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Have we been barking up the wrong tree?

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Have we been barking up the wrong tree?

Post by Ivan on Sat Jan 02, 2016 12:40 am

Among others, Richard Dawkins and Sam Harris frequently present reasoned and rational arguments which show not only the absurdity of much of religion, but also the inaccuracy of those stories which can be checked. For example, isn’t it a ridiculous idea that, for a census, the Romans would have required Joseph to go to a city where an ancestor had lived 1,000 years earlier? And if Jesus was really born of a virgin, wouldn’t Joseph’s ancestry be irrelevant to the Christian story? Then there’s the fact that there was a census, but it was in 6AD, long after Herod’s death.

Most of those who are religious remain unconvinced by such points. Whether through childhood indoctrination, cultural pressure, or maybe because of what they think was a personal experience of God, they continue to believe stories which don’t stand up to scrutiny. Why? Because for them, their emotions count for more than facts. And perhaps that also applies to many people’s political affiliations.

A good lawyer will always know and understand the arguments presented by his or her adversaries, and to be effective the same must be true of those who dabble in politics. I know that I have a weakness because I really can’t understand what makes so many people vote for right-wing political parties, when to do so is clearly not in their best interests. As Nye Bevan asked: “How can wealth persuade poverty to use its political freedom to keep wealth in power? That's the whole art of Tory politics”.

So why do people vote Tory? They can’t all be nasty and uncaring or even stupid; there’s more to it than John Stuart Mill’s observation that "Conservatives are not necessarily stupid, but most stupid people are conservatives". There are snobs; I’ve known people in very working class areas who felt superior if they identified themselves with the party of wealth and privilege. There are those who swallow relentless media propaganda, especially the false perceptions created about such topics as immigration and the extent of benefit fraud. There are those who feel that the internationalist aspect of left-wing politics isn’t patriotic, but who seem oblivious to Tory governments selling the fabric of the state to foreign companies. There are those who don’t accept that there is widespread poverty, homelessness and foodbank use unless they see it for themselves. And there will be some who just don’t care, and they’ll support the Tories if they can have a penny or two off income tax, even if they end up paying more for certain services and extra in VAT.

Ronald Reagan didn’t bother with facts and details, but he was a successful politician, partly through media backing of course, and partly because he made people feel good. Al Gore was a smart and highly intelligent candidate for US president who did do facts by the bucketload, but he lost to the knucklehead George W. Bush. (Gore did actually win more votes and was robbed of the presidency by Supreme Court judges appointed by Bush’s father, but that’s a story for another time and place.) In the UK, Boris Johnson has hid his odious personality and endless broken promises (such as over fire station closures and ending homelessness in London), but he’s been successful because he’s amused people with his bumbling, clown-like image.

Tories don’t worry too much about facts, they just create impressions which Rupert Murdoch and others are happy to reinforce. Cameron must surely be the most prolific liar ever to occupy 10 Downing Street, yet enough voters fell for his deceptions a second time; never have so many lies been told to so many by so few. Why? The journalist Owen Jones explains: “What the Tories understand is that politics is as much about sentiments and emotions as anything else. They excel at distorting perceptions rather than dealing in actual realities. To believe that politics is conducted solely at the level of reason is to lose.”

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Are those of us on the left wasting our time when we try to present reasoned arguments to all those Tory lies and distortions? Should we just be concentrating on how people feel? The SNP has prospered by provoking feelings of nationalism, as did UKIP for a while. The astonishing rise of Jeremy Corbyn, and his landslide win in the Labour leadership election, has occurred at least in part because he awakened feelings of hope, the prospect of something different, while his rivals were perceived as offering more of the same.

So have we been barking up the wrong tree? Religions and right-wingers get their support from how they make people feel, rather than from facts and arguments; can we learn from them? Without wishing to suggest that we all emulate Cameron and become more economical with the truth, should we be placing greater emphasis on what makes people feel positive?
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Re: Have we been barking up the wrong tree?

Post by boatlady on Sat Jan 02, 2016 11:05 am

One of the ideas about left-wing politics that has enormous currency and which acts as a barrier is the notion that left wingers are always trying to impose their ideas on everyone else and spoil everyone's fun - we tend to be thought of as the kill-joys of the political world, with our political correctness and our banging on about fairness etc.

