The Guardian view on trend in politics: tips on how to rewrite the fashion information | Editorial

VIrginia Woolf pinned it to “on or about” December 1910: the date when human nature changed. “All human relationships have changed” She wrote. “And when human relationships change, religion, behavior, politics, and literature change at the same time.” With a little exaggeration, we could assume that Black America changed in the late 1950s – and not just with the Civil rights movement, but across the spectrum of creativity and behavior. Aspects of this revolution are well documented: the Birth of coolness in jazz; the writers Ralph Ellison, James Baldwin, Richard Wright. But some of the most mundane parts have been undervalued. Like clothes, for example.

Look at photos of black American men in the 1950s and 1960s, and what you notice is a coherence and a growing confidence in their looks. Here the saxophonist John Coltrane can be seen in a soft shoulder jacket and knitted tie, while here the writer Amiri Baraka can be seen in a button-down shirt and a cardigan with a shawl collar. The look is smart and yet casual – no thickly padded suits or repp striped ties here. As the college jackets and penny loafers suggest, it’s a style inspired by privileged white students at Ivy League colleges. You could even say it was appropriated – and then improved. The color palette is getting wider, the finishing touches are bolder: tie clips, collar pins, capped brogues. This look later becomes known as the Black ivy.

This uprising is featured in a new book entitled. documented and celebrated Black Ivy: A Revolt in Style. In his introduction, Jason Jules describes the look as “a kind of combat suit, a symbolic armor that is worn in the non-violent pursuit of fundamental change. Letting society treat them differently meant that the mainstream perceived them differently at first. ”Think of tenor saxophonist Sonny Rollins in a button-down shirt playing Freedom suite, or Billy Taylor composing in a tweed jacket I wish I knew what it would feel like to be free. The goal was not just to join the elite, but to redefine it.

However subtly done, the style was a challenge to authority. Dressing like a college student was not an affectation but a crucial part of the desegregation struggles in America’s educational system. After the murders of Martin Luther King and Malcolm X, the political mood changed – and so did street style. Stokely Carmichael went from working with John Lewis in sports jackets and ties to the leader of the Black Panthers in dark glasses and a black leather jacket, holding a rifle.

Miles Davis performs around 1959. Photo: Michael Ochs Archives / Getty Images

While the term “gesture politics” is always intended as an insult, we’re rewriting what counts as a political gesture: Just think of the squat controversy here and in the US. Historians have long argued that enslaved people and forced laborers resisted by dragging their feet or pretending that they did not understand the orders barked. Something similar has to happen with fashion, which is too often discussed as catwalk creations or January sales. But it can also be about expressing one’s self-image and beliefs. Black Ivy was about young black Americans who are changing the way they see themselves – starting with the mirror next to the cloakroom.

The Guardian view on Tory turbulence: an issue of substance not model | Editorial

There is a growing chorus in the Conservative Party calling for the Prime Minister to be less like Boris Johnson. That doesn’t mean MPs are ready to replace him, but his style, once valued for the campaign’s effectiveness, is now seen as ruling liability.

The disillusionment with the Prime Minister’s handling of the lobby scandal surrounding Owen Paterson and its aftermath was exacerbated by a empty, poorly delivered speech to business leaders on Monday. Hostile briefings within the government have created the impression of profound dysfunction at the top.

Such things are often signs of a regime in ultimate decline, but not always. Mr Johnson is a resilient politician whose appeal to voters does not depend on qualities valued by Westminster veterans. A chaotic digression on the subject Peppa Pig where there should have been an economic strategy was not an uncommon unprofessional mistake. Clowning is Mr. Johnson’s calling. It has worked for him before, which is why the Tory Party made him its leader.

It is insincere from conservative to complain now about a method of government which was the inevitable consequence of the transfer of power to a responsible allergy sufferer. Asking whether Mr Johnson underperforms compared to his usual standard raises the wrong question. It creates problems of immense concern – the lack of a credible plan for “leveling”; systemic tolerance of corruption – subordinate to Westminster’s fixation on political theater.

The practice of MPs taking second jobs, for example, or the pattern of Tory donors taking seats in the House of Lords, goes back long before Mr Johnson’s administration. This week it became known that David Cameron was successful Lobbying at the Lloyds Banking Group to reverse a decision to sever ties with Greensill Capital – a financial firm that had established close ties with Downing Street and then employed the former prime minister after his retirement. The contact person at Lloyds was a peer, a former Tory treasurer who had donated millions to the party and whom Mr Cameron had himself ennobled in 2015.

It is absurd that the seats in the British legislature should be so divided. The blurring of the lines between government, party funding and the private sector is discrediting British democracy. If Mr. Johnson’s inept handling of a case resulted in the whole cheesy contraption being scrutinized, he will pervertly have been doing some sort of public service. When Conservative MPs are angry with their leader for making them vulnerable to this scrutiny, they are more likely to overlook the point about his moral and administrative misconduct.

When asked if Leveling Up is more than a slogan, Tory worries them Shortening of high-speed rail schedules for northern England might as well address the Chancellor as it does the Prime Minister. It is Rishi Sunak’s adherence to restrictive budgetary discipline that is holding back Mr Johnson’s more generous impulses.

The same could reasonably be expected from defects in the Health and social security billwhat a substantial Back bench rebellion earlier this week. The proposed bill is inconsistent with Tory’s election pledges to protect homeowners from having to cash their assets in paying care benefits. One such No. 10 betrayal is a joint venture with the Treasury Department.

It is hardly surprising that Mr Johnson’s disorderly behavior causes problems for his MPs. The blame lies with them for collaborating on the fiction that he was a suitable candidate to run the country. The Tories were happy when his incompetence was more competently masked. Mr. Johnson is not the cause of conservative problems. His leadership is a symptom of a deeper decline in the party.