Control orders, tax exiles and extraordinary rendition: political vocabulary as messaging

“Control orders” could be called “secret detention directives”. “Tax exiles” could be called “tax fugitives”. “Extraordinary rendition” could be called “government-sponsored kidnapping”.

In all three cases a fairly benign phrase has been adopted by both sides of the debate, despite the phrase very much favouring one. Having a bit of order doesn’t instinctively sound too bad. Exile even has a whiff of the honourably martyr about it. And “extraordinary”? Well, that’s usually a good thing, isn’t it? Especially if we’re talking about “rendition”, i.e. a word that is well outside common usage.

Does it matter? Not if an issue is at the centre of public attention. But when an issue only gets brief interest from the public, or minimal media coverage that gets little beyond naming the issue and quoting two different politicians disagreeing, then yes it does – as it frames the way in which people judge the issue.

That, of course, is one of the reasons why the Yes campaign for the forthcoming referendum on the alternative vote is Yes To Fairer Votes rather than Yes To An Acronym You’ve Not Heard Of.

Read more by or more about .
This entry was posted in Op-eds.
Advert

4 Comments

  • So, Stephen, are you seriously suggesting that FPTP is faier than AV?

    Many here will of course say that there are many fairer systems than AV, especially PR in its various guises. However, FPTP is surely so horrendously unfair that pretty much anything is better, and AV most certainly is.

    I’d also say that on a constiutuency level, AV has the potential to making a real difference, as candidates need to reach out to a much larger proportion of voters.

Post a Comment

Lib Dem Voice welcomes comments from everyone but we ask you to be polite, to be on topic and to be who you say you are. You can read our comments policy in full here. Please respect it and all readers of the site.

If you are a member of the party, you can have the Lib Dem Logo appear next to your comments to show this. You must be registered for our forum and can then login on this public site with the same username and password.

To have your photo next to your comment please signup your email address with Gravatar.

Your email is never published. Required fields are marked *

*
*
Please complete the name of this site, Liberal Democrat ...?

Advert



Recent Comments

  • User Avatarpaul barker 25th Aug - 2:09pm
    @ Lyn Newman. At the moment neither of your first two choices actually exists. The Libdem Recovery is still in its very early stages, if...
  • User Avatarpetermartin2001 25th Aug - 2:06pm
    Bill, We should be targetting that the economy runs close to full capacity. This may or may not happen if NGDP, which is a mixture...
  • User AvatarGlenn 25th Aug - 2:06pm
    Sue; The accusation of Psychopathy usually comes with judgements about the extent to which someone displays emotional intelligence. When it does exist as a reality...
  • User AvatarRobert Pinsker 25th Aug - 1:54pm
    I think we, and perhaps most people, would agree that allowing constitutional changes with massive and wide-ranging practical implications to be made on a wafer-thin...
  • User AvatarNom de Plume 25th Aug - 1:52pm
    Having read a bit more, I modify my previous statement. Libya was a NATO failure, with only Germany calling it correctly. UNSC resolution 1973 was...
  • User AvatarJohn Roffey 25th Aug - 1:52pm
    Sue Sutherland 25th Aug '16 - 1:15pm "Have I misread Andrew George’s comment about the contributors to this discussion? I find his words very dismissive...