Tag Archives: Sarah Brown

Octavius – over to you.

Badger Brown

There are people who will vote for a politician because he has a pretty face, looks honest or has a good voice. What fires an important section of the electorate is not logic but emotion. Perception, prejudice  and superficiality are the new Gods and it is only in recent years that politicians have become conscious of the fact that complicated economic  and social policies are not the primary route to votes from an increasingly apathetic and intellectually impenetrable electorate. They need to tap into the electorate’s emotions. They need to SELL.

There are only TEN recognised Emotional Buying Triggers ( EBTs): Ego, Status, Prestige, Greed, Fear of Loss, Pride of Ownership, Ambition, Health, Security and Sex.  All selling is based around combinations of these 10 EBTs. 

For instance, television car advertisements: Status, Pride of Ownership, Ego.  M&S food: Status, Ego, Health.  The most powerful EBT is SEX and that is why  many advertisements and promotions tap-into it so frequently. Exactly the same rules now apply to persuading the jaded but still-susceptible voter.

Emotionally, there are large blocks of voters to whom politicians cannot sell. These are the individuals who are tied to a particular party by blood and bigotry. ” My father was Labour, his father was Labour etc etc.”  If you canvas these people and start talking interest rates, percentages, policies, their eyes glaze over.

When politicians talk of GDP, Fiscal Stimuli, Quantitative Easing, they are not talking to  the man in the street, they are addressing Times, Guardian, Independent, Mirror or Telegraph analysts and journalists or they want to direct messages towards bankers, corporate investors or other politicians. The “man in the street” needs blander and more digestible messages – something that he has been conditioned for.

Admittedly, there is a small percentage  of voters that  does analyse the economic slurry which is discharged by Whitehall and then reported, interpreted and mangled in a variety of ways by a deeply partisan press. Whether the journalist is Labour, Conservative or Liberal, his or her views are as strong as those of the voter who will vote for his Party but only because he has always voted for the Party. Voters read specific newspapers and follow specific journalists, not for reasons of debate but simply for the warm milky comfort of having their own views and opinions reinforced.

In an election, the target is not the die-hard voter – the one  who will vote for his party even if the candidate is  a cardboard cut-out. The target is the so-called “floating voter”. The sales pitch has to be  for him.

So, which buying triggers do the political parties usually attempt to tickle? Security, Fear of Loss, Ambition and Health have always been favourites. Greed is another quite powerful trigger. In the final analysis, our primary concern is not the economy but ourselves. “What’s in it for me?”  The BNP is an excellent example of a party which is constantly tapping into Fear of Loss (of our sovereignty and way of life)  and  Security (the implication that we may somehow be in economic and physical danger from immigrants).

The above buying triggers have been tapped-into for years  and  apply to all parties.  A new “edge” was needed and not surprisingly, it was the emotional buying trigger of SEX – totally overlooked by politicians for many years which suddenly became the prime catalyst.

Let’s face it, most politicians were (and still are) “spuds”. That is to say, ordinary men and women who were obviously chosen for their abilities and not for their looks. Nowadays, that is not enough – especially for the people at the top – the party leaders.

Here in the United Kingdom, Tony Blair was the first politician to present himself as “Political Totty”  and surrounded himself with even more totty. Remember Blair’s Babes? Blair had learned the Cult of Personality from Bill Clinton, who some think  may have “overworked”  the  “boyish good looks” angle. The result, as we all know, was public disgrace and a dry-cleaning bill.

Much of  Tony Blair’s appeal was superficial – the slim good looks, the ready smile, the Bambi eyes etc. You may have noticed that when he appeared before the Chilcot Committee a couple of weeks ago, the soft-blush bloom of youth had faded and much of his appeal had dissipated. Consequently (and possibly unfairly) we were pre-judging his words because there were  no buying triggers left for him to tap-into.

There is little doubt that Gordon Brown is also going to attempt to tap-into our most basic EBT. His appearance on the Piers Morgan programme was designed to let us see Brown as a “bit of a lad” who had finally settled down and in spite of the setbacks and personal tragedies, has immersed himself into a loving family relationship with a handsome woman who dotes on him. Hey, that’s sexy.

