Gobbledegook prize for Mandy

Lord Mandelson has earned a black mark from language campaigners for talking himself into a corner as he discussed MPs' expenses.

The Plain English Campaign (PEC) singled out the Labour peer's analysis of the way the Government was being criticised in its annual "gobbledegook" awards.



Officials awarded him their 2009 "Foot in Mouth" prize for his comment: "Perhaps we need not more people looking round more corners but the same people looking round more corners more thoroughly to avoid the small things detracting from the big things the Prime Minister is getting right."



The PEC annually highlights bad and good use of English at an awards ceremony in London.



This year the Metropolitan Police were also criticised - the campaign handed the force its "Kick in the Pants" award for "continuing use of jargon and gobbledegook".



The Department of Health was given a "Golden Bull" after saying on a website: "Primary prevention includes health promotion and requires action on the determinants of health to present disease occurring. It has been described as refocusing upstream to stop people falling in the waters of disease."



American Airlines Inc was also given a Golden Bull award for sending a passenger a "Property Irregularity Receipt" - which the PEC described as "an acknowledgement sent to a passenger that avoids the real problem of lost luggage".



The Scottish police federation was praised for voting to use plain English throughout the force.



PEC officials also gave the Royal British Legion a "Plain English" award for its use of language in fundraising information.

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