DO ordinary people recognise themselves to be ordinary? Is there a set criteria?

From listening to media punditry over the past week or so, I have a creeping suspicion that I might not be ordinary and that revelation comes as somewhat a surprise.

Nary a segment on the Alex Salmond inquiry has passed without a pundit dropping in the observation that ordinary people simply aren't interested in the inquiry and its implications for Scottish civic life.

There are, goes this repeated assertion, too worried about the pandemic, unemployment, homelessness, the drugs crisis and so on. 

There's a very particular arrogance in presuming to speak for millions of disparate individuals and I strongly doubt its credible to attempt to do so.

If you've listened to any radio over the past week or tuned into any current affairs shows you'll have heard the oft-trotted line: the inquiry just isn't "cutting through" to the ordinary person.

The machinations at the heart of civic Scotland aren't really of interest to anyone outwith the political or media bubble, the line runs on.

It never seems to occur to anyone within the media bubble that we have a duty and responsibility to convey information to the public and if the public ain't interested then perhaps we're not fulfilling our duties. 

So far, the inquiry has involved complex, often dry, information with statements taken by witnesses who hold no platform in the public eye. It's not outrageous to assume that people were waiting for the big hitters - Alex Salmond and Nicola Sturgeon - to appear before investing the time and energy in digesting the information and forming a view.

Often, when a talking head opines about the ordinary person, they're doing it in a style that suggests they understand the ordinary person. 

It's hardly flattering, though, to suggest the common man can't be fussed with all this high faluting politics because they're too busy worrying about the material struggles of life. 

Is the suggestion that those of us within the media and political bubbles are extraordinary? I hope not, I haven't the energy. 

An IPSOS Mori poll yesterday demonstrated that the Salmond/Sturgeon clash is, in fact, cutting through with voters, ordinary voters, saying the affair is affecting their perception of the SNP. 

Firm narratives about ordinary people have become a common trope. 

During the first lockdown last year it was overwhelming to see local communities mobilised and organised to ensure that isolated elderly people would have their shopping delivered, shielders would have home cooked meals prepared, people without transport would have lifts to appointments and so on. 

There was a great, collective sweep into action that acknowledged inequalities and admitted to privilege. 

The irksome social media mantra #BeKind came into its own as the nation clapped on doorsteps and painted jolly stones to brighten up local walls and pavements.  

My Sunday morning bike ride through Pollok Park in Glasgow was a bright trip of strangers wishing perky 'Good mornings' as we trailed past routes of rainbows painted on to tree trunks. 

If the dominant narrative was to be accepted, the nation had suddenly awoken to the difficulties experienced from neighbour to neighbour; the relentless graft of the NHS had given us fresh pride in our fellow man; and Captain Tom Moore had given renewed respect and vigour to the elderly.

Whelp. If that was your thinks, you have another think coming. A new Kings College London study shows nearly half of people surveyed think people who lost jobs during the pandemic did so due to underperformance. 

It's the sort of take that makes Priti Patel's immigration attitude seem soft touch.

Interestingly, people questioned were most concerned about equality gaps relating to geographical areas.

They were far less concerned about inequality related to ethnicity or sex with a jaw dropping 13% saying that black people are more likely to be unemployed and earn less because they “lack motivation or willpower” 

I say "jaw dropping", of course, because I don't surround myself with people who think this way and so, to me, it genuinely is surprising that people don't mind seeing the inequality gaps between male and female or black and white yaw.

But they do want to see a narrowing between the fortunes of Kensington and Scunthorpe. Which, again, is why sweeping statement punditry is so pointless.    

If you read certain newspapers you would come to an arrival that the ordinary person has awoken to the reality of their neighbour's struggle yet arch individualism has persisted. “This analysis throws up the complexity of people’s view about inequalities,” said Paul Johnson, director of the Institute for Fiscal Studies. That it does.

Every time I hear someone on the radio casually referencing the savings they've made in lockdown I wish they would acknowledge all those who have no idea what they're on about.

If I was a pundit opining based on my own experience, I would say the majority are doing it tough. But there is plenty of evidence for the opposite case: according to the consultancy the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR), households built up an average of £7100 in lockdown savings.  

The Bank of England's Monetary Policy Committee was yesterday lamenting that the majority of households intend to hang on to their savings as lockdown eases, rather than going hammer and tong at the shops. 

The dull but correct take for all of this is that some people will have new found understanding of hardship; others won't give two hoots. Some will be luxuriating in working from home and others gagging to get back to the office. Some using foodbanks for the first time; some financial more secure. 

It hardly makes for gripping punditry but the upshot is that some people will be interested in some things and others interested in other things.

All of them have in common one thing: they are ordinary people. Or, if I may, people.