"Through active employment and training programmes, restructuring the financial sector, strengthening the national infrastructure and providing responsible investment, my government will foster growth and employment."
I love this line from the Queen's Speech. I've seen it in print but haven't actually heard the speech - it's so hard to imagine the Queen uttering such managerial New Labour gobbledegook. Clearly there's no attempt to match language to the person delivering it, as nobody can possibly believe Her Majesty is in the habit of using phrases like 'restructuring the financial sector' or 'foster growth and employment'.
It is such banal, empty and convoluted language, yet we've become used to it. We don't notice the total absence of meaning. New Labour politicians are in love with the discourse of vigorous action: 'active', 'foster', we'll restructure this and strengthen that. They must at all times give the impression that they are really doing things, even if most people are baffled by what they are in fact doing.
When making empty promises this vagueness is of course deliberate. Politicians can be held accountable for specific promises, but woolly talk of 'restructuring the financial sector' is far easier to opt out of. The vocabulary is sophisitcated, so they sound like reliable experts who we can trust to get on with running our world, and relentlessly positive.
But at the same time its distance from everyday speech reflects how alientated most people are from Westminster politics. And I can't help thinking it further feeds that alientation.
EXTRA: Channel 4 News has produced a clever gimmicky thing revealing how many times various words were used in the Queen's Speech. Click HERE.