There are some massive decisions to be made in the next six months – beginning with Brexit and ending in Trump.
No matter what the outcomes, one thing can be learned from the subsequent debates is the way the arguments for the various views are put across.
Social media has allowed more people to get their voice heard. Via Twitter, it’s almost as if we’re hearing the world’s uncensored steam of consciousness – feelings straight from the gut, words said without a thought of the consequences. It’s a fascinating stream of opinion, fact, counter-fact and downright bizarreness.
Twitter aside, the level of communication from each side of the Brexit debate is enthralling. Put aside the content, and the articulate and well thought out arguments of Ian Duncan Smith are a pleasure to hear. He’s assertive without being confrontational, facts based (as far as you can be with so much uncertainty), and consistent. Above all, he’s passionate and authentic.
Compare his style to Leave campaigner and MP Priti Patel. Her style is copied from old 60’s politically incorrect sit-coms and based on the premise “if you don’t understand what I’m saying, then I’ll just speaker louder”. Her advisors have obviously told her to use the phrase ‘let me be clear’ to signal that she’s about to give an ‘important point’. In fact, the opposite happens; that phrase has become a signal to the audience that she hasn’t a proper answer to the question or a single fact to back it up. Oh, and turn the sound down as the volume is undoubtedly about to get louder. Score one for her ability as a politician; nil points for her ability to communicate.
Listen to her interview with the excellent BBC presenter Mishal Hussain here.
Over the other side of the pond, whatever you think of him, Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump is clever communicator. He’s authentic, of that there is no doubt. He does really believe he can make America great again. He does think a great deal of bricks and a structure to rival the Great Wall of China is part of that plan. On occasions, he’ll articulate his view with enough passion to make you not only listen, but quite possibly, agree with him. His Achilles heel as a communicator is sometimes forgets to engage brain before opening mouth.
Mr T could learn from MoneyWeek Editor-in-chief Merryn Somerset Webb. She appeared on Radio 4’s ‘Any Questions?’ recently and the clarity of her thoughts and the way she articulated her views were a joy to hear. She was precise, unemotional, logical and facts-based. Politicians could learn a lot from her. Listen to her here