Some years ago, I was I thought having a debate about ideas with a group of my peers - you know, where you say what you think ,back it up with some arguments and facts then stand back and wait for the counter-argument. What I got instead was to be accused of 'telling people off', 'trying to impose my lefty views' - I was told to 'get a life' - all very upsetting, but that's not the point here.

What seemed to be happening was that my mostly sensible comments (racist humour isn't really funny as it tends to dehumanise the subject, which can lead to racially motivated crime) were not being attended to - what the group were responding to in a very aggressive manner was the fact that they were being asked to think and maybe challenge some of their assumptions - only that.

I didn't say I thought anyone was wrong, didn't call anyone any names - only asked if they would like to join with me in a thought experiment of taking a fresh look at some everyday assumptions - and I was exposed to some quite aggressive verbal abuse.

Recently re-encountered a member of the same group and suggested to him Ivan's point above I’ve known people in very working class areas who felt superior if they identified themselves with the party of wealth and privilege. - his immediate response was to take personal offence, accuse me of 'talking bollocks' and storm off. Another one off the Christmas card list, so not a total loss.

I think maybe one of the things that Blair got right was to 'spin' the Labour message so that it was finally seen as attractive to those who traditionally vote Tory - where he went wrong, maybe, was that the 'spin' took over from the substance of the message - and he began to see himself as someone who could do no wrong.

If we could find a way of making equality of opportunity, fair distribution of wealth, a supportive State and the inevitable consequent loss of obscene wealth for the 1% seem sexy and thrilling, I'm sure we'd have a Labour landslide. Ivan is right to point out that there's definitely a groundswell of support for Labour based on an emotional response to Corbyn, who is generally seen as a decent bloke who will do his best to represent the real interests of British citizens - I should know- I'm part of it - what we now need is for the strategic and political thinkers in the party to come up with popular campaign messages that honestly embrace those ideas of fairness, equality and proper social inclusion and give us some great doorstep slogans - come on Phil et al - stop sniping, get on board and lets make this thing work.
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Re: Have we been barking up the wrong tree?

Post by Redflag on Sat Jan 02, 2016 11:24 am

Boatlady as usual Ivan is spot on & I hope some one at the top of the Labour party comes on to Cutting Edge and reads both of your posts.      I did not vote for Jermy Corbyn but will defend his right to lead the Labour party as 85% of Labour membership voted for him to lead the Labour party.

I have always been very Proud to be a LEFTY let others open their mouths and let their belly rumble about if they want, those that want Tory Lite let them cross the floor and join the Tories where they belong.
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Re: Have we been barking up the wrong tree?

Post by Claudine on Sat Jan 02, 2016 3:10 pm

This is a fascinating and somewhat disturbing question, Ivan and one which provokes real thought.

In the run-up to the election, Rachel Reeves visited my city and I received an invitation to attend. It was a small group of people and we were told that she just wanted to hear our stories. I had obviously never met her before but had seen her on TV and to me, she came across as a little cold. As usual, I decided not to speak but to listen. I should say at this point that after I had the strokes, my speech can become a little erratic when I'm nervous or tired - I sound as if I've been drinking or as if I have a heavy stammer. So that explains why I usually stay silent in public.

As people were telling her their stories, I watched Ms Reeve and I saw her doing her 'I'm listening, I care' thing and suddenly I was asked to speak. I looked across at my husband who simply nodded and so I tentatively began and I told her what had happened to me. I told her of ATOS medicals, of DWP brown letters, of being told that I was fit to work when clearly I never will be. And a strange thing happened. Her cold, closed demeanour melted away and she had tears rolling down her cheek and the next minute I was crying. She got up, sat next to me and she put her arms around me and said it would be alright.

The point to this embarrassing story (!) is that she had heard others tell their stories but whilst being sympathetic, she didn't actually engage until she heard me struggle to tell mine and then break down in front of her. The story had to get real to make her pay attention and FEEL what I had gone through.

So getting back to your question, Ivan - ice melts near a flame. Sometimes, the heat of emotion is the only way through. Sometimes, the harsh reality of what is happening to people unlucky enough to be nowhere near a silver spoon needs to be out there.
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Re: Have we been barking up the wrong tree?

Post by Phil Hornby on Sat Jan 02, 2016 3:45 pm

"...should we be placing greater emphasis on what makes people feel positive?"

A really intelligent and thoughtful piece as always, Ivan.

