Saturday, 10 June 2017

Policies or People?

There is a strong argument that politics is not about policies, but rather about the people standing for election.

This argument clearly has some merit. Until his sudden exit, John Key was untouchable as PM of New Zealand, despite the serious scandals and his appalling memory.

But the recent UK election casts doubt on the proposition and suggests that policy can make a difference in general elections. How else can we explain a massive youth turnout for some old socialist geezer, who rides a bicycle to his allotment and has been absolutely slaughtered in the press for the last couple of years?

Theresa May is/was indeed hopeless, but Jeremy Corbyn was relentlessly portrayed in the media as far worse: a dangerous man intent on undermining the fabric of UK society. I find it difficult to believe that the feckless millennial yoof were motivated to put down their phones and take the bus to the polling booth just to stick it to her.

So what got them out to vote? Was it the admittedly slick video advertising? Or was it the fully costed manifesto setting out a plan to reverse the tide of upward redistribution of the social surplus?

My guess is both, and my further guess is that Corbyn was able to credibly sell the plan because he believed in it.


  1. Also He managed to stave off the dictatorial elements in Labour long enough to allow the grass roots who got him there some oxygen.
    The U.s. and The Nats suffer from the same paucity of vision because of their all-powerful leadership. Leaders they feel compelled to closet away with coolade on tap.
    Increasingly politics is being won by those with the most collaborative structures. The monetarists may have managed to gut the unions who were the lifeblood of the political left,but I'm not sure they're gonna defeat genuine social(ist) media parties.

  2. thanks Peter! i generally agree and love the "collaborative structures" term. this is a great description of a strong connection between informed mass-market views and political parties/candidates.