A collection of short stories and journalistic commentaries depicting my simple life
and how I fit in with the modern day universe of our times

I’ve recently been trying to figure out why I’ve lost all respect for modern day politicians, and I think I’ve finally found the answer. Paradoxically, it’s because they’ve become more and more like me in the way they go about things.

Let me explain...

I’ve always admired true conviction politicians – people like Margaret Thatcher, Tony Benn and Dennis Skinner. I may not always agree with what they have to say, but I know when they say it, that it usually comes from the heart. They truly believe in what they’re saying – and they truly believe that what they’re proposing is right for the country.

But politicians like these are unfortunately of a rare and dying breed. In fact they may have died out altogether already. You may note that I haven’t given you any examples from the modern era either. And that’s simply because I can’t think of any. There’s not really a place in modern politics, for people like this any more.

You see, the new approach is often characterised by people like Tony Blair and David Cameron – chameleon like characters who, if being totally truthful, would respond to the question “What do you stand for?” with…

“What do you want me to stand for? I can do that, I’m flexible.”

To my mind though, this is morally indefensible, and I don’t understand why anyone would want to forge a political career on that kind of footing. The idea that you form policies on the basis of what people say they want, rather than what you believe to be right, just seems totally ridiculous to me. 

Surely the whole point of going into politics is to bring about changes and improvements in the precise direction you believe to be right – not to deliver some half-arsed compromise ordered up by an electorate primarily motivated by self interest, greed and envy… driven usually by nothing more than the promise of tax cuts.

If I’m going to find out what people want, and then deliver it to them, I’ll do it in the form of running a business thank you very much. The money is better and you also get to sleep at night. And that’s what I choose to do.

In a business, it’s called marketing… and it’s pretty ethical and deserving of respect. In politics, it’s called opportunism... and it’s unethical, and deserving of nothing more than utter contempt. In business, you have to give people what they want, but as a politician you should be giving them what they need. And there’s a massive difference here.

If you ever decide to go into politics, please, please, please become a conviction politician. And I can promise I’ll vote for you at the very least. But if you go into business, please don’t become a conviction marketer. Because there’s never been a faster and surer way to the poor house.
What I mean is this...

So many people these days launch a business or money making enterprise on the back of a personal conviction. They have an idea for a product or service, and believe that it’s something people need and will pay for. But they have no real evidence for this, other than their own firmly held beliefs. I speak to and see people like this all the time.

They approach investors with a product or service they’d like them to sell for them. They’ve often spent months… sometimes years… perfecting their offering without ever going to the trouble of actually finding out whether people really want what they’ve perfected. When investors ask them about their market research, their test promotions or their target markets, there’s usually no response other than “Well we haven’t done any of that yet.”

And so what they’ve ended up with, is something perfectly crafted - but something there’s a strong possibility that nobody will ever want to buy. Such is their level of belief… their conviction… in their product, that they’re totally blinded to the realities of the market place.

That’s fine for a politician on a crusade to bring about a change he honestly believes in, and is being paid to do it, but it’s out-and-out disaster for any entrepreneur who stands or falls on his sales and profit.

Take a leaf out of the modern politicians book…

Find out what people want and then set about fully delivering it to them. Don’t waste your time and energy trying to sell what you think they might need. Sell them what they want instead. And don’t ever fall in love with your product either. Be prepared to regularly adapt and change it into a form that will attract the maximum number of buyers.

As a politician that’s what makes you nothing more than a contemptible opportunist - but as a marketer it’s what helps to makes you rich.

ONE WAY OR THE OTHERSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend


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Its my own fault really, its all about what I see in the world, and how it all translates for me.

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