I tend to the view that many people who should never vote Tory do so ,not because the Tories make them feel actively positive, but because the Tories are able , with the help of much of the media, to make their opponents look negative. Accordingly, Joe Ordinary feels even less comfortable with a Daily Mail-induced image of Corbyn ( or Miliband etc etc) than he does with the Sun-polished view of Cameron & Co., irrespective of policies.

As I have said before many times - Blair knew how to win even if the end product was not to everyone's taste. He slipped in by imitating a Tory-style feelgood while eventually making strides towards decent socialist policies and principles.

The people won't elect Corbyn for the same reason that even if Manchester City were to eclipse all their neighbour's success , for so many they still won't have the cachet of United...
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Re: Have we been barking up the wrong tree?

Post by boatlady on Sat Jan 02, 2016 4:18 pm

The people won't elect Corbyn for the same reason that even if Manchester City were to eclipse all their neighbour's success , for so many they still won't have the cachet of United...

And maybe, just a little bit, because those who have the gift for communicating in an amusing style that will capture the public imagination prefer to sneer from the sidelines and make themselves look clever at the expense of the likes of Corbyn and Milliband - United is preferred at least in part because they get the good headlines and have the wealthy sponsors to enable them to BUY the good players - didn't William Booth say - why should the Devil have all the good tunes?
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Re: Have we been barking up the wrong tree?

Post by Phil Hornby on Sat Jan 02, 2016 4:31 pm

"... prefer to sneer from the sidelines..."

Such as who...?
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Re: Have we been barking up the wrong tree?

Post by oftenwrong on Sat Jan 02, 2016 6:06 pm

"Whom" in that context, Phil, but you love to tease us pedants, or should that be "we" peasants? I'm never quite sure.
 
Have we been barking up the wrong tree?
An excellent topic with which to kick off intelligent discussion in a New Year which may hopefully prove more prosperous than the preposterous 2015.

I have the full answers of course but was sworn to secrecy by the Religious Politico who imparted them to me under the 30-year rule of shtum.

To thine own self be true ( Polonius in Act I Scene III of Hamlet) is probably the best I can offer for the time being.

Let's see how the debate continues.
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Re: Have we been barking up the wrong tree?

Post by Phil Hornby on Sat Jan 02, 2016 6:19 pm

"Whom" in that context

Sloppy usage , indeed!*

I shall punish myself by watching a re-run of Cameron's 2015 Conference Speech while looking intently at a picture of Lady Thatcher.

But not just yet, eh? Shocked

( * although some would argue that we are talking about the 'normal' as opposed to the 'formal)
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Re: Have we been barking up the wrong tree?

Post by boatlady on Sat Jan 02, 2016 8:14 pm

Many clever people are preferring to stand aside and sneer from the sidelines - I would like to see everyone who pretends to socialist sympathies putting aside for the present any reservations they may have about Corbyn and giving their wholehearted support to the party - what, after all, could be worse than the current government?

Ivan is right - a positive message, even if based on emotion rather than fact, is more likely to get people on board - so I guess the trick will be to appeal to the emotions while not losing sight of facts and principles - and the starting place for that will be to find witty, interesting and simple things to say to voters that will convince them to vote Labour - The people won't elect Corbyn doesn't quite fit the bill - it's simple enough, appeals to prejudice and emotional response, but I guess isn't likely to promote a positive image for Labour - or to do anything to counteract the Tory stranglehold on the media
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Re: Have we been barking up the wrong tree?

Post by Phil Hornby on Sat Jan 02, 2016 8:52 pm


I don't post on here to support or promote anyone; I simply express a view - obviously not universally popular - and seek to articulate just how much I detest Tory politicians and their supporters.

The continuing failure of Labour to make any real political headway will be down to one thing : its own shortcomings in not having the right people, in the right positions, saying the right things.

But it's tough when the facts don't fit the aspirations...
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Re: Have we been barking up the wrong tree?

Post by Ivan on Sun Jan 03, 2016 12:11 am

It can also be tough when facts are misleading.......  Shocked

Thatcher closed more grammar schools than any other education secretary.”
True, but she was rubber-stamping decisions which in effect had been made by local government, in the days when it was much more powerful than now.

Wilson closed more coal mines than Thatcher.”
Also true, but there were more pits in his day and he closed small, unproductive ones in areas where there was alternative employment. Thatcher closed large, viable pits which had often provided the only source of work in a community.

