During the last hours of the election process, Lynton Crosby, the Aussie strategist sledging in favour of the Tories would echo his incorrigible mantra that forget the opinion polls, ‘If you think you need a poll to tell you what to do — don’t get involved in politics’.
A multimillion pound industry of opinion pollster believed differently. In one day their cataclysmic forecasting has rendered them no better than 10th century alchemists claiming to turn brine into gold.
‘Use research to better understand and how to communicate’, Crosby adds, and with the assurity of a 90s family-loving Natwest Bank manager continues that elections are about:
Trying to influence people's behaviour: When reason and emotion collide, emotion wins. You persuade through reason, you motivate through emotion’.
Crosby, a phlegmatic soul, doesn’t do interviews. A video in which he delivers a masterclass of political strategising, citing amongst others how the psychology of an electorate works via Drew Western’s ‘The Political Brain The Role Of Emotion In Deciding The Fate Of The Nation’, works well enough to suggest this overall narrative.
But the purpose of the post is more a eulogy to the new found wealth of politics. Just when it was getting dull, human behaviour has upturned a fascinatingly fresh epistemology on governing your neighbour.
News, talk shows, phone-ins, over-the-fence gossip, academic and public discourse, pub-nights have had a fuse shoved unwittingly, yet gleefully in their rectums. How f****g brilliant it is within our exploitative culture that, as the title of this posts points to, we’re about to beset with theory after theory, conference speech after another, proclaiming how the Tories Won.
People. We. News love reductionism — events that appear clear cut. Indeterminate, fuzzy issues, with too many variables need to be neatly packaged. We can only do a villain and a hero at a time. Plus, multiple issues can make multiple books. Why not?
You might even garner your own reasons as a social mediasts: labour did not engage with Facebook enough, against the traditional tide of classical political punditry.
Alas, we need not wait too long. How soon before the book from Chato and Windus is released about How the Tories Won? £24.99.
But do you really need a book, stripped of a grand narrative, a theory of everything to tell you? Yes ! Since I have no inclination to be any such author, I thought of entertaining myself with a collection of reasons transduced from you, to the media and back again.
- Ed Milliband was unelectable. Awkward looking and clumsy. Couldn’t be seen as a leader.
- Ed Milliband stabbing his brother in the back would mean he’d go to any length to get what he wanted. He couldn’t be trusted.
- Labour lurched too far to the left for the English and too far to the Scott’s right.
- The Tories played Crosby’s strategy to the letter: emphasis what you’ve done, tell people what you’re going to do, and deride the opposition.
- That letter. That f****g letter.
- Clegg breaking his pledge on tuition fees.
- Sturgeon played a blinder.
- The Torries were ruthless.
- The media didn’t do their jobs exposing the nasty torries. Instead, Murdoch’s lot locked onto Labour in devastating fashion.
- Little green men visited the planet and substituted Cameron for an AI version.
- Labour didn’t lose, Capitalism won!
All the same, it’s going to be……
Er, the author used to be a journalist who worked for Channel 4's election show Powerhouse, which was edited by one Andrew Brown. Yes ! that Brown.