Sunday 14 April 2024

The boundaries of ordinary life

And, true enough, there was a look of gloom, as the twilight fell silently and sadly out of the sky, its gray or sable flakes intermingling themselves with the fast-descending snow. The storm, in its evening aspect, was decidedly dreary. It seemed to have arisen for our especial behoof, — a symbol of the cold, desolate, distrustful phantoms that invariably haunt the mind, on the eve of adventurous enterprises, to warn us back within the boundaries of ordinary life.

Nathaniel Hawthorne - The Blithedale Romance (1852)

After the forthcoming general election, Keir Starmer will go back within the boundaries of his ordinary life. His social class, friends, Labour party workers, Parliamentary colleagues, circle of contacts and the ordinary life of a prime minister as an annexe to all that. 

But after the electoral battle, Starmer will not venture back within the boundaries his voters’ ordinary lives because he was never there in the first place. He may ignore the boundaries of their ordinary lives for at least five years and that’s what he’ll do without ever needing to acknowledge that he’s doing it.

Yet Labour voters will still vote for a party leader who is not and cannot ever live within their world, because their boundaries are not his. Keir Starmer’s boundaries are Tony Blair's boundaries.

Of course this is merely a roundabout way of saying the world of governing elites isn’t ours, but the point to be made is that this claim is far more than the rhetoric of disenchantment. Their world isn’t ours and they intend to keep it that way.


DiscoveredJoys said...

Boil down the Unique Selling Points of the two main parties... the Conservative USP was the glass half full idea that looking after business and landowners creates wealth which the general population also benefit from. The Labour USP was the glass half empty idea that you could fill your glass by taking that which belonged to the wealthy.

Neither USP was entirely convincing and the Conservatives appear to have given up, for now. The current political zeitgeist appears to be that the bureaucrats will determine how full your glass will be - and expect the level to fall under the Net Zero madness. Not convincing either.

So. What is the USP for Reform? It is not yet clear, but unless they are willing to get the bureaucrats back under control it won't amount to much.

A K Haart said...

DJ - I agree, the USP for Reform is unclear unless they sort out the bureaucrats. They would need a large majority to attempt that, holding the balance of power won't do. It isn't easy to see things changing before it's too late and we may have passed that point anyway.

dearieme said...

Politicians: the morons who send a warship into action without making any suitable arrangements to replenish its ammunition:-

'France's ... frigate Alsace has turned tail from the Red Sea after running out of missiles and munitions repelling attacks from the Yemeni armed forces, according to its commander, Jerome Henry ...[he] also revealed that, after a 71-day deployment, all combat equipment was depleted.

"From the Aster missile to the 7.62 machine gun of the helicopter, including the 12.7mm, 20mm, or 76mm cannon, we dealt with three ballistic missiles and half a dozen drones," Henry adds.

According to the French commander, the Franco–Italian Aster missile – each carrying a price tag of up to $2 million – "was pushed to its limits" by the Yemeni armed forces, as the Alsace had to use it "on targets that we did not necessarily imagine at the start."'

Using a 2 million bucks missile to defend yourself from 200 bucks drones doesn't sound like good business either.

Sam Vega said...

I guess most people don't really want their leaders to have much knowledge of their lives. It's partly a matter of fantasy ("S/he looks capable/is a nice person/is tough enough/etc".) and partly what their policies might accidentally do for your personal aspirations.

If you want to move the rest of your third-world clan into the country, or you are a criminal trying to evade responsibility, or even just think that a bit more taxpayers' money in your workplace or salary would be nice, or you are a bit confused about what a woman is, then Starmer looks like a good prospect.

Tammly said...

Why working class people would would vote for Starmer's Labour Party beats me. If you have an alternative in the form of the Reform Party, why wouldn't you try it?

A K Haart said...

dearieme - yes, hideously expensive missiles have begun to seem far too expensive for cheap drones which may be manufactured in huge quantities. I wonder if China has any prospect of getting ships and equipment to Taiwan when faced with the possibility of drone swarms.

Tammly - I don't know why working class people vote Labour. Reform will at least signal a desire for more significant change than Starmer intends to deliver.