Welsh Government style guide slammed as ‘woke’ by right-wing press has same advice as UK Government guide
A Welsh Government style guide slammed as “woke” by the right-wing press has the same advice as the UK Government’s own style guide.
The Times and Daily Mail claimed that the Welsh Government had drawn up a “list of banned words” for civil servants.
Andrew RT Davies, the Welsh Conservative Senedd leader, added that the Welsh government had “well and truly lost the plot” over the guide, and an anonymous civil servant quoted by the Times said that “‘It is a massive A-Z but the only one missing is W for woke. It is just getting so nit-picking, well if I was allowed to say that.”
But it was quickly pointed out on social media that much of the advice within it is replicated within the UK Government’s own A-Z guide to civil servants.
The Daily Mail listed the words Brexit, Welsh Assembly, HM Government and able-bodied among those banned by the Welsh Government.
But in its own style guide the UK Government also advises the use of ‘Welsh Parliament’ or ‘Senedd Cymru’. On Brexit they say that civil servants should only use it “to provide historical context”.
The UK Government style guide also, as the Welsh Government guide does, notes that civil servants should use “UK government – never HM government”.
The Daily Mail and @AndrewRTDavies having an utter meltdown about the fact that the Welsh Government have a style guide and that the style guide tells civil servants not to use “Her Majesty’s Government”
Guess which other Government has a style guide that has the same rule… pic.twitter.com/zTgGwazSHL
— GutoA (@cwlcymro) December 28, 2021
In the guide of inclusive language the UK Government tell civil servants to avoid words such as “able-bodied”, advising “non-disabled” instead. It includes a list of “words to avoid” noting that users should “a passive, victim words. Use language that respects disabled people as active individuals with control over their own lives.”
It also notes that “we aim to use positive language about disability, avoiding outdated terms that stereotype or stigmatise”.
The UK Government’s style guide also tells civil servants to refer to the Guardian’s style guide if there is anything not covered by their own list of words and phrases, which itself tells users to use Senedd Cymru wich was “formerly National Assembly for Wales”. It also advises against using BAME if it is possible “to be more specific”.
The UK Government style guide also includes a long list of other words to avoid, including “agenda” (plan) and “dialogue” (discussion).
Reacting to the Welsh Government’s updated style guide, however, Welsh Conservative leader Andrew RT Davies told the Times they had “well and truly lost the plot”.
He added: “Only last week we had ministers cancelling ‘women’ from sex education in Wales, and now they’re consigning Brexit and Her Majesty to the political correctness bin.
“It’s a bonkers misuse of public money and a complete and utter waste of time. Civil servants who are just looking to get on with their day job shouldn’t be subjected to such nonsense.
“And to be frank, the Labour Welsh government has much more important things it should be tackling, such as the chronic problems in our NHS, and our crumbling road infrastructure, which continues to serve as a national embarrassment. Wasting energy on problems that don’t even exist sadly epitomises the current socialist regime we have in Cardiff Bay, who seem intent on imposing a woke ideology right across Welsh public life.”