Hello Cruel World
Wednesday, June 25, 2003
spiked-politics Mick Hume (Editor of spiked.)
People don't believe Blair - or anybody else
... But there is something different behind the bitter atmosphere that Blair encounters today. It seems that public mistrust has now become institutionalised as an almost automatic, unthinking response ...
In recent times the old collective institutions, from the churches and community organisations to trades unions and political parties, have lost their roots and their purchase. The great political projects of both left and right have also collapsed and died. Our societies have become more individualised, atomised and insecure. Unlike the past, when such ideas as nationalism or welfarism might have held things together, most people today see a lack of any common script or collective sense of identity with which to respond to events.
... This sort of institutionalised mistrust is corrosive of democracy and public life. Its corrosive effects are also seeping into our personal lives, as all surveys reveal that we are becoming increasingly mistrustful of one another. Far from the people united in questioning the authorities, it is more a case of all-against-all, everybody doubting the person next door ...
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