Wednesday, July 20, 2005

The Orwells

Good afternoon, hello, and welcome, ladies and gentleman, to this week's inaugural Orwell Awards Ceremony! This week's Orwell goes to Ms. Beverly Hughes, who scooped the palm by naming her all-new scheme to issue all teenagers with a smart-card that would "allow them to access activities and sports" and could be revoked if they don't behave. Naturally, Ms. Hughes didn't want to mention that this won't work without a Really Big National Database of all teenagers, to go with the really big national database of all children (and their parents) her department already wants to set up.

So, she invented a new misuse of the English language for political ends. The Academy, of course, has created the Orwell Award to recognise excellence and best practice in the political misuse of English. For naming this latest stealth ID card project "Opportunity Cards", an Orwell Award nomination to Beverly Hughes!

Right. I intend to make this a regular feature. Every week, we'll have an Orwell nomination, and at the end of the year we'll do a poll for the annual Orwell Award. (I'm thinking of this as - not a statue - but a badge of some kind. Perhaps an ID card?) The question is, though, whether the Orwells are a Ranter responsibility in the same way Worstall takes care of the Britblog Roundup or whether they should circulate, like one of the various Carnivals. Either way, if you have a comment, use the comments. If you want to propose someone for an Orwell, put the name and a link to the example in a sealed email to a.harrowell AT

That is all.

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