ORWELLIAN NEW SPEAK BY ACCA PRESIDENT
ACCA leadership is not generally known for clear thinking and the AGM held
on 8 May 2003 did not provide any surprises.
President Jonathan Beckerlegge gave excellent example of George Orwell’s
Nineteen Eighty-Four. The fans of the book would know that it is famous for
New speak. Two of the slogans that dominate the novel are: ‘freedom is
slavery’ and ‘ignorance is strength’.
ACCA claims to be accountable to members, but when members want information
about the geographical composition of members, it won't oblige. ACCA believes
in spending its resources well, but won't tell members what it plans to do
with the annual subscription rises. ACCA is answerable to its members, but
won't allow '"Any Other Business" at the AGMs because members might ask awkward
questions that brainless presidents can't answer. The leadership has opposed
all reforms but claims that somehow ACCA was stronger by keeping members
uninformed. ACCA believes in transparency but would not provide information
to members. The same ACCA wants other organisations to publish budgets and
management to answer questions from shareholders at AGMs. But none of this
could apply ACCA. Freedom for members to call the leadership to account was
considered to be a terrible idea. Members are asked to absorb the pseudo
information given out by the self-appointed leadership. The Big Brother (and
sister) are all residing at ACCA HQ.
The above was not the only thing. President Jonathan Beckerlegge went on
to say ACCA was not business, but then it was because it always has been.
ACCA is not charitable body but it is not a business either. It was competing
with other professional bodies, but it was co-operating. It influences governments
but governments don't listen to it hence the inexorable rise in the small
company audit threshold. ACCA was a world power but somehow just had its
first members in Albania and the Czech Republic.
Jonathan Beckerlegge's words are definitely worth analysing as they show
highlight the Double speak and New speak that have become a hallmark of ACCA.