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.”