Terminological inexactitudes: handy translations of Whitehall jargon (Sir Martin Donnelly special edition)
Civil Service World's regular guide to the very best in Whitehallese
If I May...
Let me dig you out of this hole, you blithering idiot
An interesting choice of phrase
Thank God you’re a politician and not a diplomat
Perhaps I might have a word first
For goodness’ sake, don’t go jumping in feet first, you fool
That’s an interesting thought...
I knew you would get it eventually
Temporary permanent secretary
A contradiction in terms, and a job title that could only be found in the civil service
DISCLAIMER: The translations above represent the views of international trade secretary Liam Fox and his team. Like a true professional, Sir Martin Donnelly has never said whether he agrees or disagrees with these interpretations.
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