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Politics

22 Words That Have A Totally Different Meaning In Politics

I’ve just been whipped.

1. “Expenses”

chayuti/chayuti

What it usually means: Begging your boss to refund that £3.20 you spent on a pack of biros from WH Smith.
What it means in politics: Getting the public to pay for the cleaning of your moat.

2. “Cabinet”

suksao999/suksao999

What it usually means: Somewhere to keep files and documents safe.
What it means in politics: A group of senior politicians who constantly lose files and documents.

3. “Leadership”

Pool/Pa

What it usually means: The ability to make decisions and inspire others to follow you.
What it means in politics: Standing in the middle of a flood in your wellington boots, gesturing into the middle distance.

4. “Whip”

Art-Of-Photo/Art-Of-Photo

What it usually means: A leather strip for flogging or beating people or animals.
What it means in politics: A person who makes sure MPs avoid independent thought.

5. “In touch”

David Cameron / Via Twitter: @David_Cameron

What it usually means: You’ve not lost contact with your friends.
What it means in politics: You were once photographed drinking a pint of beer and have memorised the price of a loaf of bread.

6. “Party”

Jeremy Selwyn / Evening Standard / eyevine

What it usually means: A social gathering in which everyone has a good time, usually resulting in great memories and a hangover.
What it means in politics: A political grouping in which everyone hates each other.

7. “Foreign secretary”

Pool / Reuters

What it usually means: How your slightly racist grandmother refers to the receptionist at her GP.
What it means in politics: A senior politician who travels the world attending endless conferences.

8. “Sacked”

Luke Macgregor / Reuters

What it usually means: You’ve lost your job and you’re in trouble.
What it means in politics: You are taking a temporary career break from one of your jobs, but will probably be back again in six months.

9. “Promotion”

Suzanne Plunkett / Reuters

What it usually means: You’ve done well in your job so you take on more responsibilities in a similar role.
What it means in politics: You’ve done well in your job so you stop doing it and are given a completely new job, more often than not dealing with a completely different subject and in a completely different department.

10. “Dinner”

bizoo_n/bizoo_n

What it usually means: A meal you eat in the evening.
What it means in politics: An opportunity to make some dodgy deals.

11. The Thick of It

BBC

What it usually means: A dark comedy set in the corridors of British power.
What it means in politics: A documentary film about where you work.

12. “House”

Reuters Tv / Reuters

What it usually means: A building you live in.
What it means in politics: A building you work in.

13. “Bill”

Juice/Juice

What it usually means: How much your meal costs, usually split between friends.
What it means in politics: Those new laws you’re working on, with the cost picked up by the public.

14. “Seat”

Songquan Deng/Songquan Deng

What it usually means: Somewhere you sit.
What it means in politics: Somewhere you stand.

15. “Normal”

Olivia Harris / Reuters

What it usually means: What most people are, something typical.
What it means in politics: What people strive to be with great difficulty.

16. “Trendy”

Dan Kitwood / Getty Images

What it usually means: On the cutting edge of fashion.
What it means in politics: Wearing a suit that actually fits.

17. “Rebel”

Chrysalis

What it usually means: An anti-authoritarian badass who does what they want.
What it means in politics: Someone who doesn’t pretend to have identical opinions to their boss on every issue.

18. “Difficult decision”

Suzanne Plunkett / Reuters / Reuters

What it usually means: A hard choice between two things you don’t want to do.
What it means in politics: You’re going to do something that will piss other people off.

19. “Speaker”

Reuters Tv / Reuters

What it usually means: Something you play music out of.
What it means in politics: A man equipped with a seemingly endless stream of amusing put-downs and witticisms.

20. “Recess”

Songquan Deng/Songquan Deng

What it usually means: A small space, sometimes in a wall.
What it means in politics: HOLIDAY!!!

21. “Question”

BBC Parliament

What it usually means: Asking something to which you want to know the answer.
What it means in politics: A vain attempt to make the person you are talking to look silly.

22. “Answer”

BBC Parliament

What it usually means: A response to a question that reveals requested information.
What it means in politics: A pre-scripted joke about a subject scarcely related to the original question.

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