serious reason for revealing the truth behind them; more serious and detailed explanations of how the terms have been misused are given in these three posts: Brexicon Parts 1, 2, 3 (linked below)
Brexit Means Brexit – a tautology (and therefore meaningless).
Business – a CEO, senior manager or spokesperson of a large corporation or lobby who knows better than the rest of us what is good for big business.
Competence – The power to declare competence and take control, regardless of skill or knowledge.
Convergence – When groups of nations converge to different foci.
Divergence – When the economic centrifuge of EU policy alerts the Commission that it must ‘spin’ faster to achieve uniformity.
Ever Closer Union – the drive towards uniformity of legal and regulatory control across all member nations, regardless of their citizens’ choices.
Exit (noun), the entrance to a prison; Exit (verb) the process of withdrawing, as in Brexit (see Withdrawal)
Expert – a person who knows a great deal about very little.
Freedom – the mandatory acceptance of migration of people, capital, goods and services between nations.
Good Friday Agreement – when Junker and his cohorts agree to start the weekend with a good dinner accompanied by some fine wine.
Level Playing Field – A field containing different levels.
Moderates – Politicians who take the extreme position that the people must not be able to decide anything that ‘moderates’ disagree with.
Newspeak – The language used in George Orwell’s novel ‘1984’ by the oppressive government of Oceania; not strictly an EU technical term but the similarities are striking.
Negotiation – a longer form of the everyday word ‘negation’ where one side (UK) makes a proposal and the other (EU) says “No” (or probably “Non!)”.
People’s Vote – A referendum in which the Government asks voters to chose the approved option so they won’t have to keep on voting until they do.
Populist – a person or political party that opposes EU supra-nationalism and is therefore xenophobic and probably also racist or fascist.
Stability – when everybody lets the Germans run things properly.
Subsidiarity – powers move inexorably upwards, further into the clutches of the bureaucracy
Unity – when everyone agrees with what Germany says.
Withdrawal – the legal abrogation of the right to leave.
The Brexit Lexicon (Part 1)
The Brexit Lexicon (Part 2)
The Brexit Lexicon (Part 3)