The first chapter of my book covers Newspeak Crap and contains a glossary of words abused by the politicos, together with their correct meanings. For example, “friendly fire” means “killing colleagues”, “legal tender” means “a compulsory medium of exchange”, “social justice” means “theft”, and so on.
Also in the glossary is “price war” meaning “competition to serve customers”. Ever-present, “pricewar” has recently been used by The Guardian to describe Ryanair price cuts. You can’t win of course; price increases are “exploitation” or “rip-offs”; even “pickpocket” was used recently by Ed Mays, chief of the National Consumer Council.
Meanwhile poor old Ryanair is in the wars on another front, having been accused of “waging war” against consumers by its decision to exclude price-comparison websites from purchasing tickets through third party websites rather than Ryanair’s own site. “Pawns” is the word used to describe consumers by Which? Magazine (not always a true friend of the consumer). Similarly, (directly alongside news of the price war mentioned above) The Guardian reported that “Ryanair to cancel thousands of ‘illegal’ tickets” and surreptitiously hinted that the word ‘illegal’ (in Ryanair’s claim that the practice is against its terms and conditions) was dubious if not ridiculous – even though Ryanair has already succeeded in recent legal actions on this very point.
Although it seems to me that Ryanair’s spokesman made several telling points in support of its action, it is quite possible that Ryanair has made an error. But if so, it will correct it, quickly, just like British Airways did over its crucifix ban.
That’s the way that markets work – the consumer is king. The word “pawns” is best left to describe consumers who are not served by markets. The NHS is a good example, and let us not forget that it too can and does turn away patients which don’t fit its templates or whims. And outside the directly nationalised organisations, the UK is riddled with state regulation and state corporatism. The airline industry is a case in point, but somehow I don’t think this was what Which? Magazine had in mind.
Click here to learn about Terry’s latest book, Crap: A Guide to Politics.