Webster's Online Dictionary

with Multilingual Thesaurus Translation


The “elected leaders” of Scotland, i.e. those members of parliament who happen to serve as ministers (one day I’ll rant separately on that British idea of “democracy”) have decided to rebrand themselves from “Scottish Executive” to “Scottish Government”. Scotland: Be warned!

In a democracy you’d want the leaders to carry out what the people wants them to do. That’t the whole point of democracy. Carrying out is executing orders. Hence the name “executive”.

Government conveys a completely different meaning; to govern means to steer, to control, to execute authority, to command. In the UK, this notion of “government” has most recently been shaped by Tony Blair, and elsewhere by George W. — it’s the notion of a pseudo-elected, alsmost good-like autocracy of a body that should serve the people but in actual fact commands and controls.

That’s the way I read the move to re-brand the Scottish Executive as Scottish Government. People of Scotland, be warned.

Disclaimer: I should add that also the old Scottish Executive tended to be more of an authoritarian Government than a democratic body serving the will of the people.