In 1946 George Orwell wrote an essay titled ‘Politics and the English Language’. His main point was that:
"the great enemy of clear language is insincerity. When there is a gap between one’s real and one’s declared aims, one turns as it were instinctively to long words and exhausted idioms, like a cuttlefish spurting out ink.1
In this essay Orwell railed against the use of ‘euphemism’ to defend indefensible political ideologies and ‘pretentious’ language in the world of art and literary criticism to mask poor performance. Were Orwell alive today one can only assume that he would be horrified by the ‘catalogue of swindles and perversions’ found in the outpourings from businesses and investment professionals on the fashionable topics of ESG (Environment, Social and Governance), responsible investment and sustainability.