As part of the eulogy on a website – about a television personality who recently passed away, in the comments section, someone remarked about how intriguing it was that this person was born in the same era as a leading contemporary politician. The comparison was striking, because the deceased person seemed to be a lot more modern in her outlook than the political figure. What is the character trait that gave them such differing profiles?
Values have moved on since the days when they were both young, but as someone who was born not too long after them, I can identify that quality as something we used to describe as street credibility. In retrospect, it could seem rather quaint to regard such an outlook as being worthy of respect in some quarters, but it did make a difference to young adults of that era.
This could be defined as appearing to be in touch with the terminology of folks on a grass roots level, while also having the ability to function effectively in more formal settings. Anyone in the public eye who could combine those attributes with aplomb was regarded as admirable in those days.
Is this quality identifiable in the eyes of folks from following generations? It is hard to tell, but it still makes sense to the souls who thought it was important. At the heart of the Brexit saga is a feeling of disappointment that those who lack this attribute seem to be the ones calling all the shots in the debates, negotiations and making decisions on behalf of the UK.
Our bodies age and we all appear to be old fashioned or uncool on a superficial level after a point in time, but our internal lives are diverse and multifaceted. It would be facile to suggest that all the folks with street credibility are Remainers, but it would make a difference if more voices with that sensibility could be heard in the public domain as the clock ticks down to the exit.