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#GE2015: How to Survive the Elections

Welcome to our handy, irreverent A-Z guide to political-speak, soundbite and mumbo jumbo you are likely to be bombarded with in the final days of campaigning and afterwards. Politicians are the masters of obfuscation, doublespeak and cliched language. We cut through the bombast in simple language and make everything clearer.

'Larry', the new Downing Street cat, looks out of a window after arriving at 10 Downing Street, London.

Landlord Larry: Downing Street cat, looks out of a window and waits for the new Prime Minister

Average families interchangeable with hard working families. They are one and the same.
Austerity; What hardworking families go through.

Big society;  Hmmmm, let’s skip that.
Better off; Do you feel any better off? Of course, admit it you do.
Books; They will always want to see the books before they can divulge their economic policies. Or they will balance the books.
Blukip; What you get when you cross a Staffordshire Bull Terrier with a Bulldog.

Coalition; Yep, that’s the elephant in the darkened room.

Cuts; They can be deep, fast or just a Salami slice. But someone’s going to get hurt.

Career politicians; They almost always go to Oxbridge, bag a PPE, become SPADS or special political advisers and invariably become PPCs or are parachuted into a safe seat. How many can you count at this election?

Cap; They love caps, no not of the baseball variety. There is nothing they can’t cap, i.e. spending, immigration, but figures always just balloon. They just can’t seem to put a lid on it.
Costed; Think of your groceries post-it notes. Governments have to make a shopping list too. They will proclaim this from roof-tops.
Darkened rooms; Where coalition deals are struck and ministerial posts hammered out somewhere in Whitehall. Do not cross the red lines!

Deficit; A very big hole in a country’s pockets.
Efficiencies; Another euphemism for cuts and austerity. Some will be hurt.

Expenses; Don’t mention the ‘E’ word, really toxic.

Figures are the secret weapons for politicians to be deployed like exocet missiles at the enemy. Only that bystanders become casualties too and suffer the collateral damage. Take them with a pinch of salt or take cover.

Fully-funded; *See costed.

Growth can be an illusion.

Hard-working families (*See average families), this homogeneous group is another euphemism for the poor. Politicians are enamoured with them, infact they live for them, they are in politics because of them. They do the right thing and all policies are geared to make their lives more tolerable.

Hung Parliament: What everyone’s dreading. No one party holds majority of votes. (*See darkened rooms).

Institute for Fiscal Studies: The numbers factory politicians love to quote all the time.

Mansion tax: Even the bankers don’t like shelling out their hard-earned bonuses on this vindictive policy. Estate agents in superprime central London are up in arms and all house sales have been put on ice. Wait for the exodus from Kensington, Chelsea, Mayfair, Holland Park and Notting Hill.

Minority Government: Can’t make the numbers add up. What you get when politicians decide to go it alone. It could all end in tears. (*See supply and demand)

Marginals are fought over ferociously. Political parties will stop at nothing to win a marginal seat where no one party holds an advantage. Just pity the constituents.

NHS is on its sick bed. Don’t disturb.

Out of touch; The gravest insult you can aim at any politician. Almost career-ending. Even fatal.

Parachute; Local party members detest it when candidates are imposed on them or parachuted into a safe seat.

Politics of envy; (Think haters) is about policies that do not benefit the well-to-do, i.e. Mansion tax. Politicians who venture on this path despise business and the aspirational.

Party lines; Politicians know better to toe the party line.

Plans; Politicians have all sorts of plans, i.e. Long-term economic plan, a better plan, a jobs plan, health plan, housebuilding plan, tax plan, etc.

Queen’s Speech; Now, fasten your seat belts. Everything could go topsy-turvy.

Red line; Not to be crossed in the event of coalition talks.

Ring-fence; What politicians put around money they want to spend on the NHS.

Rebalancing; Don’t attempt if you don’t like heights.

Recovery; Are you feeling it? This always comes after a period of recession and politicians will always claim all the credit for it.

Supply and Demand: Power-grab (*See coalition).

Safe seats; Every ambitious politician dreams of landing in one.

Savings; (*See cuts)

Squeezed middle; Refers to those who are on a sizeable income but have it all taken away in taxes and do not benefit from most government initiatives.

Salami slicings; May make one’s mouth water and invoke feelings of culinary delight but they are shavings that are not quite skin-deep. They are half-hearted attempts at cost-savings. Cuts should always be bold.

Top-down means ripping the heart out of a government organisation or department, followed by mass sackings, confusion and mayhem. Don’t worry it’s always invariably for the best.

Taxes and welfare policies are always progressive because politicians put more money in your pocket whilst it is siphoned out in another deft manouvre. Taxes are the lifeblood of politicians and their utterances are peppered with them. They either cut or raise taxes. There’s the jobs tax, income tax, 40p tax rate, mansion tax, bedroom tax, etc.

Trident; Nukes that watch over us.

Tuition fees; Nick Clegg and Liberal Democrats.

Zero-hours; Employment terms that leave you in a spin. Some politicians like them, some don’t.

*If you can think of anything we missed out, please send them to us in the comments section below.


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