Plain English campaign news articles

Paris-Orkney for Chernobyl Children's Lifeline

One of our trainers, Thorfinn Johnston, has just completed a sponsored cycle ride from Paris to Orkney to raise money for Chernobyl Children's Lifeline.

Read more: Paris-Orkney for Chernobyl Children's Lifeline

Double 30th birthday celebrations

July brings double celebrations, with 30 years passing since both the birth of European elections and the start of Plain English Campaign’s fight against jargon and gobbledygook.

Read more: Double 30th birthday celebrations

Did jargon cause the 'Credit Crunch'?

Many of us will have watched the recent Channel 4 documentary on ‘Dispatches – How the banks went bust’ with feelings of helplessness, disbelief and frustration.

The comments made by the financial experts contributing to the programme were like Plain English Campaign’s predictions over the past 30 years. But there was little satisfaction for us in knowing that language had been exploited and misused to such an extent as to contribute to the economic disaster being felt on a worldwide scale.

Read more: Did jargon cause the 'Credit Crunch'?

High level Ploddledygook tops jargon charts with 102-word sentence

Plain English Campaign have a hot runner for their Golden Bull awards for 2009 with this 102-word quote taken from the Association of Chief Police Officer's (ACPO) response to the Government’s green paper on policing.

Read more: High level Ploddledygook tops jargon charts with 102-word sentence

Plain English Campaign tells all governments to speak the language of the people

Repeated criticisms have been made by some MPs and the public, about the need for clearer communications from the Prime Minister. Plain English Campaign is responding to the call for our leaders to speak the language of the people. As part of it’s 30-year fight against jargon and gobbledygook, the Campaign is offering free plain English training courses to every MP and minister throughout the UK.

There are over 700 representatives of our nation in the House of Lords and the House of Commons. The documented MPs’ discussions in Hansard’s parliamentary reporting shows how frequently concerns are raised about jargon and bad communication. It is unsurprising then that these frustrations and confusion are multiplied by the time information reaches the public.

Chrissie Maher OBE, founder of the Derbyshire based Campaign says, “The word ‘gobbledygook’ comes from descriptions of government communications. The end of turkey talk is long overdue. Give us plain English. It’s clear, it’s honest, it’s what our government and our nation need right now.”

In 1983, as part of the Rayner Review, the Thatcher government reviewed hundreds of thousands of government documents. In 2009, efforts continue with two public inquiries about the state of public communications from Parliament and government offices. But it is time to take action from the very top. Once again, the Campaign recommends plain English training in both the House of Commons and the House of Lords.

The Duke of Devonshire, also Chancellor to the University of Derby, spoke from his home at Chatsworth in Derbyshire to say, “We have an individual and moral responsibility to communicate clearly whatever our business. It’s never too late to remember the basics of good, clear English, its part of our heritage.”

Peter Gallimore, spokesperson for the University of Derby added, “Plain English training sessions are being launched at the University this year for MPs, businesses, or anyone wanting to communicate clearly. It’s a great start to the plans for the University to work with Plain English Campaign.”

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