Biden, Trump & framing the issues

In a series of tweets, I drew attention to a tactical mistake that Biden made in his response to BLM protests, especially over those in Kenosha. The key points are: “Law & Order” is safe Republican/Conservative territory Biden is adopting Trump’s framing of a nation at war with itself, which makes an authoritarian & conservative […]

Political Machines & unscaling

The political “machine” is one of the most mythological forces in elective campaigns. They were influential for generations in cities whose mayors and leaders handed out jobs and contracts through patronage that enforced partisan outcomes…But those big-city machines lost much of their mojo in the last decade as politics flattened and a band of new […]

Jamaal Bowman & the Political Disruption Model

Bowman’s primary contest for NY-16 provides another opportunity to test the disruption model. There have been two recent events that have brought this race into prominence, with Bowman securing AOC’s endorsement and his opponent having a disastrous hot mic moment. Bowman has also benefited from a progressive opponent dropping out to endorse him. In terms […]

“Forensic” and “Plans”: signifier words

When used about two centrist figures, these words infuriate many on the left. “Forensic” is used ad nauseam to describe Keir Starmer’s interactions with the government and “plans” was a key part of Elizabeth Warren’s brand. The deployment of these words is an interesting and easily understood example of an important communications concept. We can […]

Starmer’s comms strategy

Despite criticism for being soft, it was clear that Keir Starmer had a methodical communications plan for engaging with the Tory government’s failures in tackling COVID-19. I outlined his approach in a series of tweets and this was proved correct. It’s been possible to see Starmer’s structured approach unfurl in real time. He initially appeared […]

The right, adaption & the primary contradictions

Before (perhaps instead) of completing what was supposed to be a two-post commentary on the result of the general election in the UK, I felt it important to elaborate on something I mentioned in the first post. Having finally got around to reading Stuart Hall’s “The Great Moving Right Show”, I was struck by how […]

The UK general election 2019: What breaks a butterfly upon a wheel? (I)

The Labour decision to back a second referendum was a mistake from a campaigning perspective. As a campaign, it signalled the following to Leave voters. Labour could not be trusted and was a party of politics as usual. It reinforced the personal smearing on Corbyn as someone who could not be trusted. This article does […]

Demographics, Voting blocs and wishful thinking

A video from a 2014 marketing summit and a Sri Lankan political opinion piece from the start of this week provided some thought-provoking insight into a form of reductionism and generalisation. This kind of thinking is not just misleading, for campaigns it is a dangerous trap that can undermine communications and marketing. As Adam Conover […]

Ideology and campaigns

The idiosyncratic (and always thought-provoking) musings of Zizek aside, ideology has a hugely important but often misunderstood role in the current era of campaigns. It is also one of the four primary criteria in the disruption model of politics. It is crucial to draw a distinction between ideology and policies in this context. Quoting from a previous post: […]

Using the Political Disruption Model

This event which provided the most detailed articulation to date of Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s inevitable Presidential campaign also provides an opportunity to apply the political disruption model. As I (smugly) pointed out on Twitter, I identified the contours of this campaign earlier this year. With one exception, applying the model to the campaign shows that it meets the […]