Tony Blair won three successive elections.”
The Tories lost the 1997 election on 16 September 1992, otherwise known as ‘Black Wednesday’, when the pretence of their economic competence was exposed as nonsense; that was nearly two years before Tony Blair became Labour leader. Polls and local election results in early 1994, shortly before John Smith’s sudden death, suggested that Labour was well on course to win 400 seats in the next general election. Blair did win three times in a row, while the Tories were struggling to get their act together, but the Labour vote fell by four million between the first and the last of those victories.

The intention of this thread is to see if we can learn from the Tories’ successful campaign methods, not to follow them and their policies further and further to the right on the basis of the media-inspired premise that Labour is ‘unelectable’ if it doesn’t do so. Looking back over the past sixty years, I can’t see any discernible pattern. Gaitskell, Callaghan and Brown led Labour to defeats from the right, Blair led Labour to victories from the right. Wilson won from the left, Foot lost from the left. Kinnock (twice) and Miliband lost while trying to lead from the centre of the party.

My thinking is that left or right isn’t the issue which resonates with most voters, but how people are made to feel. In my opinion, the other important point is to have a clear, simple and positive message and to repeat it as often as possible.
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Re: Have we been barking up the wrong tree?

Post by Redflag on Sun Jan 03, 2016 10:00 am

Phil Hornby wrote:The continuing failure of Labour to make any real political headway will be down to one thing : its own shortcomings in not having the right people, in the right positions, saying the right things.


PH I do not see you deriding those Labour MPs that have that have had faces like thunder since Jeremy Corbyn WON the leadership election, elected by 85% of Labour members not just the £3.00 mob who most of them actually joined the Labour party AFTER JC was elected, even the FB Union has returned and supported the Labour party after leaving and staying away for 20 years.

Let me explain what will happen if some of the Labour MPs make a move to remove JC from his job of leadership there will be NO Labour party because most of the Labour party membership would leave the Labour party and that includes ME, I did not vote for JC but will defend his right to lead the party because the majority of the L/P did vote for him.  The only reason for those Labour MPs have got their backs up is the candidate they supported did not win and I was stupid enough to vote for one of them, but one of them sounded just like a Tory and in my eyes that would not be voting for them why have a substitute when you can have the real thing a blue Tory.
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Re: Have we been barking up the wrong tree?

Post by oftenwrong on Sun Jan 03, 2016 11:50 am

The title of this topic engages the attention of readers because it cannot plausibly be answered with a “yes” or “no” response. Indeed it invites a comprehensive rejoinder, beginning perhaps with “define tree”, as there are so many trees. We might attach a notice at eye level which says “tree”. But scientific rigour obliges the researcher to note that there are features such as leaves, branches, fruit, blossom, flowers, nuts or pinecones etcetera on this “tree” so perhaps we should amend the notice to read specifically tree-trunk. Actually, more helpful to an understanding of the original question would be a label that simply said “Politics” because that is what’s central to the discussion.

That clarification opens the mind to wonder whether it is sufficient to talk about politics as some entity complete in itself, separate from the rest of human activity. Obviously it is not. Remember all those branches and leaves and .. and.. etceteras that may affect the outcome. In Ivan’s preamble we read, “Are those of us on the left wasting our time when we try to present reasoned arguments to all those Tory lies and distortions? Should we just be concentrating on how people feel?”


So let’s indeed concentrate then on how people feel. Though it may be sensible to begin by examining the things which affect the way people feel. On a general level the greatest impact on our thinking and behaviour comes from ADVERTISING. Madison Avenue very early on learned to sell us “the-sizzle-not-the-sausage”. Illusion is all. A better life is instantly available to you and your loved ones if you just purchase …. Whatever it is they are trying to sell you, which includes political messaging. The Tories are stronger in that department because you won’t encounter many left-wing advertising agencies and Party donors already understand the point involved.

The other obvious factor is personal well-being. You can’t feel very good about yourself if life is a constant struggle to make ends meet, but the opposite applies if there’s a sound roof over your head, food on the table and money in the bank, which tends to make people conservative with a small ‘c’ as well as with a large one. Such folk are not primarily looking to change society. But they are not in the majority. The monied class will always be out-numbered by The Poor, so the over-simplified answer must be to mobilise the votes of those less fortunate in order achieve and maintain Socialist policies.

Motivation.

(Someone else might wish to post something at this point)
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Re: Have we been barking up the wrong tree?

