Just a quick grumble about the way the concept of 'the people', which is a pet peeve of mine (cf. this), is already being used in this General Election campaign. I will try to be kind while I criticise.
The trigger for this particular grumble was Jeremy Corbyn's launch speech for Labour's campaign. There is lots that concerns me in this speech (when you read things like "the media and the establishment" being grouped together as the powerful enemy who "do not want us to win", you're sailing dangerously close to Trump territory). But the main complaint from me is the narrative of "the establishment versus the people". My question, as usual, is 'who are these people?' - and I suppose who are the establishment?
If we have to consider an election as an 'us vs. them' thing, which I don't accept by the way, it would be helpful to be more specific about who 'we' are. I mean, who are the people? Am I one of the people, or am I disqualified because of my political preferences? I sure don't feel like I'm the establishment... Or are 'the people' in this speech just those with left-leaning politics? Is it, perhaps, that I do belong to 'the people', but don't understand that my interests are not served by a Conservative government? Perhaps I don't know what I really 'will', and need to be re-educated. Perhaps 48% of the general public are not "the people", or perhaps they are the people deluded, who if only they understood would be enthusiastic socialists. That sort of idea has been advanced before.
Now, lest this be seen as partisan, I am well aware that the other side do the same thing. I expect a lot of talk about 'hard-working families' in the next few weeks, with its implicit setting up of slackers and others as 'the other'. I resent the idea that my left-leaning friends are against hard-work and family as much as I resent the idea that my right-leaning friends are part of, or at least supportive of, a secretive powerful cabal, a "cosy club" running the country for their own benefit.
Better rhetoric, please, everybody. A recognition that we can have different visions for society that aren't necessarily driven by self-interest. An understanding that we might all want the best for everyone, even though we disagree about what the best is or how to get it. Less 'us vs. them', more clarity on the concrete differences in policy and objectives, so that we can all choose representatives who reflect our understanding of the best society, in an informed way.