by Pseud O'Nym
A few days ago, a book arrived for Marge entitled ‘A Portable Paradise.’ Which was ambitious, given as how it is a collection of poetry and my feeling regarding poetry mirror almost entirely my feelings about homeopathy. But the book isn’t what this post concerns itself with; instead my hackles were raised by one of the testimonials on the back cover, by Afua Hirsch, who claims that the poet is ‘the voice of our communal consciousness’. He may well be, but whether she is qualified to say that is another matter.
A look at her Wikipedia page tells us
Hirsch was educated at the private Wimbledon High School and then studied philosophy, politics, and economics at St Peter’s College, Oxford. After her graduation with a Bachelor of Arts degree, she took the Graduate Diploma in Law at the BPP Law School.
Private school and then Oxford and law school? Doesn’t sound to me like of kind of upbringing and education that would afford one to have the necessary lived experiences to then make the claim that someone is ‘the voice of our communal consciousness’. How can she possibly know what a ‘communal consciousness’ even is, if the formative years of her life were spent enduring the humiliating privilege denied to most people. Anyway, after law school,
(she) worked in international development, law and journalism. She began working as a lawyer in criminal defence, public and international law. She then became a legal correspondent for The Guardian.
Ah yes ‘The Guardian’ which claims to be ‘the world’s leading liberal voice’ but is increasingly anything but. There is ample evidence for this, not least in its heavily one-sided coverage of the whole Brexit issue. Their much-vaunted ‘liberal voice’ was silent when it came to understanding the many reasons why people voted to leave, respecting their choice or supporting the government as it attempted to enact the will of the people.
She still works ‘the world’s leading liberal voice’ as a columnist, one of many the fingeratti who work for them – those who point the finger of blame at someone or something, seemingly finding endless reasons to somehow guilt their readers about this or that – and one of the reasons why I no longer read it.
So when she claims someone is ‘the voice of our communal consciousness’, what she in fact means is the rather absurd version of ‘liberal’ consciousness that exists only in the pages of ‘The Guardian’. Nowhere else. She doesn’t mean ‘communal’ in the sense that might imply a shared set of values that we believe in. For one thing, there are so many different tribes that there is no one ‘we’ anymore, not that there ever was. Secondly, an individual may identify with any number of different tribes, and these tribes may have conflicting and contradictory values from each other.
I don’t know what she means by ‘the voice of our communal consciousness’. I don’t think we have one. I think ‘The Guardian’ would like it if we did, as long it met with their approval and was constantly updated by them. The irony is that people even think a ‘communal consciousness’ is a desirable thing, and not some sort of totalitarian groupthink and not the least bit ‘liberal’