Can we guess who the Sage of Ely is referring to here?

The article noted that the list includes:

Politics and the civil service (the cabinet, Scottish and Welsh devolved administration ministers and the mayors, leaders and CEOs of selected English councils).
Business and professional services (including FTSE 100 CEOs and the heads of law, accountancy, advertising, consulting and publishing firms).
Policing, defence and the judiciary.
Media (editors of newspapers and lifestyle magazines and heads of the TV broadcasters).
Education (vice-chancellors of the 50 top universities).
Sport (premier league managers and heads of sporting bodies).
Arts bodies.
Health (CEOs and chairs of the 50 largest NHS trusts by admissions).
I have to say that I simply do not accept the premise that these are the most powerful people in the country, let alone the elite. It is many years ago that my mentor during my teenage years (although neither he nor I would have recognised the term or that relationship at the time) told me that if I wanted to change the world (and I think he’ perceived, quite correctly, that I did) then I should be a poet. And if not a poet then a writer. The last thing I should be, he said, was a politician. They were invariably, he said, at best the interpreters of other people’s ideas, always destined to fall short of anyone’s hopes in the process. It was the poet who inspired the vision, and that was where the real lay, and not with the administrator.

But the administrator is exactly the type of person that this power list includes. There are the arts administrators, but not the artists. The politicians, but not the political philosophers. The business advisers but not the business people. The editors, but not the columnists.

This is not then the elite of this country. It may be the power brokers. It may be the holders of the purse strings. And I am not surprised by the lack of ethnic diversity in that group. But let’s not confuse these people with the elite. They have a certain sort of power. But not much of the sort that changes things, or leaves legacies; let alone the type that delivers recall of lives well lived.

I don’t dispute we need good administrators. But let’s not confuse them with the elite, please. They’re something quite different.

The people who stare out of the window and invent country by country reporting, they are the elite. The civil society columnists who strive mightily to pass the log of reform past society’s sphincter deserve the very best as that elite.

Of course.

Vermine and trebles are nothing less than what is deserved, no?

33 comments on “Can we guess who the Sage of Ely is referring to here?

  1. I suppose one should be grateful that he steered clear of poetry but is nonetheless a member of the Elyte.

  2. Tim, do you think that Snippa’s post about stories he did not write about last week was inspired by your displacement activity?

  3. Snippa did post once about the kind of poetry he liked. It read like an impoverished version of Billy Bragg – impoverished in the sense that the lack of subtlety and poetic craft was even more evident. It seemed that he likes reading it to his children.

    Surely the creator of the Fair Tax Mark deserves a gong?

  4. Given the legion examples of turgid doggerel with which Murphy assaults the web every day, I imagine his poetry would make William Topaz McGonagall seem like the Bard of Avon.

  5. “It is many years ago that my mentor during my teenage years (although neither he nor I would have recognised the term or that relationship at the time)”

    Not a ‘mentor’ then.

    Groomer?
    Indoctrinator?
    Substitute father-figure?
    Imaginary friend (in the absence of real ones, I’d imagine)?
    Psychiatrist?
    Warden?

  6. ‘In political and sociological theory, the elite (French élite, from Latin eligere) are a small group of powerful people that control a disproportionate amount of wealth, privilege or political power in a society.’ – Wikipaedia

    Add ‘elite’ to the list of words of which Murphy doesn’t know the meaning.

    He creates straw men out of his ignorance of the language.

  7. Basically anyone who isn’t Richard Murphy isn’t Richard Murphy’s idea of an important person.

    What a self-important smug little twat.

  8. This did make me spit out my tea…

    ‘hey have a certain sort of power. But not much of the sort that changes things, or leaves legacies; let alone the type that delivers recall of lives well lived.’

    Does he honestly think that his beliefs or published works will survive beyond his lifetime. I do not think he has even been invited to the Labour conference due to his spat with Mcdonnell. His recent utterances have placed him ever further into the territory occupied by the tin foil hat brigade. He might command the same level of attention as a Houston Stewart Chamberlain when the history of bad political ideas comes to be written but to be honest he isn’t even that coherent. Lasting legacy? BWHAHAHAHAHAH

  9. I would love to read some of Murphy’s poetry.

    But who is it who has the dreadful responsibility of having been the teenage Murphy’s “mentor”?

  10. I suppose one should be grateful that he steered clear of poetry but is nonetheless a member of the Elyte.

    Well yes, we can all be thankful he avoided poetry. If only more of today’s poets would follow his example.

