A handy guide to nEUspeak

I’ve long been a fan of Private Eye’s EU-Phemisms, perhaps because they are only about 5% satire. The language used by the EU is riddled with phrases that mean the opposite of what they appear to mean. I think EU-phemisms isn’t really strong enough for the mendaciousness of many of these phrases, so with thanks to Orwell’s Newspeak here is my handy guide to nEUspeak.

Greater influence on the world stage: nEUspeak for ‘one-twenty-eighth of a seat at the WTO table, and we’re going to supplant the UK’s seat at the IMF too’.

Single market: nEUspeak for ‘German trade surplus, powered by permanent austerity in Southern Europe’.

Economic convergence: nEUspeak for ‘intractable 50% youth unemployment in Spain, Greece, Portugal and Italy’.

Populism: nEUspeak for ‘democracy’ (a bad thing).

Democratic mandate: nEUspeak for ‘unelected’, unless the election was ‘populist’, in which case it’s nEUspeak for ‘obstacle that needs to be removed’.

Referendum: nEUspeak for ‘question we will keep asking until you give us the right answer’.

Europe (usually meaning the 50-nation continent): nEUspeak for ‘the EU, a 28-nation customs union with superstate pretensions’.

Eur0pean solidarity: nEUspeak for ‘Do as Merkel tells you’.

Renegotiation: nEUspeak for ‘elaborate charade including stage-managed fights that will culminate in an offer of second-tier membership that we’ve already agreed on’.

I’ll add more nEUspeak as I come across it.

Author: The Sparrow

I’m UK-based. Politically I'd call myself 'alt-centrist' maybe. I'm a mother, among other things. I’m interested in the political and cultural side-effects of globalisation, the replacement of class politics by identity politics, and the emerging backlash against the regressive left. I was a radical lefty once upon a time, though these days I'm just interested in following arguments wherever they go. I voted Leave, in the interests of positive, engaged globalisation within a democratic framework, though I'm a bit exasperated at how it's going so far. I’m a fan of liberty, free speech, home winemaking and practical feminism.

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