The official Tony Abbott glossary

Originally published in Time Out Sydney 24 October 2013. At by Robert Polmear

Dear The Internet,


(from the upcoming children’s edition)

With the news that your immigration minister Scott Morrison has issued an edict that the term “asylum seeker” be stricken from all official departmental communications and replaced with“illegal maritime arrival”,  commentators have been making the unfair comparison between the Abbott government and the “newspeak” adopted by the dystopian ministries of George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four.

Such hyperbole is obviously ridiculous, since a) creating a standard term of reference for all staff will help streamline the dissemination of policy in a clear and accessible manner, and b) we have always been at war with Eastasia.

It’s only one of a raft of new terms and with that in mind, we contacted the Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, and communications minister Malcolm Turnbull graciously faxed us a copy of the government’s forthcoming official glossary.

Keep these terms in mind in all communications going forward, including your personal correspondence. Remember: ASIO and therefore the CIA will be taking notes, and you really don’t want to embarrass yourself in front of them.

Seriously. You really, really don’t.

Former Term New Official Term
Asylum seeker Illegal maritime arrival
Refugee Terrorist
Australia (in context of Federal Constitution) Australia
Australia (in context of dinkum fair-go mateship) ‘Straya
Australia (in context of human rights obligations) Papua New Guinea
Love Penis-in-vagina intercourse conducted exclusively in the marital bed
Homosexual man Bachelor
Homosexual woman Lady bachelor
Bisexual person
Child Dependent
Wife Dependent
Single mother Careless slattern
Student Mr/Mrs Fancy who thinks they’re so big with all their la-di-dah book-learnin’
International student University funding
Pensioner Post-employed scrounger
Medicare Financial sickness/injury incentive
Unemployed person Domestic terrorist
Increased Federal borrowing limit (Labor) Economic disaster
Increased Federal borrowing limit (Coalition) Prudent fiscal strategy
Climate change Positive temperature growth
Environmental scientist Pervert voodoo priestess
National park Future mine
Marine sanctuary Future mine
Lower socio-economic area Future second airport flightpath
Experts “Experts”
Press (non-Murdoch) Mewling naysayers
Press (Murdoch) Clarion call of truth
Area ravaged by bushfire Economic combustion opportunity zone
Taxes Profits
Social responsibility

Yours ever,


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