Post by Phil Hornby on Sun Jan 03, 2016 12:35 pm

There is no shortage of theories of motivation from Herzberg and Maslow onwards. One of the first lessons is that a satisfied need is not a motivator.

Making people feel good about themselves is a key principle and if they are put off Labour or any of its personalities by a hostile media then there is clearly much work to be done to make them feel content to stop voting for a Conservative Party which is endlessly presented as 'sizzling' by a compliant Press...
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Re: Have we been barking up the wrong tree?

Post by oftenwrong on Sun Jan 03, 2016 7:35 pm

Speaking of a "compliant Press", did you know that "Isis" and "The Somme" are connected?
In today’s Sunday Times there is a choice example of the way that a good journalist can present historical facts in a way which alters the way in which they had generally been comprehended hitherto.

The article by Andrew Roberts begins with a topical attack on the motivation of the “Isis” caliphate’s claim to be fighting to erase the border between Iraq and Syria because it was “man-made” by the French and British in 1916. They’ve apparently got it all wrong because the plan was hatched by Russian Bolsheviks and not actually put in place until after the War was over. Issue is then taken with the ungrateful Irish whose Marxist revolutionaries staged the Easter Uprising of 1916, when they only had to wait until the end of the war to get the Independence they wanted. “Australian Anglophobia” was a misunderstanding over Winston Churchill’s handling of Gallipoli.|

Awesome reporting.

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Re: Have we been barking up the wrong tree?

Post by Redflag on Mon Jan 04, 2016 12:14 pm

Phil Hornby wrote:Making people feel good about themselves is a key principle and if they are put off Labour or any of its personalities by a hostile media then there is clearly much work to be done to make them feel content to stop voting for a Conservative Party which is endlessly presented as 'sizzling' by a compliant Press...

I agree PH in regards to a compliant press which the Tories have in their back pockets, also the TV media both BBC & Sky are getting from Tory HQ what to report and what presenters must say and the reason they are all obeying orders varies, from not wanting to lose their tax breaks to being threatened.
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Smell the coffee

Post by oftenwrong on Wed Jan 06, 2016 11:40 am

Phil Hornby wrote:There is no shortage of theories of motivation from Herzberg and Maslow onwards. One of the first lessons is that a satisfied need is not a motivator.

Making people feel good about themselves is a key principle ...

Motivation then provided through information.  If people don’t know which side their bread is buttered then it  is necessary to inform them.  There are various ways which are not indoctrination but which nevertheless lead people to decide for themselves that “not voting” means that there is nobody else to blame for an unsatisfactory government. Charities may be a way to energise people through education. Food Banks and the like provide a friendly interface at a particularly relevant moment.

It is important to recognise that the power of women to “humanise” government has not been tapped sufficiently, despite the fact that most of the families who are in the greatest need have no adult male in the household.  There must be sympathetic ways to politicise vulnerable people so that they realise that they actually do have an ability to influence matters which are of a direct concern to them.

How can that best be done?
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Re: Have we been barking up the wrong tree?

Post by Redflag on Thu Jan 07, 2016 11:11 am

boatlady wrote:Many clever people are preferring to stand aside and sneer from the sidelines - I would like to see everyone who pretends to socialist sympathies putting aside for the present any reservations they may have about Corbyn and giving their wholehearted support to the party - what, after all, could be worse than the current government?

Good post boatlady with which I agree with your theory, Ed Miliband was to the right of the Labour party and people (Labour voters included) would not vote for him they preferred to vote Ukip ect.   Maybe some time soon those same Labour MPs will tel us what the FCUK they want, I can only offer my own opinion and it is as follows they want to see the end of the Labour party so that they can set up a party that is the same as Tory Ukip I only hope they know they will be out of office for ETERNITY.
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Re: Have we been barking up the wrong tree?

Post by Ivan on Tue Jan 19, 2016 10:40 pm

Labour's travails are part of a global problem

An article by Ed Wallis (editorial director of the Fabian Society)

In Spain, Germany and the UK, the centre-right has fared better in recent elections than the centre-left. The core problem here is that, unlike their rivals, parties of the left are required to excite as well as reassure.

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Re: Have we been barking up the wrong tree?

Post by oftenwrong on Tue Jan 19, 2016 10:47 pm

It seems to help if the Party's Leadership presents well on TV. The reverse is evidently also true.
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Re: Have we been barking up the wrong tree?

