IN A MANNER OF SPEAKING

chanceSpeak in enigmatically mixed metaphors, and you won’t go far wrong

Right, pay attention: George Osborne says that the EU will have to jolly well pull its socks up if it wants Britain to stay in. Somewhere in Frankfurt on Friday night, Mario Draghi was probably using Google Translate to try and work out what this might mean. Mario quite likes his sober Brooks Brothers socks, which have elasticated tops to ensure minimal hirsute calf exposure when sitting. But Google Translate tells him that, in Italian, Osborne is suggesting he must tug at the footwear. The ECB boss is confused….but now more convinced than ever that the products of English public schools are almost all fetish perverts.

As an Englishman of hopefully above-average erudition, I’m still struggling with “we’re all in the same boat together and so we’ve jolly well got to roll up our sleeves”, David Cameron’s magnificently mendacious and masticated metaphor from 2011. Mind you, I’d imagine Mario would have less trouble with that one, on the grounds that he is himself il maestro when it comes to the obfuscation of the pointless. “Bravo!” he’d no doubt say to Dave, “You are rolling the sleeves up to power the boat, and I am rolling out QE to save the euro. Va bene, mollto eleganti!”

When I was in advertising, we were so dismissive of this kind of strangulated piffle, most agencies indulged in a game generally referred to as ‘bollockspeak’ when pitching for new business.The rules were simple: each presenter at the pitch had to say something of stunning emptiness without it being noticed…and the others present had to give each pitcher the phrase.

My chum Adam Leigh was once given “It’s always darkest under the lighthouse”, and delivered it with such aplomb, within months it had taken hold at the client (which, ironically, we didn’t win). Others I remember with much affection included ‘Nobody slips on an icy beach’, ‘Never screw around with a nail’, ‘Every moment brings more momentum’ and ‘You can lead a giraffe to a railway station, but you can’t fit him on the train’.

Obscurity, malapropism, cliché, poor grammar and blended metaphors are part of every English speaker’s life in the 21st century. There’s a sort of strange global conversation that collides on a daily basis between bureaucrats who employ euphemism, media robotics, politician drivel and comment threader illiteracy laced with more than a little bombast. An example of the last would be this classic damning of my widely loathed piece about footballer Ched Evans:

“How can you defend a man who mountained this por girl and never battered an eyelid?”

Higher up the tree, the prominent banker is a hybrid in that he pours confusing balm like a bureaucrat, but also talks rubbish like a politician…the only difference being that, because he has 100% of the power and 0% of the voters to worry about, he can disappear back into the coffin for weeks on end without having to kiss a single infant. Here we have Mario Draghi in top form last Thursday:

“Today’s monetary policy decision on additional asset purchases was taken because the prevailing degree of monetary accommodation was insufficient to adequately address heightened risks of too prolonged a period of low inflation.”

Now if I can just put into words what Dragula said there, it was this:

“We’ve decided to spend more money buying junk because we didn’t spend enough money buying junk before, and so we’ve collapsed into deflation which we don’t like because it makes our debts bigger”.

The two key words in Mario’s sadistic lingo stangulation were ‘because’ and ‘risks’. They’re important because they’re the bare-faced lies hiding behind the Italian’s self-imposed Burqua: he’s launched a €1.3 trillion QE programme of sovereign bond buying to bail out ClubMed and its bankers….excluding Greece, of course; and in the medium term, deflation represents no risk whatsoever to 95% of citizens. What it would represent (were it the truth) is some relief for hard-pressed domestic budgets.

Now although I find this circular, Pinteresque conversation endlessly amusing, it’s merely another dimension of understanding how these villains get away with it – to add to the one I pointed up last week. The model looks something like this:

smalltoysfinalHerewith the key to the legend:

1. The investment banker/firm sitting atop all other considerations, the Destroyer of Worlds Who Must be Obeyed, the person drawing a discreet veil over Plain English.

2. The senior bureaucrat who hopes, one day soon, to have a consultancy/non-exec directorship/fulsome brown paper envelope reward from the investment banker/firm sitting atop all other considerations. This person adds the word ‘policy’ to every description of greedy insanity, in order to make it somehow respectable….and obviously for The Common Good.

3. The Legislator – willing masochistic prisoner of those domiciled in the gated community Leatherwhip-on-Botham. The masked man follows whatever line he’s offered – especially any he can lick from the builders cleavage of those who Dig for a living.

4. The Squaddie, normally the man asked to die as a result of events in Leatherwhip-on-Botham…and their connection to The Spook at 7 – see later.

5. Ace Media Reporter Robin Bubble, a highly respected commentator and analyst whose descriptions of choice include barbaric atrocity, ordinary aid worker, rising wages, jihadist terror, Israeli aggression, debt must be repaid, gradual recovery, Hard Left extremist, Je suis Charlie, economic reform, Western democracy and Osborne on target.

6. The Irrelevant pc Goblin Activist, exerting regular influence upon Robin Bubble’s entourage with incessant claims about rape, paedophilia, trannyism, genital mutilation, sexism, naked bosoms, multiculturalism and men who stand up to pee. A former Wimmin 4 Trotsky candidate for the Little Kremlin ward in Haringey, the Goblin Activist calls everyone “colleague”.

7. Also keeping a close eye on Bubble Chummy is Security Guard, the ever-vigilant intelligence officer who can spot a non-violent extremist from fifty yards away, yet somehow regularly loses track of up to 50,000 machete-wielding jihadists a year. He works closely with those bravely ordering Squaddie into battle, and the ISP tribe within Chummy’s community who help GCHQ monitor all of us 24/7, while failing to acknowledge that any of us exist in our cover-role as ‘customers’.

1-7 act and/or are used to persuade, confuse, complicate and spread suspicion among The Audience, whom we find at 8,9 and 10. Having done this, they act swiftly to condemn and then criminalise any and all conspiracy theory developers among the audience whose brains function in an interrogative mode. But mainly, the audience breaks down into three groups:

8. Big Babies who spout Estuary pc, read ‘Heat’ magazine, watch the X-Factor, order 95% of all pizzas, and can be relied upon (when there’s no footie on Sky) to form a baying mob anxious to stone BBC DJs to death. Approximately half their entire vocabulary consists of “In today’s multkultsiety thassa diabolkal liberteee” and “Yebbut seefingizzlike, whorrit izzizz like I fink it’s well shitanshitinnit?”. They refer to any beer under 4.8% as “driving lager”.

9. Larry Lee Backturn (junior Call Centre Overseer with ambitions to be a Deep Pool Bottom Feeder) is so called because he sings “Lalalalalaleeleelee!” in a loud voice and looks the other way when somebody says anything disturbing such as, “The rule of Law is dead”, “Why do bankers never go to jail?”, and “Boris Johnson is a multivariate crook and amorally serial shagger”. Larry has voted Conservative ever since Tony Blair left office, but is poised this time to support his new hero Nigel Farage.

10. Oddjob Man is the core evidence that supports the idea of a British economic recovery, in that he works part-time at a rate of just over 3.5 parsnips per hour on a contract stretching out to 0 (zero) hours. He tries very hard, but not as hard as his wife who nips out at intervals to do three jobs a day while acting as the unpaid carer for their 104 year-old neighbour Mavis Kneesap. Oddjob Man was a staunch Labour supporter until the Party was hijacked by Feminist Care in the Highgate Community during 2010. In May 2015, Oddjob will be too busy to vote.

Anyway, the moral of the story is this: if you want to succeed in life, sound profound and be sure to be obscure. At the end of that road lies absolute power.

Yesterday at The Slog: Leon Brittan, man of many private parts