When it is obvious that the goals cannot be reached, don’t adjust the goals, adjust the action steps.
In a comment on this article one commenter made the point that whenever The Harrogate Agenda is mentioned on this blog, it is not long before Confucius also gets mentioned; so I thought I would do likewise, but I digress – although only slightly.
Whilst on the subject of The Harrogate Agenda, the same commenter, who is fond of quoting Confucius asked, in that same article and repeated same in an email to me, If you are party to a secret formula for the advancement of THA, which you say you support, then why not act on it and share it. As the question was originally posed in a public forum (see link above), I have responded within that forum. Digressing slightly (as is my wont), those readers who have migrated to ScribblingsfromSeaham from WitteringsfromWitney may have noticed that my blogging output has decreased somewhat. As in a marriage or group, when one is informed that one is not wanted, is it any wonder that interest in the relationship decreases considerably; especially when it is realised that the marriage or group in question only came into existence though ones own initiative.
Anyways, to revert to the heading of this article, when we look at opinion polls on voting intentions – be that local or general elections, or even referenda questions – there is an important element in the findings; the ‘don’t knows’ or ‘undecided’. This group of the electorate cast their vote on what I would suggest is the principle of: ‘WIIFM ‘ – and no, ‘WIIFM’ has nothing to do with a new radio station: ‘WIIFM’ are that section of the electorate who are voting on the principle of ‘what’s in it for me’,
Under representative democracy any member of the ‘undecided’ or ‘swing voter’ electorate will cast their vote based purely on the ‘WIIFM’ principle; and bear in mind that their decision will be informed by what they see and hear in/on the media. When that which is propogated in the media is questionable – to say the least – where fact, ie truth, is concerned means that vote is wasted and such an electoral process becomes a charade. On this point it should be remembered that political parties promise much – and if and when said promise comes to fruition – and those promises invariably turn out to be not that which had been intimated (recall of MPs is a classic example).
‘FlexCit’ as an informative paper is priceless, but the question arises about just how many people, if it were widely available, would read it; or even understand it. It could be said that when the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) held their ‘Brexit’ competition, even they did not understand (or, perhaps, did not want to understand) it – otherwise it would surely have won.
Unless I have misunderstood, ‘FlexCit’ is intended to be the basis for securing ‘lead status’ of the ‘No’ campaign when the Electoral Commission opens the bidding process prior to the rerendum. A further comment from he who is apparently ‘in charge’ – or ‘leader’ – of The Harrogate Agenda has appeared on the article linked to previously, in which he states: Our pamphlet made it very clear that THA and EU membership could not go together. As the difference twixt the two is about ‘democracy’ per se, we, of a brain, are only too aware of that fact; however, where the reasons for leaving the EU and adopting The Harrogate Agenda are concerned, the two subjects are entwined. As stated previously, there is little to be gained by reclaiming powers we have ceded to one set of unelected ‘dictators’, only to hand them to another set of ‘dictators’; albeit elected through ignorance.
Readers of WitteringsfromWitney who have traversed to this blog will know that my original view in the initiative I took was that the views of the ‘Outers’ were too diverse and presented, to the electorate, a fragmented message. Conversely, it has to be said, there are still those within the ‘Outers’ who believe their ‘message’ is the only ‘true way’ and brook no dissent; which is hardly conducive to presenting a ‘united front’ to the ‘Inners’ – maybe, as I have previousy suggested, a few heads need to be ‘banged together’?
Currently, where arguments for ‘Out’ are concerned they have become ‘confusing’ and that there is need for a ‘fresh look’ as to what might just be the catalyst to bring the ‘WIIFM’ into the ‘No’ camp; namely The Harrogate Agenda – or if we are seeking a sub title for that movement: Great Expectations? The point about WIIFM is that if it is the deciding factor in voting intentions, then why is the only means whereby WIIFM can be achieved only stage six of FlexCit?
When considering the ‘mixed messages’ that the electorate is being offered by the ‘Outers’, it is perhaps pertinent to end this article with another quotation:
Perhaps when we find ourselves wanting everything, it is because we are dangerously close to wanting nothing.