Post by oftenwrong on Fri Jan 22, 2016 10:34 am

A Charity-worker commented at the weekend that if you want to get people to behave differently there's no point in just telling them they are wrong to do what they're doing. What works is to present the desired alternative as cool, sexy and rewarding. Like influencing government through the ballot-box as an alternative to apathy.

It's a variation on the "sell the sizzle" theory, but has direct application to Labour's long road back from the outer darkness of apparently eternal opposition.
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Re: Have we been barking up the wrong tree?

Post by Redflag on Fri Jan 22, 2016 11:40 am

oftenwrong wrote:It seems to help if the Party's Leadership presents well on TV.  The reverse is evidently also true.

So what your saying is that people want SPIN in place of policy ?
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Re: Have we been barking up the wrong tree?

Post by oftenwrong on Sat Jan 23, 2016 2:21 pm

What the people respond to is a pretty face, Redflag.  US President Reagan was previously a Hollywood film star in such epics as "Bedtime for Bonzo".  Portugal goes to the polls tomorrow to elect a new President, and the front-runner is Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, a television talk-show host.  You will also recall that the SNP has gained strength since its change of leader.

People baffled by "Politics" will sometimes take refuge in making a decision which is easier for them - who's the better-looking candidate?. Such attitudes did not help Ed Miliband in the last election. Though his physical appearance should not have been a factor, I think it was. Stupid, but true.
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Re: Have we been barking up the wrong tree?

Post by Phil Hornby on Sat Jan 23, 2016 2:35 pm

The 'halo effect' has been a curse for managers recruiting staff since time began.

In a country which sees so may people addicted to the likes of X-Factor and Celebrity Big Brother, who can be surprised that the nation can only be won over by a skilfully-constructed political message and branding which plays to the often ill-considered beliefs of the populous   populace*.

[/strike]That is what could well 'do' for the Corbynieri...

* ( see me - could do better...)


Last edited by Phil Hornby on Sat Jan 23, 2016 3:02 pm; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : inability to spell ...)
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Re: Have we been barking up the wrong tree?

Post by oftenwrong on Sat Jan 23, 2016 2:41 pm

What's a homophone? It's a pair of words with different meaning that sound alike when spoken. Like "populace".
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Re: Have we been barking up the wrong tree?

Post by Phil Hornby on Sat Jan 23, 2016 2:57 pm

It didn't look 'right' when I typed it.

Mainly because it wasn't...! Embarassed
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Re: Have we been barking up the wrong tree?

Post by Redflag on Sat Jan 23, 2016 5:20 pm

oftenwrong wrote:What the people respond to is a pretty face, Redflag.  US President Reagan was previously a Hollywood film star in such epics as "Bedtime for Bonzo".  Portugal goes to the polls tomorrow to elect a new President, and the front-runner is Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, a television talk-show host.  You will also recall that the SNP has gained strength since its change of leader.

People baffled by "Politics" will sometimes take refuge in making a decision which is easier for them - who's the better-looking candidate?.  Such attitudes did not help Ed Miliband in the last election.  Though his physical appearance should not have been a factor, I think it was.  Stupid, but true.

If a pretty face is what the voting public want how in Gods name did Davy boy get re-elected in May 2015, from where I am standing he is not good looking Ed Miliband could beat him hands down in the looks department & I have seen Ed in the flesh. The only thing I see in Davy boy is a FAT FACED BACKSTUD being fat only proves one thing he is eating more than his body needs and is not working that off by working for the UK pubc but shows he is a LAZY buggar and is not earning his £74,000 + a year that the tax payer has to pay.
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Re: Have we been barking up the wrong tree?

Post by Phil Hornby on Sat Jan 23, 2016 5:25 pm

"... I have seen Ed in the flesh"

Too much information at dinner-time... Shocked
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Re: Have we been barking up the wrong tree?

Post by Redflag on Sat Jan 23, 2016 5:38 pm

I was a surprise when I seen Ed Miliband in the flesh and the reason for my surprise was because I believe the right wing Tory press about looking like a GEEK how untrue that statement is, Ed is a fine looking man much taller than he looks on TV but of course the right wing press have to SCRAPE the barrel when looking for an excuse for people not to vote for a left wing gov't.


I seen the billboards in Wirral West of wee Alex Salmond with Ed Miliband in his top pocket the question is HOW LOW the right wing Tory press can go just so they can cut all the public services so there mates in the City of London can pay even less TAX.
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Re: Have we been barking up the wrong tree?

