Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Rebuilding the Socialist Party 4

Yesterday I complained that the current generation of Socialist leaders is deficient in the art of politics and argued that education and experience had something to do with this. Today Libé reports that one prominent Socialist whose name I omitted, Martine Aubry, has made progress in developing a real rapport with the classes populaires of the city she leads as mayor, Lille. Aubry is an énarque and, as the daughter of Jacques Delors, to the manner born, yet one of her constituents says of her that she's becoming "more and more like Mauroy. You sense a kind of affection, you feel that she's from the region. At first she didn't come on that way, but little by little she's been making progress. Emotionally." Sur l'affectif. This is good to know. This is where the PS needs work. Aubry has been somewhat in eclipse at the national level, perhaps because she's been cultivating her garden in Lille. It may be that renewal will come from the local level, as the national leadership continues its fratricidal death spiral.*

*For an earlier and quite different view of her style as mayor of Lille, however, see this article from Le Figaro.


jeyi said...

I believe that it's "to the manor born", which you've misquoted here.

Orwell said never to use clichés at all in one's writing, but if you do, you should use them correctly. Or at least intentionally incorrectly, which might well be the instant case. But probably isn't.

Unknown said...

Dear Alan,
You make a common mistake:

Hamlet complains of the drunken carousing at Elsinore to his friend Horatio, who asks “Is it a custom?” Hamlet replies that it is and adds, “but to my mind,—though I am native here and to the manner born,—it is a custom more honour’d in the breach than the observance.”

“As if to the manner born” is used to praise someone’s skill: “Reginald drives the Maserati as if to the manner born” (as if he were born with that skill).

“To the Manor Born” was the punning title of a popular BBC comedy, which greatly increased the number of people who mistakenly supposed the original expression had something to do with being born on a manor. Perhaps because of the poetically inverted word order in “manner born” the expression tends to occur in rather snooty contexts. Nevertheless, the correct expression is “to the manner born.”

jeyi said...

Well I stand corrected. But I would have thought the manner/manor pun long-preceeded the BBC series, which indeed, Ihad never heard of before Googling "to the manor born", just before I sent off that wise-ass, and --sigh-- mistaken comment.

The Hamlet reference didn't come up, incidentally, at least in the first couple of pages..