George Orwell’s essay examines the power of language to shape political ideas. It is about the importance of writing concisely, clearly and precisely and the dangers to our ability to think when language, especially political language, is obscured by vague, clichÃ©d phrases and hackneyed metaphors. In it, he argues that when political discourse trades clarity and precision for stock phrases, the debasement of politics follows. First published in Horizon in 1946, Orwell’s essay was soon recognised as an important text, circulated by newspaper editors to their journalists and reprinted in magazines and anthologies of contemporary writing. It continues to be relevant to our own age.