Post by boatlady on Sat Jan 23, 2016 6:42 pm

flower
Definitely Ed is a nice looking man - be proud to be his mum.
He gives warm and steady eye contact and appears to have a great sense of humour - attractive on many levels
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Re: Have we been barking up the wrong tree?

Post by Redflag on Sun Jan 24, 2016 11:33 am

Much more attractive than Davy boy who looks & speak like a smug arrogant posh boy boatlady, Ed is another leader that I did not vote for but went around England on behalf of him and the Labour party door stepping. It sometimes upset me when some people (labour voters) told me they where voting Ukip the ones that voted Tory were a bit shyer at saying who they would be voting for, but I did hear on many occasions why should I vote for Labour to get Tory Lite policies.
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Re: Have we been barking up the wrong tree?

Post by Ivan on Sun Jan 24, 2016 2:24 pm

You win a political debate by making people accept your vision, not by pointing out that you offer them better terms in the fine print – which they are unlikely to read anyway.” (Ha-Joon Chang)
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Re: Have we been barking up the wrong tree?

Post by Claudine on Sun Jan 24, 2016 3:10 pm

I agree completely with that statement, Ivan.

It's not enough to go with a negative approach (those other ppl will do bad things) when trying to persuade people to your way of thinking. Accentuating the positive things about your brand of politics, giving people a concrete vision of how you want things to be done and showing those people what you will do for them - that's what will stick in their minds.
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Re: Have we been barking up the wrong tree?

Post by oftenwrong on Mon Feb 08, 2016 5:35 pm

Perhaps all Mr Corbyn needs to succeed is a National Newspaper as keen to emphasise the benefits of Socialism as are the current crop to extol Capitalism.
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Re: Have we been barking up the wrong tree?

Post by Claudine on Mon Feb 08, 2016 6:24 pm

I agree with that entirely, oftenwrong.
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Re: Have we been barking up the wrong tree?

Post by Redflag on Tue Feb 09, 2016 6:46 pm

OW according to the economists there is another crash on its way which I hope will be the end to this nasty capitalism.
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Re: Have we been barking up the wrong tree?

Post by Claudine on Tue Feb 09, 2016 7:02 pm

I'm intrigued to listen to exactly how the next recession is all Labour's fault.
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Re: Have we been barking up the wrong tree?

Post by oftenwrong on Tue Feb 09, 2016 8:09 pm

There is horse-racing, and there is also the Stock Exchange. Each allows gamblers to make money - or lose it - and in general for each winner there must be losers, since neither organisation manufactures wealth.

Policymakers, both political and commercial, require measurement statistics to help them decide forward planning. Since those measurements cannot be tested until the future reveals itself, a crystal ball may be no less accurate. A slow-down in China's economic activity is being blamed for lowered valuations across global Stock Exchanges, so the clever people are crying "Recession" and they may be correct.

But we've experienced "recessions" at irregular intervals ever since Capitalism became standard practice, and the world of finance somehow survived all of them.

What may have a greater effect on the human condition may be the younger generation rejecting the persistent failures of the world's political systems to adapt quickly enough to change, and so adopt a different method of government. Hopefully not through bloody revolution, but what form might it take? Artificial Intelligence?
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Re: Have we been barking up the wrong tree?

Post by Ivan on Tue Feb 09, 2016 11:00 pm

There's just one future for the left: Jeremy Corbyn

From an article by Liam Young:-

"Most people do not want to talk left or right – most people do not even know what this actually means. Real people want to talk about values and principles: they want to see a vision for the future that works for them and their family. People do not want to talk about the politics that we have established today. They do not want personality politics, sharp suits or revelations on the front of newspapers. This may excite the bubble, but people with busy lives outside of politics are thoroughly turned off by it. They want solid policy recommendations that they believe will make their lives better.

People have had enough of the same old, of the system working against them and then being told that it is within their interest to simply go along with it.  It is our human nature to seek to improve, to develop. At the last election, Labour failed to offer a vision of the future to the electorate, and there was no blueprint that helped people to understand what they could achieve under a Labour government.

In the USA, Bernie Sanders is right to say that we need a political revolution. Here at home we've certainly had a small one of our own, embodying the disenchantment with our established political discourse. The same-old will win us nothing, and that is why I am firmly behind Jeremy Corbyn’s vision of a new politics – the future of the left rests within it
."

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Re: Have we been barking up the wrong tree?

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