Anorak News | C Minus

C Minus

by | 3rd, March 2004

‘THE surest sign that an organisation is in trouble is when it decides to change its name – the institutional equivalent of rearranging the deckchairs on the Titanic.

Same load of old bollocks

If it’s a company, this normally involves ditching a name which may be uninspired but at least makes sense in favour of some nonsensical neologism or obscure Greco-Latin hybrid.

Andersen Consulting, for instance, becomes Accenture; Royal Mail becomes Consignia; Jarvis becomes Engenda; One-2-One becomes T-Mobile, and Marathon becomes Snickers.

If it’s a political party, this involves the addition of the word ‘New’ – as, of course, with New Labour – or of words like ‘National’, ‘Democratic’ and ‘Social’.

Thus, when the so-called Gang of Four broke away from the Labour party in the early 1980s, they called their new party the Social Democratic Party.

And when it eventually merged with the Liberals, it became the Social and Liberal Democrat Party, before morphing into the Liberal Democrats that we know – and love to ignore – today.

However, much as we all know that Tony Blair would like to complete his transformation of the Labour party by dropping the word Labour altogether and calling it something like Cunabula, he knows there’s enough sentimentalists in his party to stop him doing so.

So, he and his cohorts do what governments do when they’ve been in power a few years – they start renaming departments of state and public institutions.

Thus, we read in this morning’s Telegraph that, in what it calls ‘yet another Labour snub to the Queen’, the Government is planning to drop the word Crown from the Crown Prosecution Service.

Coming so soon after the announcement that Her Majesty’s Prison Service is to be renamed the National Offender Management Service, the Telegraph sees it as further erosion of the role of the Queen as Head of State.

And, worse, it bemoans the fact that ‘for the third time in less than a year the Queen’s ministers chose not to pay her the courtesy of consultation, but rather kept her in the dark until just before reforms were announced’.

Of course, rebranding the CPS (which will henceforth be known as the Public Prosecution Service) will cost a lot of money, but it will all be worth it in the long run.

Home Secretary David Blunkett explains to the Guardian that the name change is essential in building up confidence in the service.

‘Defence lawyers are always seen to be on the side of the defence,’ he says, ‘and we’ve got to get across that the public prosecutor is not neutral. They are on the side of the public.’

Of course, this means that cases will no longer be prosecuted in the name of the Queen, with Regina being replaced by a US-style The People. Right?

Er, no. With New Labour’s partiality for fudge, Mr Blunkett explains that he doesn’t think there’s much support for changing the traditional format.

O tempora! O mores! (As some company will be calling itself very soon.)’

Posted: 3rd, March 2004 | In: Broadsheets Comment | TrackBack | Permalink