Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Jock Anderson: What Happens When Politicians Listen to The People

Pondering a tsunami of political disbelief in Britain and the United States, freelance journalist Jock Anderson asks: "What Happens When Politicians Listen to The People?"

Political analysts, commentators and news media appear to be struggling to come to grips with a groundswell of electoral uprising on both sides of the Atlantic.

From some accounts the prospect of new leadership in the forms of President Donald Trump (69) and Prime Minister Jeremy Corbyn (66) seems more a matter of when, not if.

Why have these previously unlikely figures emerged as potential leaders of the West???


They talk to the people - the folk who vote – and they do it directly, without the aid or hindrance of massive PR machines or campaign manipulators.

Both earlier written off by many professional commentators as extremist caricatures from opposite ends of the political spectrum, Republican Mr Trump and Labour Mr Corbyn have shown an uncanny ability to stand up and speak for themselves.

This is what I am, this is me, here is what you get, they say – warts and all.

Thousands of people flock to hear them speak.

Mr Corbyn’s venues in Britain have been packed, with hundreds of Labour followers spilling into the streets.

Talk that tie forsaking Mr Corbyn – resplendent in corduroy jacket - could work well alongside the Scottish National Party – another movement driven by people-power – has some trembling in Westminster.

Mr Trump, long portrayed as a rich red-haired comb-over clown, invites people to pull his hair.

“It’s real,” he says. “Just like me…”

Toss Democratic Party presidential nomination and independent Senator Bernie Sanders (74), a plain-speaking democratic socialist, into the US mix and watch the sparks fly.

What is also real is that public support for both men keeps on coming, which has pundits and news anchors in a tizz.

No-one appears to have foreseen the rapid rise in public popularity of either Mr Trump or Mr Corbyn.

Certainly not the commentariat.

Perhaps it’s because too much reliance is put on milking the “same again” views of party PR hustlers, paid lobbyists, pollsters and other predictable mouthpieces.

Such “expert” voices are often drowned out on the day by the reality of the voting public.

For whatever reason, the support around Mr Trump and Mr Corbyn appears to be evidence of a much broader, fundamental groundswell across society for a “New Deal” in political leadership.

A deal which in the past meant one indistinguishable size fitted all, regardless of party affiliation or policy.

But a deal which now demands politicians listen to and talk to the people and act on their wishes.

Who knows, the idea might even catch on in New Zealand.

Scary concept, eh?

Jock Anderson has been a journalist for a long time, observing matters from what he describes as a sensible centre-right perspective. He can be contacted at


Unknown said...

Ron Paul had huge rallies in the last 2 US elections but the electorate was steered away from an agenda that could have done much for the USA by the corporate controlled mass media. That is the reality in the US and other countries. The majority of the electorates in most democracies are ignorant, naive,apathetic, lazy,cowardly voters. How do you change that. Bernie Sanders is probably drawing more people to election rallies in the US at the moment than any of the other contenders but watching the mass media you would never know that. The controllers of the mass media know how to propagandize and sell a product just as the foreign
owners of the New Zealand mass media know as well.

Anonymous said...

Watched what happened in Australia recently.?

Auntie Podes said...

Really? The only reasons Trump is heard at all is that he has the wealth to buy an audience. That the man is a total buffoon and enjoys the following he has is due to the fact that the Americans accept that money is all. He, having oodles of the substance, simply has to know what he's doing and, if wee vote for him, some of it may rub off onus.

Dave said...

The popularity of these two would be leaders is more about the majority of people getting sick and tired of PC correct run of mill leaders who no matter what party they represent the end result is more of the same, soft decisions or no decisions at all, being a puppet of big business and unable to show any fortitude or backbone when tough decisions need to be made. A new leader who says it as it is, and is prepared to act like a leader of mass or silent majority will get support. Its a sign that for the last 70 years western democracy's have drifted and for a great many people life is now full of frustration, weak laws and courts, overburdened social welfare systems, the rich getting richer, and stupid PC correctness creeping into just about everything we do or try to do. The time is right for a new breed of leader who taps into that unrest and frustration, we also need this type of leader in NZ.