    But, having seen him recently in the flesh, I very much doubt he’s a member of the Elyte.

  11. I imagine he gave up on the idea of becoming a poet when he discovered the works of EJ Thribb and he realised he would never surpass them.

  12. Oh, I didn’t realise that you wrote poetry
    I didn’t realise you wrote such bloody awful poetry, Mr. Murphy

    Frankly, Mr. Murphy, since you ask
    You are a flatulent pain in the arse
    I do not mean to be so rude
    Still, I must speak candidly, Mr. Murphy

    Oh, give us your money !

  13. Well he’s got a point about administrators versus actors in the case of football managers. They’ve got an interesting and rewarding job but its not powerful. They get sacked at the drop of the hat. The footballers have far more power.

  14. Richard: I would love to read some of Murphy’s poetry.

    Somehow
    When I visit Dachau
    Everything I see
    Makes me think of me.

  15. ‘Poets are the unacknowledged legislators of the world’ – Shelley, another self-important twat and political ignoramus, who did at least have a talent for poetry. We can dream of Murphy going sailing in bad weather, I suppose.

  16. My objective is quite clear
    Britain the new North Korea
    My statue built in every town
    Before it you must all bow down
    Or you ‘ll be up against the wall
    The first one shot will be Worstall
    But I think it’s really queer
    That no one will make me a peer

  17. The last thing I should be, he said, was a politician.

    Too bad about that, because Murphy has the requisite requirements: Stupidity, ignorance, unwarranted self-regard, lack of empathy, and a lust for power over others.

  18. It is many years ago that my mentor during my teenage years told me that if I wanted to change the world then I should be a poet. And if not a poet then a writer.

    Well, then how the fuck did you end up a half-assed accountant?

    Did your poems always start with “There once was a man from Nantucket”?

  19. I made the mistake of watching the oleaginous, sweaty, porky panjandrum of a tw@t pontificating at the Scottish parliamentary hearing, apparently full of his own preening self-importance.

    Enough to make one heave.

  20. Can you imagine anyone sitting down beside an adolescent boy and advising him to be a writer or poet if he wanted to change the world? Can you imagine anyone advising a youth to become a politician?

    From my experience, people who wanted to write, wrote. They did not wait for careers’ advice. Similarly for those who wanted to be musicians. For such vocations, you need a gift. It is not enough for someone to advise you to become a writer and for those who have stuck to their calling I have nothing but respect. They could, for the most part, have earned much more money by doing something else but they chose not to do it and stuck at it.

    Snippa obviously has minimal writing skills. Why would anyone have advised him to become a writer, unless it was a piss take?

    Similarly, politicians are born. They are the ones who want to exercise power over others. The ones who will say or do anything to get you on their side. And again, looking at classmates who did go into politics or officialdom, they were drawn naturally to those callings. No advice necessary.

    I call bullshit on Snippa’s anecdote.

  21. Dio

    I think Murphy was initially treated with openness and curiosity by the MSPs and other attendees, turning into bemusement and mild incredulity, and then as the prof started to wallow deeper and deeper into his own paranoid fantasy world, they ended up rather ignoring his presence – surely the most damning treatment of an “expert”.

    Not an impressive appearance at all really, apart from the typical Murphy bluster.

  22. Ode to a Small Venn Diagram I Found In My Armpit One Midsummer Morning.

    This is exactly the sort of guff that a no-hoper would tell a no-hoper. “Poets are the unacknowledged legislators of the world,” as that tiresome arse Shelley wrote before his little nautical contretemps. It wasn’t true then; it’s never been true. But I bet every halfway-serious scribbler of doggerel has comforted himself at some point thinking it was true.

  23. The survey proves Reagan’s (I think) adage:

    “It’s not that Socialists know nothing, it’s that they know so much that isn’t so”

  24. Bravefart – that was also my impression. They looked really bored when he made that bizarre claim that Jersey has better financial data than Scotland

  25. I made the mistake of commenting on his Uber post. He selectively edits out the points and questions that are inconvenient and then answers the remainder without context.

    That’s a mental health indicator, if you think about it; a desire to be seen to be winning whilst knowing you’ve had to rig the deck.

  26. Some splendid stuff in this thread, but TMB – that was ruddy marvellous!

    Tom Lehrer would, I feel sure, be proud of that poetastical flourish.

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