Post-election Blues

It was an extraordinary election night with a result which defied expectations, especially those of the pollsters.
The recriminations have started, with labour blaming conservative “fear tactics” over the SNP and the Liberal Democrats listing all the things they’d done to stop more extreme Tory policies, and bemoaning the fact that the electorate chose to punish them instead.
I was struck by the paucity of vision on offer during the campaign, and reminded of Simon Sinek’s maxim “start with Why.”
Sinek says people buy why you do things, not what you do and the most successful companies work from why to what, not the other way round.
He cites successful politicians who have laid out vision and values (King’s “I have a dream” and Kennedy’s “Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country”)
In the recent general election, most politicians went straight for the “what” – more jobs, more nurses, more cuts, fewer cuts, more houses, tighter immigration etc. etc. – but so few of them laid out the “Why”
What was the vision we were buying into? What was it all for? What values did the different parties hold dear (apart for the platitudes of “rewarding hard working families” or making Britain “fairer with more equality”).
All parties, that is, except one.
The SNP did the “vision thing” extraordinarily well. A vision of a strong, independent Scotland responsible for its own affairs with policies based on Scottish needs, not the diktats from Westminster. It is couched in tone as a mixture of hope and aspiration and (whether you agree with it or not) this is a vision the majority of Scots have now bought into, charismatically delivered by Nicola Sturgeon.
As we go into the next five years the Conservatives would do well to reflect on this (as would labour) and concentrate a bit more on the Why and a bit less on the What.

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