Is there a growing crisis of confidence and trust in the ruling Establishment? Do politicians appear to know little about our real world, care even less about us, increasingly mismanage the country or manage for the few (crony corporatism) and repeatedly try to deceive us? Is disillusionment and despair why people are increasingly supporting UKIP, although they may not entirely know about UKIP’s policies, ethos and political philosophy?
Our fellow countrymen and women hold a variety of opinions and perceptions which must inevitably change over time. UKIP for years was portrayed as somewhat eccentric, nasty and irrelevant, and this understandably rubbed off on many of the Electorate. Subjects like uncontrolled immigration, of real concern to many people, were treated as ‘Third Rail’, politically lethal if touched. At the same time, the Establishment parties were seen as being able to improve conditions for some, hopefully many, people. Times could be changing faster than politicians can adapt to.
Today, the Establishment parties appear to be behind the curve of changing perceptions of UKIP and themselves. Ed, Dave and Nick and Co. seem to suffer from political hysteresis, still trotting out clichés, spin, mis-representations and outright deceits based on yesterday’s perceptions. Yet the Establishment parties are also trying to cash in on what UKIP has been saying, often for years. So they condemn UKIP whilst making diametrically opposite false promises that they cannot possibly deliver. And they conveniently forget that their policies are the cause of problems.
Consequently the Establishment are coming across as incoherent and keep on reinforcing the general perception that UKIP has been right all along and honest even to the extent of dealing with Third Rail issues. Thus, the Public can gain trust in UKIP, partly because of the behaviour of the others, whilst the others are destroying any impression that they can be trusted or are competent. This is an opportunity as Ed, Nick and Dave’s Party Machines flounder around, attacking UKIP then copying, and showing clearly that as part of the problem they can’t be part of the solution.
So in response to these changing times, UKIP needs to keep building up perceptions of trust and competence. Typically this can be done through:
- Common sense policies and common sense analysis that resonates with experience.
- Exposing failures/follies by the Establishment parties and EU and the resulting human cost.
- Presenting an optimistic vision of a future UKIP led country.
- Plan for implementation, how successful outcomes can be achieved in government.
This is a ‘next steps’ approach which assumes someone is interested, but may be hesitant. So go on to build confidence that you can be trusted to deliver because, unlike the other parties, you know what you will be doing to achieve successful outcomes. This is talking about practicalities of getting the job done efficiently and well where successive governments have failed. Ideally it should be supported by a successful track record of some sort.
Theodore Levitt, in Marketing Imagination put the questions What business are you in, what business should you be in? These days, the Establishment parties seem increasingly to be saying ‘in the business of self-centred, out of touch, over taxing and problem or folly creating government’. With UKIP it can be crystal clear: ‘to serve the interests of all the People, to Empower People and to ensure the People can have confidence and trust in us to deliver’.