With the leaders making their pitches and the characters of contenders under the spotlight, vague ideas have found words – for example in what we want in these people.
Two words hovering about for me but never well-defined are “respectable” and “conventional”. I’ve known men and women whose tables and sideboards had not a speck of dust and I’d wager the tops of the kitchen cupboards would not have either.
Yet their manner of dealing with people was bizarre to say the least. I mean, I like to have my breakfast, be it just a snack. For now, at 5:40 a.m., there is a sidetable with coffee and toast with Emmental on some slices and marmalade on others. Breakfast itself will come later.
Respectable? Conventional? Yet one look at this flat and many, especially ladies, might recoil in horror. Stacked along the hallway and in the second room is everything from tools to the outboard motor. Yet the carpet is vacuumed but against that, I’ve no curtains and no pictures on the walls. Yet there are four computers, three of which work.
A guest would find no bed per se but either a memory foam occasional or airbed, the linen put out at night would all be washed and from the wardrobe. The kitchen is clean and I wipe benches and crannies every meal. Sheets are aired every day, my nails are short and I change undies each day – my mother would be horrified if I didn’t. My visitor today will find no dust in any corner or crevice, as I vacuumed yesterday.
But I’d imagine Julian Clary would be the same. Are we equally respectable? Methinks it doesn’t come down to that in the end but to the furniture in a person’s mind, how they deal with you.
Many mention Theresa May’s record and it is poor, a history of self-promotion, incompetence, ambition, shiftiness and slyness, plus she cares not for her country – she even admitted it last evening. Yet her house seems immaculate.
No doubt Andrea Leadsom’s is too but she has something May does not have – integrity, or so it seems. It’s quite reassuring to know Osborne blocked her. And the way May [Clinton lookalike] is attacking her.
There’ve been many harsh things said about the left or as they’re known today, the Remainers – yes, I know the establishment are also Remain, plus various people from other motives.
But there is one large segment of that lot who marched yesterday and to me, it’s summed up by this:
If you shook your head at that, then you are, dare I say it, respectable. And if you see nothing wrong, then you are whatever you want to call yourself.
There is John Rentoul at the Independent who called for a vote for May as she’s boring and competent. Competent?
So here is another factor – discernment, judgement, doing what you feel appropriate when it is not. Calling May competent shows a want of judgement and I’ve seen that before with Rentoul, at the CP conference some years back.
And how did he, a lefty, get invited to that? Answer is that he’s establishment, like Peston, like other placemen. He did not act with respect that day.
And establishment is anything but respectable.
Then there is this:
Look at those two at the front. One thing I’m quite certain has not crossed any of their minds is – who would want them? I mean, do they really think they’d be the ones chosen by the EU, except as rally-wrecking brownshirts?
Yuri Bezmenov, in that long interview in the 80s following his defection from the USSR, made the point clearly that they [the KGB operatives] had been instructed to penetrate the respectable right, not the rabid left. Thus, Ted Kennedy or Hanoi Jane were irrelevant, two of the first up against the wall.
No, the idea was to befriend and influence the right, the main obstacle to Soviet success in its demoralization programme. The left were already demoralized.
A similar thing was the Mayan calendar story some years back. All those hippies on top of the mountain, awaiting rescue. Did they really think they’d be the ones any self-respecting aliens would take with them, except as slave labour? The aliens would surely seek out the movers and shakers for kidnapping, the scientists, the craftsmen.
Have a look at this, a reaction from a socialist worker some years ago:
Only the educated would write ‘imprecate vocabulary’. So we’re talking middle to upper class here. And yet he has maggots for brains, politically. Last evening I had similar on Twitter. He asked me how I could have any truck with vicious racists like Farage and other nazis.
Until then, he’d seemed an educated chap. This comes back to Wolfie’s and Cherie’s comments about what they’d seen.
So, maybe ‘respectable’ and ‘conventional’ are inadequate words for this new demarcation in society. The old divisions don’t seem to cover it any more. My own circle, so to speak, has people such as investment advisers, bikers, ex-merchant seamen, drivers, conservative ladies, young people, dock workers and builders, some LibDems, along with a smattering of heads of departments. Those are the typical readers of my blog.
How on earth can they be defined as a division of society?
I had intended to do a few posts on post-Brexit reactions, but now I realise it should be abreactions. Large quantities of stupefying substances must be in circulation, leading people to gabble out their innermost thoughts whilst dribbling profusely. I cannot follow the plot at the moment. Something to do with rivalry, tribalism, fear and loathing, I think. I recall the wry saying (privately given to me by the partner of a political figure) that politics is no business to be in if you want to have friends.
[He, he, he.]