Friday, 14 June 2019

The Public

In The Strange Death of Liberal England, Dangerfield observes that:

"'The public', of course, is a brittle expression which, the moment one examines it, offers to break into numberless fragments

I am grateful to him for making this point as, ever since I read it, I have been alert to the use of "the public" and find myself distrusting any document that contains it, as it is an indication that the writer lacks clarity in his or her thinking. 

Therefore, while lots of people I know have been impressed by this piece, for my part, having encountered "the public" being invoked in the very first paragraph, to quote Count Jenő Teleki, (one of Patrick Leigh Fermor's hosts in Between the Woods and the Water), "I ha'e ma doubts" 

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