Hello and welcome to the TCC Weekly – the Friday bulletin for people who know their Uber from their Übermensch.
This week we bring you our own take on why Tory Glastonbury hasn’t worked and the latest rock band that is rallying against Southern Railway. Plus, we’ve got an exclusive poll on discipline and education from a Values lens, and in our Behaviour Change section we bring you the latest on nudge and big data.
And of course there’s Charlie’s Attic – the centrist pad for Centrist Dads.
If you see a link that belongs in The Weekly then email it to us and we’ll give you a free TCC exclamation mark to say thanks.
Three fascinating articles this week look at social media and the bonds between individuals. The first argues that social interactions are what stops us dehumanising each other – and that the internet is making this harder. The second shows how social media inflates our sense of how popular and successful others are. And a third says low self-esteem and narcissism are related to social media addiction.
Combined, these articles point to major challenges for cohesion and isolation. In the worst-case scenario, we face a dystopian future; citizens huddled at their laptops, envying or hating imagined others! In reality, of course, the internet enlightens as much as it creates distance. But, whereas a few years back technology was seen as a social panacea, it’s now becoming increasingly clear that progress will come through bridging the gap between online and offline.
To psephologists it’s the million-dollar question: What determines how people vote? Do people vote for the party that they perceive will advance their material interests (do they vote with their head)? Or is it down to ideological affinities regardless of self-interest (do they vote with their heart)?
The answer is, of course, complex. Individuals often behave in unpredictable ways, and different people are motivated by different factors. But what does seem clear is that there’s been a realignment between the liberal ‘cosmopolitan’ vote (which now overwhelmingly backs Labour) v. the socially conservative vote – which is more concentrated in less densely populated, rural areas and now overwhelmingly backs the Tories. If you haven’t yet seen this article published back in July, it’s certainly worth having a read, as it explains the phenomena well.
This week we see one obvious manifestations of this trend, and that’s Labour party conference which feels more like Glastonbury than a traditional party conference (click here and here to see what we mean).
This realignment of the ‘cosmopolitan’ v. the socially conservative vote may in turn also explain why ‘Tory Glastonbury’ appears to have fallen flat on its face: Organisers have attempted to appeal to the Tory voter base by using a mechanism which in and of itself doesn’t appeal to that very base.
Whether you believe in stricter, more disciplinarian forms of education or liberal models which put children’s freedom first may point to where you land on the Values Modes compass. That at least was our hypothesis at TCC earlier this week.
We decided to put the hypothesis to the test – so we donned our lab coats, dusted off our bunsen burners, and entered the Values Lab. There we tested people’s affinity with the notion of discipline, manifested in this sentence: “I believe that strict discipline is in a child’s best interests.”
The results appear on the table below:
% who believe that strict discipline is in a child’s best interests
Not at all/not like me
A little/Quite like me
Like/very much like me
The results are what we might expect – Settlers, who value tradition and authority, agree strongly with the statement, and socially liberal, altruistic Pioneers are the least likely to agree. Prospectors on the other hand sit in the middle.
What’s revealing is the extent of disagreement: There’s a whopping 32% gap on the bottom row between Settlers and Pioneers.
And finally this week, Charlie’s Attic, the pollster-cum-psychologist’s guide to the dark web:
Commute on Southern Rail – and if you’re late, The Darkness will help you sing about it