Are BNP a credible threat to Thanet?
Given that Yahoo news has announced that over one fifth of the population (22%) would consider voting for the racist BNP party in the next election Thanet needs to be on it's guard. (YouGov Poll for the Daily Telegraph)
Prime BNP targets include areas that traditionally vote Labour but have elected Conservatives - such as Dane valley Ward. Right now we have a ward that has become so thoroughly offended by the party that should be traditionally caring for it that it has voted for the other side only to have them bog off to be Mayor of Margate or to do some business halfway across the globe.
Let's face it Dane valley will have had 8 years of total disinterest by the next full elections. 4 years from a choice of two Labour oldies looking for an easy ride to retirement and a conservative whom no one was ever able to reach. 4 years after that of total disinterest from Conservatives.
When turn out has fallen below 30% as the general population of Dane valley realises that there is no point voting because both parties couldn't give a toss who are Dane Valley going to turn to?
Labour have failed, conservative have failed and the Liberal Democrats have failed to get any attention at all.
Keep reading after the light hearted video to find out why all parties are failing so hard and what might be needed to turn the tide.
Seth Godin (leading new marketing author and no relation to a certain local property tycoon) puts it like this: If you are driving along and you see a brown and white cow for the first time you might want to stop and look. After a few miles you've seen so many cows that you stop noticing. If you saw a purple cow, on the other hand, that might be worth looking at again.
Why is that. It is because the purple cow is remarkable.
In a world where all parties are converging slightly right of centre and are seen as harmonized to the point of indifference any party that is different is both remarkable and refreshing.
The BNP, while possibly the worst choice ever, are remarkable. In a world of faceless grey suited nobodies the BNP are different - they are the purple cow. In this alone they will always have the edge. They win by default.
People will vote for a name they recognise long before they will consider a party they have lost faith in.
Thanet's most interesting cows
Who are the District councillors that get the most press time, the most blog time, the most talked about? In rough order of remarkableness: Sandy Ezekiel (con), Iris Johnson (lab), Simon Moores (con) and Mark Nottingham (lab).
Why do you think a seemingly universally despised District level part retains power time and again? Why do the Conservatives vote for such an unpopular leader? The same reason that 22% of people might vote BNP - they are remarkable.
They are remarkable for all the wrong reasons but they are remarkable.
They get to trounce the others not by being right (which anyone could argue that they are not) but by being remarkable. Trying to be "right" to play it safe means that you blend right in and go unnoticed. As the BNP have proven safe is the new dangerous.
How can Clive and Sandy save their parties from a BNP lashing?
The only way to get ahead in a world where safe is so dangerouse is to give up trying to be perfect (it's impossible anyway) and start being remarkable. Yes you will draw enemy fire, yes you will be heavily criticised by bloggers and newspapers from time to time but as Mr Wilde so dryly pointed out - the only thing worse than being talked about is not being talked about.
It may be a cliché but it happens to be pure 100% proof truth. The BNP have got people talking and writing about them. By being different to the rest the pack they are gaining a lead.
Will we see Clive and his Labour buddies abandoning safe and shooting for remarkable? Not likely - remarkable is a young man's game and frankly the gray hair count might actually be too high in the Labour party right now. Mark Nottingham might actually be their last best hope - unreasonable attitudes and all.
What remarkable action would you advise Clive and Sandy to direct their party towards?