A Brief Guide To Contemporary Political Euphemisms

‘Echo chamber’

Political message: Trite concerns being shared by a very insular group of people, who are unaffected by socio-economic problems; and which therefore do not warrant wider political interest.

Actual meaning: A group of well-informed people directly affected or immediately concerned with a burgeoning social problem.

‘Shy voter’

Political message: People who are sufficiently embarrassed by the antics of a party they support to feign ambivalence.

Actual meaning: People who neither know nor care about the implications of what they are voting for, as long as it serves their own interests.

‘Aspirational voters’

Political message: People whose support is worth pursuing persistently, because their allegiance is liable to shift back and forth depending on socio-economic circumstance.

Actual meaning: Self-seeking people, whose support will shift back and forth, depending on what they are offered.

‘Northern Powerhouse’

Political message: Major government investment in large cities, whose economies have struggled since their manufacturing industries were off-shored to South East Asia.

Actual meaning: Major withdrawal of government funding to local councils.

‘Hard choices’

Political message: What must be done is being done, for the good of all. There is no alternative.

Actual meaning: Politicians funding tax-cuts for their backers, primarily by reducing expenditure on social care programmes.

‘The Centre’

Political message: ruling-out sweeping societal change.

Actual meaning: a pretext for taking the easy route, and continuing with current economic policies; thereby maintaining the status quo.


Political message: acknowledging that society’s current state doesn’t suit everybody.

Actual meaning: ignoring evidence in favour of popular, press-manufactured opinion; avoiding awkward home-truths in the process.

‘Business friendly’

Political message: the economy is the bedrock of our society; and government should play an active role in strengthening it.

Actual meaning: choosing not to improve employment rights; refusing to end corporate tax-loopholes.


Political message: encouraging a baseless fear.

Actual meaning: encouraging people to consider an adverse scenario, which requires responsible and expensive government intervention.


Political message: reasonable, sensible people; driven by pragmatism, rather than idealism.

Actual meaning: somebody whose concerns are vested in self-interest, rather than public service; who pretends to be above politics and ideology, while perpetually politicking in the most uncompromisingly ideological manner possible.

‘Virtue signalling’

Political message: playing to the gallery, in a self-righteous fashion.

Actual meaning: 1) Opposing inhumane government policies 2) contradicting popular misconceptions 3) criticising the remarkable unbrilliance of mean-spirited media columnists