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Sources of contempt

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The other day Mrs H and I were on a walk which took us straight through a popular high moorland beauty spot. On a path leading away from the beauty spot we encountered a number of outsize people headed towards it on an afternoon stroll. After we had squeezed by them on the narrow path Mrs H quietly asked me if there was a car park nearby.

We had climbed all the way up from the valley so it was an obvious question. Those outsize folk must have been thirty or forty years younger than we are, but there was no way they had arrived via the same climb. Yes there was a nearby car park. Only roadside parking but it had to be there. We glanced at the parked cars then strode on towards the downhill and often muddy section of our walk. 

Stereotypes fall into place so easily and so often they are far from inaccurate. It is remarkable how much stereotyped contempt ordinary voters put up with from the media and ruling classes and the evidence of our own eyes tells us where some of it probably comes from.

Stereotypes reflect what we see around us because that’s where their value lies – and they do have value. Hence it is easy to see where the politics of contempt originates. Take the people we see in any town centre or shopping centre. Would we trust all the adults we see with important political decisions? The establishment doesn’t and unfortunately it is not difficult to see why.


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