What’s in a word

I was looking at the book “Playing Politics”, and specifically the game “Agenda” which looks at committee behaviour. In the game, a standard playing card pack is used and the suits are considered to represent spending priorities. I originally read the book in the seventies and the priorities were called Social Security (Hearts), Industry (Diamonds), Public Works (Spades) and Defence (Clubs, of course). Today, with the country’s shift to the right we would use the term Welfare instead of Social Security, and since Industry was designated by Diamonds, we might today. in this celebrity obsessed world consider the diamonds to be Culture Media and Sport, since BIS (the Department of Trade and Industry as was) now spends so little. There’s no room for DECC nor DEFRA. The predecessor to DECC was only created in 1974 and there is a private member’s bill to abolish it being considered in the next parliament. It interested me on how both public policy priorities and the language has changed over 40 years; the language is both a simple lens and the final arbiter.

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