“Struggling to get a grip, as with soap in a bath”

A great quote from Hugo Rifkind in The Times (29th January: £) which neatly sums up where politics, politics and our institutions are today:

“In the past couple of years, as everyone knows, almost every aspect of [the] Establishment has taken a bettering and our traditional deference, if it ever had any rationale, doesn’t any more.  But without deference, representative democracy becones a harder sell, particularly when the public suddenly have the online tools to shout at you all the time, rather than just once every four or five years as in the past.

At the moment it’s an almost impossible sell. Like newspapers, like the BBC, like the churches and the schools, and everything else, our system of government is in the midst of an existential crisis of confidence.  It doesn’t know what it is, or what it’s for, or what people want from it.  So it has to ask.  This is how I think we ought to understand our referendums, whatever they are about.  As the latest manifestation of a panicked system grappling with itself.  Struggling to get a grip, as with soap in the bath.”

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