Monday, 10 May 2010

Old dog, new tricks.

I am a scientist, not a politician. I can't lie to people. It's the reason I could never consider a job in sales because I'd be forever pointing out that a cheaper model will do everything the customer needs so they can save a fortune by not buying top-of-the-range. I would never sell a £2000 computer to someone who only wants to play games on it. I'd sell them a PS3 or Xbox instead. So I wouldn't last long in sales.

Therefore, if I am going to get serious about causing ripples in an election, I have to find out how the whole system works and calculate the best approach. I can't finance even a local campaign so I'd have to ask for donations and I am not going to ask for donations unless I can expect to at least have a chance of retaining my deposit.

Realistically, I am not going to win on the first outing. What I will be aiming for is getting a place on the leaderboard. Here the Lib Dems and SNP have the top two spots with five-figure voting numbers. Labour were third on 9800, Tories fourth on 9000. I cannot realistically expect to top that as an unknown on his first outing, certainly not as an independent, nor even if I was UKIP or LPUK.

The Greens scored 752 here, the BNP 699. Those are figures I can fight. I can aim for fifth place and I will not do it by targeting BNP or Green voters but by targeting the ones above. I have no interest in converting the other small-party voters, in fact I would encourage others to vote for those small parties even though I don't agree with their policies. My aim is not to win first time, that would be insanely optimistic, but to make a dent. To chip away at that 'safe seat' mentality and hopefully open the cracks a little wider.

This is an entirely new departure for me. I have no idea what is involved and will need to spend some time researching the details of this ritual and what hurdles are in the way. There will be time, some months at least I hope, although a rapid second election will stop me.

I can't rush things. It's not in my nature. I have to know the details of the game before I play.

First of all I have to analyse the reasons why perfectly sensible candidates polled so few votes. It will take time, but it's important to get it right.

One advantage - none of the main parties will bother.

21 comments:

Gendeau said...

Morning LI,

I'm an self employed engineer for much the same reasons as you give for being self-employed - hating lying, lies and liars.

In my industry you only get so far on techie ability then they want to cap your wages or force you into management (or go self-employed). Management would be hell for me, regular meetings where you all sit down and talk bollocks at each other. Nobody tells truth, that's too awkward - welcome to the management holo-deck. Sales people are even worse, but you covered that...politicians are just the most extreme form of sales people IMHO. Just what do jack droney and hatie manperson really think that they have to offer people? (they're just the two examples that spring to mind, there are 600+ others in westminster alone).

This election I ended up doing what spock wanted, not for his reasons, but to vote against the local media-slime laba mp. As it didn't work, I wish I'd voted UKIP. Wouldn't have changed anything, but at least idave and his buddies might manage to work out why the votes were being lost.

Best of luck with your plans, but aren't you worried that there are too many zanulibcon sheeple out there for anyone to make a difference?

This country needs a hard reality check. We need adults to act responsibly, just when they've been largely infantilised by the state.

JuliaM said...

Best of luck with it, and when the time comes for donations (assuming any of us have any money by then) you can count on me for a few bob!

TheFatBigot said...

Don't put yourself through the wringer Mr Iron. You will always reach far more people and have a far greater effect by continuing your writing on this blog.

Only so many people can be affected by reasoned argument, the issue is how best to reach them. Standing for Parliament might give a degree of temporary exposure in one constituency but will have no wider effect than that. And the cost will be personal and, possibly, painful.

Our friend Mr Kitchen has experience of public debate but nearly crumbled after a few scrubs with a Brillo pad.

Far better to keep doing what you are doing, publish a book of your best writing and keep your political work for those who might appreciate it. Your task is to continue drip-feeding good sense to those whose eyes might be opened to good sense but currently are not.

Gendeau said...

I think FB's right.

This is my favourite blog, I don't agree with you on all issues (well, one), but your opinion is always worth reading.

I started reading here before the "we're all racists now" post, but that is surely one of the best blog comments made about society today. It clearly wasn't a flash in the pan as you've had other classics too.

Also you seem not to get the windowlickers that have made GF not time-efficient to read beyond the home page - which is nice

Uncle Marvo said...

Will you be wearing a mask?

Gendeau said...

Regarding the mask...any chance of a clear picture of it?

You could tell us a little story of what it is and where you came across it too, please?

View from the Solent said...

LI,
I suspect that the more you look into it the less attractive your idea will become. However, if you are foolish/deranged/driven/idealistic* enough to go ahead with it, when you pass the hat round I'll lob in a few sovs.

* delete where inapplicable

John Pickworth said...

Off Topic:

Smoking kills? Yaay, that’s so cool, say teens

On Topic:

My opinion, for what its worth, is to forget the misguided OH4MP approach. Instead, carry on doing what you do here; aim to become the smoking man's Iain Dale.

David Davis (Libertarian Alliance) said...

I'd vote for you if I lived up by the Arctic Circle, old fella.

What about the lpuk? It's you to a tee.

David Davis (Libertarian Alliance) said...

Oh, and I take off my hat to your blog. Wish I had the ability or the time to write like you do.

I am Stan said...

Yo Leggy,

You have the full backing of The Stan Party.

If you need help with manacing phone calls,slurs,set ups,honey traps,bricks through windows etc let me know. ;-).

paul said...

