Australia’s Political Dictionary: What’s Said – What’s Meant.


Whenever you listen to or read what our politicians have to say don’t be too bemused if you don’t understand what’s said or that what is said is either negative, derogatory, insulting or even meaningless.  Here are a few politicised words and statements I’ve heard or read accompanied by my interpretation of their actual meaning.  Enjoy, and feel free to add your own interpretations.

  • It’s a dud = We didn’t think of it first.
  • Policy on the run = We can’t keep up with their policy initiatives.
  • A policy vacuum = They don’t have any answers, and nor do we.
  • The Minister = That smarmy smart-arse that has my job.
  • An exceptional result = Exceptional when compared to Japan’s interest rates.
  • Strengthens the State’s/Countries’ balance sheet = You’ll never find the numbers now that we’ve shoved them into the State/National accounts.
  • Received a strong financial return for the State/Country = Strong when compared to the GDP of Benin.
  • The report was lost (for some months) or (in a cardboard box) within (a department, office, filing system) = Damn!  You found that bloody report.
  • Lost (damaged or shredded) due to an administrative error = Damn!  You found another copy of that bloody report and read it.
  • Facing a very significant challenge = We haven’t the skills or competency to deliver what you’ve asked.
  • Funding “black hole” = We can’t find any cogent arguments against such expenditure.
  • White paper was a flawed document = We don’t like what it says.
  • Were using political pressure to derail etc, etc = The buggers are using the same dirty tricks as us.
  • Opposition’s short-term political interest = Their short-term political interests are shorter-term than ours.
  • Government has “lost its way” = The Government is ignoring our slogans.
  • Going from bad to worse = They are using slogans to counter our slogans.
  • ?? is in government but it is far from clear whether anyone is actually in power = See, I can string more than four words together, written by my speech writer, and make sense.
  • The boats keep coming = We don’t have an answer any more than they do so we’ll use a slogan to make us sound good.  “No new taxes” is another, really good, alternative.
  • The triumph of hope over experience = Damn!  They succeeded.
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About deknarf

Australian born and bred who has spent most of his working life in R&D and IP management with earlier forays in the newspaper industry and martial arts. Fortunate enough to be living in one of the best countries in the World, even though I might get grumpy with it from time to time.
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