Tag: politicians

I’ve long been drawn to accounts of the everyday lives of politicians. This isn’t so much a matter of biographical curiosity, as much as a preoccupation with temporality. It is not that the temporal character of our lives moulds us but rather that the things which do are always inflected through temporality. I’m convinced you […]

How do politicians understand their own status? It’s a question I’ve often wondered about without being sufficiently motivated to explore what I’m certain must be a significant literature investigating this question. I was made to ponder the question again by a lovely extract in Unwinding, by George Packer, describing the meritocratic self-regard of politicians and how […]

If this is an accurate account, it’s remarkable that he seemingly remains devoid of bitterness about this treatment. From The Candidate, by Alex Nunns, loc 6251: “You are not fit to be prime minister,” the widely unknown Bridget Phillipson tells Corbyn. “It’s time to be honest with yourself. You’re not a leader. You need to […]

I love this passage by Paul Mason in the introduction to The Global Minotaur: Most politicians cannot be theorists. First, because they are rarely thinkers; second, because the frenetic lifestyle they impose on themselves leaves no time for big ideas. But most of all because to be a theorist you have to admit the possibility of […]

From Corbyn: Against All Odds, by Richard Seymour, pg 15: Adam Phillips suggests that our rages disclose what it is we think we are entitled to. We become infuriated when the world doesn’t live up to our largely unconscious assumptions about how it should be for us. What might the fury of Labour’s right-wingers, as […]

I thought this was an interesting suggestion, from This Town by Mark Leibovich, concerning the tendency of a mendacious and stage-managed political culture to give rise to ‘straight talkers’. From pg 324-325: The unquestioned Big Man on Campus in Tampa, at least for the first part of GOP-looza, was Chris Christie, the rotund Republican governor […]

From This Town, by Mark Leibovich, pg 163: Calculations vary on how many former members of Congress have joined the influence-peddling set. By the middle of 2011, at least 160 former lawmakers were working as lobbyists in Washington, according to First Street, a website that tracks lobbying trends in D.C., in April 2013. The Center […]

Barack Obama quoted in The Deep State, by Mike Lofgren, pg 63. The demands of fundraising for US politicians are exceptional but I assume a similar process can be found elsewhere, as an elite gradually becomes one’s reference group if this was not already the case. How else to explain the belief of UK MPs […]