Simple, its fear of either more of the same or the enemy at the gates.
Nothing motivates people like fear.
If you vote for what you want you either let "the worse lot" get in by diluting the "less bad" vote or you let "the worse lot" stay in by diluting the "less bad" vote.
So you "have to" vote for one of two choices and ignore the rest otherwise its more than just a wasted vote.

Mark Wadsworth said...

LI, you are top man and all, but if you think that going round telling the truth is going to get you very far, then you haven't been paying attention.

As to the cost, the deposit is £500 and then you get one lot of leaflets printed for the whole constituency (cost £400 - £1,000, depending on how big or glossy you make them) and the Royal Mail delivers them for free.

Or make life easy for yourself and stand for UKIP (same cost, but much less hassle).

Above and beyond that, it's knocking on doors, writing letters to the paper, attending meetings, listening to people talking and so on, it is stupendous amounts of hard work.

g1lgam3sh said...

Mate I would even venture north to canvass for you :-)

UKIP for me said...

You will only get publicity if the media decide to give you publicity. The whole thing would be a waste of time for you.
I notice Robert Green only got 130 votes or something in Aberdeen South and nobody heard his message as the media / state decided they wouldn't let us hear his message.
Mark said to go with UKIP. I'd say that was your best bet. A known entity that stopped a Tory majority despite blanket discrimination and ridicule by the media. It's policies would suit you aswell. Out of the corrupt EU and an end to billions being wasted on the global warming hoax.
Don't go in any planes though. They will sabotage them.

sixtypoundsaweekcleaner said...

It is odd (nay, outrageous) that the MSM have so much influence over politics and odd (nay, outrageous) that we the sheeple put up with it.

Gareth said...

"The Greens scored 752 here, the BNP 699. Those are figures I can fight. I can aim for fifth place and I will not do it by targeting BNP or Green voters but by targeting the ones above."

Might there be some mileage in cultivating people who didn't vote? The media and political class zero in on those that did leaving, nationally, 15 million people out of the picture. Who are they? Why didn't they?

All the parties campaign on what they would do whilst in Government. They ignore or gloss over the other very important role being in Parliament is about - representing the people, protecting the people and holding Government to account. Government itself is only a hundred or so MPs.

Being in Government has become the aim rather than being in Parliament. They sell us the lie that they can only make a difference if they are part of the Government. This is not the case, as we saw all too briefly when Squeaker Michael Martian was well and truly roasted. Parliament is supposed to be in charge not the Government.

A few more committed Parliamentarians could do wonders for our democracy. It might remind some of the backbench zombies that they are not there to stagger through the lobby as their whips have instructed.

What other uncommon stances could you take that might garner noticeable support?

A Free Vote party - Every vote bar manifesto pledges should be a free vote.

Distributed democracy - The tinternet brings with it the means for the public to alert MPs to dodgy legislation that deserves to be killed at birth. Aim to reverse the 'vote and let them do what they want' mentality.

Proxy voting - getting your constituents to decide (somehow, might be quite difficult) how you should vote on bills.

It is a distinct lack of competition in how parties and MPs behave that is killing our democracy.

Anonymous said...

Leggy my man.

Don't do it. Don't bother. It is a waste of time and energy. You won't be heard, you will have zero media coverage and you will end up with about two hundred votes at the most.

Trust me on this. I stood as an independent at the 2005 GE and that is exactly what happened to me. The vested interests have the electorate in their pockets (even the prospective Limp-Dum voters bottled it and went for Lab or Con).

The impact you have through your horribly objective writings in the blogosphere are far more effective. The word will spread further.

Swindon Alan

Lutney Chocker said...

That's [not] the way to do it!

I dunno where you are thinking of standing, but all seats are characterisable.

A simple one... look at a map of benefit claimants:
http://lh6.ggpht.com/_vlY5VEFmcvU/StzNy0RSmwI/AAAAAAAAAvI/QuH7XKJvQoc/05%2019-Oct-09[7].jpg

Now compare it to the electoral results... you can see a direct correlation between welfare and Labour.

There are many other ways of analysing the "game" to design your message... but then you would find yourself being assimilated... are you leading or following...?

As a scientist, you should appreciate that it's all about the numbers... how many supporters, party members, activists, money, what you aim to deliver: jobs, wages, shifts in a particular graph of some social issue in a particular direction.

The secret of the Ruin's success is that he's always played the numbers; never the popularity card.

The most telling remark of his, that I will remember, and that characterises his whole "game" is when just before he uttered the fateful "bigot" word, he said to the woman: "If we can agree on the facts, then we've no reason to disagree"... it reveals his whole strategy - to control the information, the numbers that all arguments are evidenced on, and he loves/loved "evidence culture": targets and statistics.

If you really want to change the game, you have to sort out the numbers.
The only point I can see in standing, is to help start assembling numbers (i.e. members) for a new political organisation... and this is a common bedroom pastime ont' tinter... everyone trying to assemble a little online movement and get elected a dish out some political bukkake.

It has to be real, and you need a critical mass of like-minded people in the same geographical area to actually have any hope of anything happening.

[ooh, I do go on, don't ah!]

Leg-iron said...

It's going to take a lot of thinking about and a lot of research.

I have to be sure it's going to make enough of a dent to be worth doing. I'm not going to waste other people's money on a hopeless cause.

Which means I can't join any of the main parties because that's their core philosophy!

Lutney Chocker said...

I think you need to sit down and write your manifesto - cover every category... work out what you are.

If you don't know, how will anyone else? You need a simple narrative to sell those ideas and place them in a resonant context [ooh! get her!].

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