Posted tagged ‘politics’

Is economic growth incompatible with sustainable development?

09/09/2011

The Guardian poses the question, ‘is economic growth incompatible with sustainable development?’

It is easier to point out the problems than find a systemic solution, but it is vital that we are able to articulate a better future

George Monbiot reports prior to taking part in a debate with the minister of state for energy and climate change, Charles Hendry, on the subject of whether economic growth is incompatible with sustainable development.
Read the article and Bodyproject’s views at:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/discussion/comment-permalink/12333269

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Behind the Griffin door

25/10/2009

“The two pillars of ‘political correctness’ are wilful ignorance and a steadfast refusal to face the truth”

George Macdonald

It has been fascinating to watch Griffin’s odious performance on BBC Question Time and then to listen to the phone debates, read the web commentaries and the newspaper columnists.  The problem is I think most people just can’t get their head around why this vile man and his BNP buddies are becoming so successful.

Bodyproject believes there are seven rules of communication and rule two is that of the rule of opposites.  I call it the “Lennon and McCartney’ rule.  In other words that extremes and opposites are powerful communication propositions but that effective communication takes place somewhere when the two combine.  Lennon and McCartney are fine artists in their own rights but very different and yet put them together and arguably you have the best song writing partnership that has ever existed.  Equally the case when we communicate that take two extremes and reconcile them and then you have true effective communication.

The commentators views that the BNP are successful as they play on people’s fears or that somehow we are a nation of racist, homophobic idiots is plain wrong.  The BNP have managed, however outrageous we find it, to create a dialogue that resonates with a large group of people.  And not one of the mainstream parties or the liberal types that adorned the BBC audience has grasped that and is tackling it.

The fact is a multi-cultured society is difficult to achieve as it takes the rule of opposites and tries to apply it at all levels.  A woman in the Question Time audience said she shuddered when Jack Straw used the term Afro Caribbean rather than African Caribbean.  And herein lies the problem.  We have become so ‘politically correct’ that we shudder at such terminology and what we have done is drive the ‘anti’ view underground.  Watch any sitcom from the seventies to see what I mean.  Whilst I am not advocating we return to such days, I do believe what we have effectively done is played into the hands of the BNP in our mistaken belief that we have a tolerant, diverse and multi-cultural society.  We don’t, it is just no longer on the surface.

It is a problem that needs to be addressed but our society is risk averse, litigious and inherently unable to even use the language to have the debate for fear of vilification – just look at what happened to the Strictly Come Dancing star when he let an unspoken word slip out.  I fear that we may no longer be able to confront the issues that lie behind the BNP’s support.  It will need to take a really brave approach to social marketing but just look at the National Centre for Social Marketing’s website and you will realise that we have little chance.  Their use of photography to try and represent multi culture is so politically correct it is in danger of going the other way by using glamorous models to portray older people, different sexes, people with disabilities, ethnic groupings. And if the NCSM is so running scared, then what hope have we got to use social marketing to take on and defeat the BNP?