Monday, December 19, 2011

Caveat housos: On "having your say"

Beware government departments, NGOs or academic institutions offering you the "free gift" of free speech via the opportunity to attend a dreary meeting to "have your say", possibly with the added incentive of a cup of International Roast and some No Frills assorted biscuits.  
You will find that you are letting in a Trojan horse from which will swarm a horde of consultans who will occupy your precious time for as many years it takes for you find out that there was no result for your earnest efforts, or if there was, someone else took the credit and the pay for your ideas.  
"Having your say" [noun phrase]
  1. [vernacular] Magging over the back fence with your neighbour Mrs Kaphoops
  2. [bureaucratese, code] We are a government agency and we want to tick boxes saying we have consulted with tenants. We are happy to claim any policy ideas you come up with as our own without acknowledging you or your intellectual property, and we will do our utmost to hose you down if you try to mention the M-word*
* M-word: It-that-must-not-be-named, aka Maintenance. See under: Maintenance, lack of
Free speech is already free. All you have to do is exercise it. And as they used to say in the women's movement, "Don't be too polite either, girls" ... and guys too.

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