Focus Group Politics

"The point about focus group politics is that there isn't one, because people are contradictory and irrational. and so you have a problem in terms of deciding what you are going to do if all you do is listen to a massive individual opinion-they are forever fluctuating and don't really have any coherence, and crucially are not set in context.

"And so that is why people can say - you know- I want lower taxes, and better public services. Of course they do. - you know - You say "do you want to PAY more taxes to get better public services, people are less sure. And then do they believe that if they pay more taxes that they will be spent on better public services?

"So you end up in this quagmire where -- and the truth is a politician has to say, 'the truth is, this is what I believe. I believe you should pay slightly more taxes to make better public services, and I pledge that I am competent enough to actually use that money wisely. Do you want to now vote for me yes or no?'"

Derek Draper
Assistant to Peter Mandelson 1992 - 1995

From part four of the BBC production "The Century of Self" as found on Google Video (54 min. 34 seconds into it)

It has proved very interesting watching "The Century of Self" for class. I can't help thinking of the current political campaigns for U.S. president. I want to be an "inner directed" as the jargon from the film would say. I want to be a person that makes decisions based on values and principles I hold. However, I'm afraid I'm just as manipulated by political propaganda as I am by Apple's advertisement campaigns. (i.e. I believe that Apple's products are hip, cool, fashionable, and are a great accessory to everyday life.)

Does it count for anything that I don't own an iPod?