Saturday, 3 January 2009

Nudge, nudge...

“We will innovate and move away from being a groundhog council”.
-- Mike Freer, Local Government Association innovation conference, 20 November 2008.
No doubt Mike got a big round of applause for this pronouncement (and for proclaiming “Barnet: a positive nirvana in north London”, scroll down about four screens), but... what does any of it mean?

I am exploring the arcane world of local government management-speak and hope to produce a glossary soon. The phrase that annoys me most is 'behaviour change programme': apparently there has been one going on in Barnet. I can think of a few Barnet folk whose behaviour I would like to change but I think I would have the courtesy to tell them to their face before I tried.

The worst aspect of all this local government jargon is they haven't the guts to tell us, the residents, what they think. If they think we are a bunch of feckless, obese, litter louts, why not say so, instead of simply trying to 'nudge' (another favourite catch-phrase) us into behaving ourselves better?

Who would you nominate to be nudged into better behaviour? Take part in this week's poll!

1 comment:

Rog T said...


I must confess that I can't take part in your poll as the thought of nudging either Brian Coleman or Mike Freer is just a bridge too far for me !!! Even in this context