Shadow Government

Lynne Murphy lynnem at COGS.SUSX.AC.UK
Mon Mar 4 16:16:22 UTC 2002

'Shadow cabinet' is used in the UK to refer to the Tories who are in the
complementary positions to the Labour cabinet.  Not in NODE or AHD4.  But
you can see the current shadow cabinet at:,9067,635175,00.html

This seems quite a different use of 'shadow' than in the US 'shadow


--On Monday, March 4, 2002 11:07 am -0500 Drew Danielson
<andrew.danielson at CMU.EDU> wrote:

> I am curious about the choice of the term 'shadow government' that has
> used recently to refer to a skeleton US federal government hiding in
> caves somewhere ready to pounce into action if Washington gets
> attacked.
> Searching Google on ["shadow government" -march -2002], to eliminate any
> recent occurences of the term with an article dateline, turns up 5,470
> hits.  The first 20 or so of these are almost all by conspiracists and
> are in reference to some sort of US or worldwide secret cabal that calls
> all the shots.
> I have always associated this term with conspiracy theories, and when I
> heard the news media talking about a 'shadow government' I thought at
> first they had all gone crackpot till I learned what they meant by it.
> There was one page about a Mongolian Shadow Government at the Mongolian
> Liberal Democratic Party website,,
> which seems to reinforce 'shadow government' as used in the news
> recently.  Unfortunately this page is 'under construction' and doesn't
> say much.
> I am wondering what are the experts' impressions of the definition of
> this term, and its most current popular usage.

Dr M Lynne Murphy
Lecturer in Linguistics
Acting Director, MA in Applied Linguistics
School of Cognitive and Computing Sciences
University of Sussex
Brighton BN1 9QH

phone +44-(0)1273-678844
fax   +44-(0)1273-671320

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