Politics should be about allowing us to live our lives as well as possible within the circumstances of our time. For all its talk of the Big Society, the Coalition is in danger of forgetting about the importance of community. It’s not easy but in the present circumstances they need to walk a tightrope between two political narratives.
The first is what really matters in life – the mundane, the ordinary, the everyday. The thousand moments spent doing the things we enjoy with the people we live, work and socialise with.
The second is the macro vision of where we are going. What is the cumulative picture of these micro actions? What is the global context we face? And how do we meet its challenges?
Twitter and a 24-hour news cycle have of course tipped the balance in modern times towards the latter of these. We are constantly bombarded with earthquakes, wars, mining disasters, economic crises – all beyond our control and many even beyond our experience. This tension isn’t a new dilemma though.
Austen and Churchill, two bastions of conservative inspiration, were both there first. They lived during times of great turmoil with external threats to the curren