The bad guys do win – Nixon, Trump, Johnson – but in the end their faults can catch up with them.

There is a good piece on Sir Keir Starmer by Charlotte Ivers in the Sunday Times today. How can Starmer persuade people to vote for him?

Most our decisions, including how we vote, are driven in part by logic and reason and in part by gut feel and emotion. Both sides of the brain are at work, sometimes in cranial conflict. How often do we hear , or use, an expression that contrasts head and heart?

Rational man would never have voted for Brexit, or for Jeremy Corbyn. We avoided the latter but our emotions regrettably gave us the former. It’s complex. In 1945 the genuine emotional admiration for Churchill surely made him a shoe-in to be elected? But the then rational men and women of Britain thought and voted otherwise.

In 1960 America experienced the first election where a candidate became a brand. The marketing of JFK was so skilled that a deeply conservative nation just chose him, but only just. Brands are most successful when they have emotional appeal. If there’s a “reason to believe” all the better. I agree with Ms Ivers that Keir Starmer is a decent man and a clever and successful one. But in politics today that isn’t enough.

The opposite of a preferred brand is a rejected one. That actually is Keir Starmer’s best chance. The bad guys do win – Nixon, Trump, Johnson – but in the end their faults can catch up with them. Rational man would not buy the Boris brand. But emotional man seems to like the old fraud. But if the British public starts to think again, as it did in 1945 (and, arguably, in 1964, 1979 and 1997) that’s Sir Keir’s best chance.

One thought on “The bad guys do win – Nixon, Trump, Johnson – but in the end their faults can catch up with them.

  1. I don’t think there has ever been a time since the thirties when politics in Britain was filled with so much mediocrity and dishonesty. Chamberlins Conservative party was weak, appeasing and useless but not dishonest. Now dishonesty seems to be an acceptable way to behave in public life.
    Starmer reflects the opposite of that. If the voters reject decency, credibility, and honesty for basically a bunch of crooks masquerading as public servants then the people deserve all that will follow.


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