Setting aside Morgan’s “lêche-cul” style of interviewing, the editing, tempo and content produced a  superficial but morbidly interesting piece of television. The Ill-tempered, chaotic, gauche  Billy-no-mates was airbrushed before our very eyes into a deep, emotional, loving, modest man who will work for charity when he finally retires from politics. Celebrity Mr and Mrs cannot be too far away.

Rumour has it that the Leader of the Opposition, David Cameron is being advised by friend and confidant, Octavius Black who, in spite of  a moneyed background and public school education, is quite street-wise. That is good because in order to cement his voter-appeal, Cameron needs to lose the off-duty Barbour image and gently pull his wife more and more into the limelight. His media advisers are probably already talking to ITV and BBC with the usual demands for “balance” (equal air time).

The one-on-one interview must sound appealing to the Cameron camp but they should beware of comparisons with Brown and they certainly should not accede to any requests from Piers Morgan. Cameron must start by  tempering his behaviour at the Dispatch Box because the nation now sees Brown as a cuddly old Badger who is doing his very best and who, although occasionally tetchy, seems quite trustworthy and competent. The last thing that they want to witness is the unedifying spectacle of a Mr Toad tearing down the hill, making lots of noise and being an all-round pain-in-the-a**e.

Who said  “This is not about personalities.” ?

Oh yes it is. Octavius – it’s over to you.

Twenty-one 2010 predictions

On 15th May 2008, I predicted the nationalisation of British Banks. 

On 20th April 2009, I predicted that by the end of the year the FTSE 100 would fall to below 2500

On 3rd November 2009, I predicted the collapse of the dollar and of the pound-sterling 

The first prediction has come to pass – in all but name. The third prediction is about to come true. The FTSE 100 prediction of 2500 was out by a factor of over 100% – so what happened? Quantitative Easing is what happened. Very few of us could have predicted that the Bank of England would start to generate free money, hand it to the banks and allow them to use it to gamble on the stock markets and continue to declare false profits.

Currently, the FTSE 100 stands at over 5400 but this value is totally unsustainable. It is a false dawn. Bankers are now daring to predict that we will not have a “double-dip” recession and that everything seems to be looking rosy. When the dollar and pound collapse and the pound is worth the same or less that the Euro, we will see some real (genuine) action on the world’s stock exchanges.

The critical time in 2010 will not be the first quarter but the second –  because Q2 will contain not-only the beginning of the new tax year but also the General Election and the frightening spectre of the Liberals holding the balance of power. The only good thing that would come out of such a result would be Vince Cable as Chancellor of the Exchequer.

Here are the 2010 predictions.

1. The collapse of the dollar and the pound – with the pound achieving a value of 0.9 Euros and the dollar achieving parity with the pound.

2. An accelerated move away from the concept of Anthropogenic (Man made) Global Warming.

3. The United Kingdom being down-graded by the rating agencies – based on its inability to service its current debts.

4. Bankers, Financiers and financial journalists will finally run out of metaphors to describe the apalling state of the British economy.

5. Conservatives will win the  General Election but without an overall majority.

6. Stock Market crash  .

7. 10% more British retailers to go out of business.

8. Arsenal to win the Premiership.

9. The beginnings of civil unrest in the United Kingdom. 

10. AFNAJ ( Artist formerly known as Jordan) hospitalised – inevitable progression. Woo Woo land beckons.

11. Another scandal involving Jeffrey Archer – it’s about time and will include at least one of his editors or maybe Jeffrey’s well-travelled trouser department or maybe the Kurds’ missing millions. We’ll see what we can do.

12. A well-known rock star will succumb to “prescription drugs”. (That’s an easy one because it is an annual event.)

13. The Queen will visit China. It’s about time and someone has to hold the begging bowl.

14. United Kingdom unemployment will be over 3 million.

15. At least one large bank will move its operations offshore.

16. The Americans will threaten to invade Iran. The Russians and Chinese will tell them to “butt-out”.

17. The cost of an  iPhone will be halved because of competition from Google and Android.

18. iSlate will be the “must have” 2010 Christmas present. (Apple has just bought islate.com)

19. The Miliband brothers will be tasked with rebuilding the Labour Party.

20. Gordon Brown’s wife Sarah will write a book and become a television chat-show host.

21. Someone from Goldman Sachs will tell the world how Executive Order 12631 has been abused both to their and the US Government’s benefit.