Many moons ago I was working in marketing as a technical author for an engineering company in South Africa that was pioneering car alarm-immobiliser and central locking systems when the technology was new and exciting. We took on, but then lost, a huge contract with an overseas motor manufacturer. After successive retrenchments we were down to around 1/3 of our 1500 strong workforce.
One day, in the midst of all this, one of my colleagues, a very likeable but rather excitable fellow buttonholed me in the passage and asked: “Michael do you know what’s going on?”
Sensing that the question was rhetorical I answered immediately: “No, and if you find out don’t tell me!” I then scarpered.
During the crisis I kept my head down and carried on doing my job as well as I knew how, while studiously ignoring things I could do nothing about. As it turned out I was one of the lucky ones that stayed, the company survived and is still going strong to this day.
And this has been my approach to UKIP all along. When our election came along, after doing a lot of YouTubing, I voted for Henry Bolton. So, had AMW won would I have left? No!
I respect democratic decisions even though I sometimes (often?) don’t like the outcomes. To paraphrase Churchill I think democracy is, at best, the least-worse system.
However, it does have one thing going for it.
It’s fair. (And it beats the hell out of violence!)
I’m with UKIP for the long haul. I believe UKIP’s growing pains will pass. UKIP will sort itself out because it must. To make it happen all that’s needed is for each of us to play our part, however small or big that might be, and leave others to do the same without destructive criticism and condemnation.
Why the ‘must’? If one looks at Great Britain’s political landscape with all the crooked legacy parties infested with Marxists and others of their ilk, those who march to a distant drum, and of course let’s not forget the carpetbaggers, it is obvious that this leaves UKIP as our nation’s only option. I for one find it amusing to watch how, even with zero MPs, our mere presence concentrates Conservative minds most wonderfully. However, winning the war (i.e. Brexit) is only half the battle. After that we must win the peace. That’s where we must come in.
Of course, our opponents see the danger which is why the meme that UKIP is a ‘one issue’ party and that after Brexit we’ll become irrelevant is being stridently promoted.
But, but, but. The ‘one issue’ meme is a lie. Why? Anyone remember the ‘Keep the Pound’ campaign?
To summarise: 1. We kept the Pound. 2. We got the Brexit referendum which we won.
And 3? We must keep Great Britain free and make it greater than before.
Let us be the UKIP lion’s roar!
At the conference not everyone I spoke to reacted positively to our rebranding. This is entirely understandable. Having studied marketing and done it for a living I know it’s underlying principles are by no means intuitively obvious.
Although at its core much of it is based on psychology there is nothing airy-fairy about it. In business, when one spends a large sum creating and flighting an advertising and public relations campaign one can measure its success (or failure) in cold hard cash by watching sales go up (or down) after launch. One is ever-mindful of those ever-present, seemingly soulless bean-counters whose default seems to be that it’s all a frivolous waste of money and who are ever-ready, watching and waiting, like circling vultures, to go a-gouging with their sharp pencils.
That’s why marketing works.
The evidence that it does is all around us in the form of never-ending adverts and ‘news’.
In politics the effectiveness of a campaign may be more difficult to measure directly but over time those in commercial marketing learn quickly to recognise the common features of a good campaign.
And yes, I love the Lion! For me it conveys strength and power yet paradoxically, gentleness too.
For my money Mr. Crowther knows what he’s about. Listening to his speech at the conference, which I thoroughly enjoyed, brought me back to a happy productive period of my working life. As I see it we are lucky to have his talents in UKIP.
For those that weren’t at the conference here is the YouTube of his speech.
[Ed: Part Two of this essay will be published on UKIP Daily at the beginning of next week.]