Hello and welcome to the TCC Weekly – the Friday bulletin for people who know their punishment from the telishment.
This week, with Brexit on the rocks, we look at liberal strategies for winning over Leavers. Plus, we check out the tips to engaging in a world where perceptions are often misplaced. Plus, our Values Lab explores the values tribes that are most bookish. And of course, there’s Charlie’s Attic, the perennial bent spine holding together this Friday tome.
Changing hearts and minds on Brexit
With this being a bad week for Brexit talks, we thought we’d explore at what currently looks like the biggest political question going for liberals: the question of how Leavers can be persuaded to alter their views about Brexit. The Economist this week points out that Brexiteers will be more likely to blame the government than question themselves (£). And polling guru John Curtice points out that Leavers are growing more pessimistic but no less determined.
In light of all this, we thought this Ian Leslie article on strategic comms, which sets out ‘13 Dos and Don’ts’ for persuading Leavers, was excellent. Points 4 and 10 are especially good, and illustrate the need for emotional intelligence and meeting people where they’re at. But the whole article is important in demonstrating the need for empathetic communications – which reduce rather than enflame the cultural differences currently dividing Britain.
Two pieces of global research caught our eye this week. The first, from Ipsos MORI, is called The Perils of Perception, and shows people’s propensity to wrongly perceive the state of the world. It finds, for example, that “the large majority of people in Britain think the murder rate is higher now than in 2000, when it is actually around 29% lower.” Pew Research, meanwhile, polls people on whether life is better now than 50 years ago – with Brits saying it is by a ratio of about 3:2.
These findings cut to the quick of the modern engagement puzzle, and show why trust is so elusive. And they also show why myth-busting and showing people ‘the facts’ rarely cuts it. In a fast-moving, information-heavy and interconnected world, people are often liable to put faith in their own gut instincts, and form their opinions accordingly.
In this light it’s worth checking out Pillar K of our New Conversations guide (p.150-156), which explores the link between satisfaction and trust. It looks at how organisations like councils can go beyond basic service satisfaction and delivery numbers, so as to build deeper relationships.
A recent BBC radio programme, ‘Where are all the working-class writers?’, tackled the lack of socioeconomic diversity among published authors. It was a great show, and one of the key questions asked was about different socio-economic groups’ interest in books. This got us thinking about values diversity and reading, so we thought we’d exit the library, head to the lab, and put it to the test.
As the heatmap above shows, reading is primarily a Pioneer pastime. This makes a lot of sense in some ways – given this group are more driven by understanding and inner fulfilment, and also that they’re more likely to be middle-class. But it still raises interesting questions about previous writers. Room at the Top, for example, was a classic Prospector parable. Brideshead Revisited arguably appealed to the Settler desire for continuity over change.
It’s interesting to think about where contemporary stories from non-Pioneer value sets will come from…
Also, this week, register with YourMorals.Org, which has the definitive library of just about every type of values-based and attitudinal test going.
And finally, this week, Charlie’s Attic, the illuminating point in our bulletin where bookworm and glow-worm converge: