Yes Maddy

But it leaves questions of belonging adrift. Does that matter? There\’s a middle-class mindset that stoutly proclaims a cosmopolitanism that \”we\’re all citizens of the world\”. We\’ve all been dazzled by an era of cheap, easy travel and it\’s made us greedy to see more and more places. We want novelty, not familiarity in a place; travel writing – with its self-aggrandising tales of adventure and discovery – has boomed. There\’s been a widespread assumption that in an age of mass tourism and mass migration, a sense of belonging is a concept which has passed its sell-by date.

But I think that is beginning to change, and different political and cultural agendas are feeding into a re-focusing on the geography of our lives. You can see it in every part of the political spectrum: both John Denham and David Cameron talk of localism as crucial to renewing political engagement. And these politicians are drawing on the work of many in local government who have been thinking and working on a \”sense of place\” to generate commitment, loyalty and neighbourliness.

The peasants are so much easier to control if they\’d just stay in one place, aren\’t they?

Why, under feudal law we even had the idea that if you could get out of your village, where you owed fealty (and a shitload of free labour) to the local Lord, made it to a town and then stayed there for a whole year, you were then free of your duties to your Lord.

Can\’t have that happening now, can we, people being able to throw off the shackles of \”community\” and be free.

5 thoughts on “Yes Maddy”

  1. Under feudalism you might have owed your lord a shio(?)tload of free labour, but it was never more than half the amount our current lords in government demand of us.

    There’s a lot to be said for feudalism.

  2. I think ‘localism’ will be the first step on the road to preventing people leaving the country. When the higher taxes start kicking in, and the true State of the nation’s economic circumstances are better known, a lot of wealthy middle class people will start to move out. If that flow became a flood that damaged tax revenues, I expect exchange controls initially, and at the extreme physical prohibition on leaving the country.

  3. Couple of things really. Firstly, I have some sympathy with the view that travel is too focused on “novelty”. This could be described as the “temples and minority peoples” tendency, where backpackers clutching their LP guide traipse over places completely unrepresentative of the countries they have supposedly come to understand, whereas seeking out their local equivalents and finding out how they live their lives is considerably more enlightening.

    Real “localism” I’m all in favour of, but to work the last 30 years have very clearly shown we need to ensure the responsibilities need to match the powers at the level they are exercised. Having a property based local tax that is a) unfair and b) cannot ever provide the level of funding required to cover the expense, thereby ensuring that central has to provide most of the money, cue endless crap about how it’s “not the council’s fault”

  4. “we need to ensure the responsibilities need to match the powers at the level they are exercised”

    I think a short sharp shock in socialism is all the education needed. If the people of Liverpool suffered the full consequences of electing someone like Derek Hatton then they might think twice about doing it again in the future. Better still, the rest of the voters in the UK might look to see what happens and not elect Derekalikes in their locale.

  5. KayTie,

    The desire of those on the alleged ‘right’ to inflict ‘short, sharp shocks’ is an integral part of what seems to be many British people’s desire to just kick the living shit out of anyone they perceive to be standing in their way. Tory conferences used to be choccers with angry people, their faces reddened in semi-articualte rage, just wanting to hang, whip and flog their neighbours’ children. It has not gone away; it is not an ideology, but a pathology; and it’s one of the best reasons I can think of why those who talk of ‘short, sharp shocks’ should be kept as far away from anything responsible as possible.


    Although Maudlin Grunting manages to botch what’s she’s trying to say, the freedom to move is meaningless when you have no freedom but to move.

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