Tina Stowell Associates

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  • 9

    Don’t focus on Trump, focus on his voters

    November 9th, 2016 | no comments | Posted in Uncategorized

    In my post last Saturday (Stay focused and mind the gap) I talked about the chasm exposed by Brexit and how Theresa May understands Brexit is a means to deliver change and not the end in itself.

    The people angry enough to vote for Donald Trump, regardless of all he has said and done in the past, see him as a means to an end too.

    The similarities between Brexit and Trump is that they exposed the chasm – they didn’t create it. The way I picture it, as I said in my last post, is that all the people who voted for him and Brexit are on the other side, screaming to be noticed and pointing to the chasm which everyone can now finally see.

    After Brexit in the UK, Theresa May understood quickly and built a bridge to the other side: “Brexit means Brexit”. Or if you like, Theresa is the bridge. In my view, the rest of us in the UK have either to walk over Theresa’s bridge or build our own to get there. Until we’re all on the other side, and can see what life is like there, “expert” solutions won’t get a hearing because people need to be convinced first that the experts have understood them and the problem as they experience it.

    In the US, Donald Trump was on the other side of the chasm already with the people who voted for him, but he’s not built a sturdy enough bridge yet for others to follow him. Trump voters knew that when they voted for him – but he was all they had, and as time went on more on more people became convinced this was the only chance they were going to get to be taken seriously.

    I doubt any of them believes he’ll build a 2,000 mile wall to keep the Mexicans out and get them to pay for it. They are not stupid and that’s not what they really want. What they want, is to be taken seriously. And that’s what the Donald did. They believed that by voting for him the rest of America would finally take them seriously too. He’s their means to an end. He helped them blow everything up and now everyone else can see them on the other side of the chasm too.

    What they and Trump now need is for experienced, clever people to build some sturdier bridges to help him make change happen so life feels more fair. They need a few Theresas of their own. That’s why the plea in his acceptance speech was so important and must draw a constructive response:

    “For those of you who haven’t supported me…. I’m reaching out to you for your guidance and your help so that we can work together and unify our great country”.

    I’m not saying all this is easy and everything is going to be honky dory just like that. There are people who voted for Hillary who are worried and need reassurance too. I get that, and the signs are that Donald gets that too.

    But smart people – politicians, businessmen, journalists – need to get over the chasm and find out what’s going on. Understand and listen to the people who are there. It’s only by seeing the world through the eyes of the people who live there that “experts” can earn the right and respect to be heard and we stand a chance of uniting the western world.

    I said on Saturday that we’ll find out on Tuesday if Obama and Hillary have been focussing on the right thing. They weren’t. Look what’s happened to them.

    Doing nothing is not an option. Being upset that the US has elected Donald Trump to the White House is not only pointless (he’s there) it’s dangerous. Because rejecting him would feel to his voters that they have been rejected too.

    Stop focusing on Donald and focus instead on his voters. He took them seriously. That’s all. And look what together they achieved.

    Donald Trump and his voters didn’t create the chasm, they exposed it and, in doing so, have created the opportunity for everyone to do something about it.

  • 5

    Stay focused and mind the gap

    November 5th, 2016 | no comments | Posted in Uncategorized

    Even after the shock of Brexit, I still don’t think we understand just how badly divided the western world is, how angry some people are, and the risks of us not responding properly to them.

    All that jovial talk after the referendum that the Vote Leave campaign was “only meant to blow the bloody doors off” missed the point. The people who voted ‘Leave’ didn’t want to limit the damage, they really did want to blow everything up – and start again.

    Over in the USA, they are so angry that they will vote for Donald Trump regardless of what he says or has done in the past because people believe he’s their only hope of blowing everything up.

    Here Theresa May, an experienced and respected politician, understood immediately what Brexit exposed and responded by promising to change the way our country works when we leave the European Union so it works for everyone.

    For our new Prime Minister, getting out of the European Union is a means to an end. It is not the end in itself. And that’s why Theresa May is right to do nothing that undermines people’s belief in what Brexit means.

    We should consider ourselves lucky that the people who are angry believe our serious-minded, experienced Prime Minister can deliver for them.

    I went to the “Women of the Year Awards” a couple of weeks ago where the Prime Minister presented an award to the Hillsborough Women. What happened was fascinating and tells us a lot.

    Margaret Aspinall, the woman who has been most vocal in the Hillsborough families’ cause, came to the stage to accept and gave Theresa May the most heartfelt embrace, even putting her hand on the back of the Prime Minister’s neck. Margaret Aspinall then said, to a room full of several hundred other women and in front of television cameras, that Theresa May was the first person in power she had ever trusted.

    Let’s just stop and think about what that cameo tells us.

    Theresa May can command the trust of people previously let down and therefore has the potential to unite.

    Brexit exposed the massive chasm between those who have been ignored for too long and those who have the power to make change happen. The way I picture it, the people who voted ‘Leave’ are stood on one side pointing to the chasm between us and screaming at the other side for help. And Theresa May has crossed over to them.

    That’s what the rest of us have got to do. This really is not about politics at all. There’s a mish-mash of parties and a coalition of all sorts of people on both sides of the chasm.

    Until we’re all on the other side and working together to fix that gap, the one thing I know for sure is that the normal game of politics won’t work. A general election right now would be about politicians and their power to not make change happen.

    There are many serious business figures, other professionals, experts, MPs and members of the House of Lords who want desperately to get the best Brexit for the whole of the UK and will work tirelessly to achieve that.

    But the people who need our help don’t believe us anymore.

    So what do we do?

    We have all got to follow Theresa. That doesn’t mean people have to vote for her, agree with her, or not challenge her.

    It means that if we want the people on the other side of the chasm to listen, to take us seriously and believe that we want a country that works for everyone too, we first have to walk over the bridge she has built, or build one of our own, and join them.

    The judges were doing their job this week and they were doing it as they should. The newspapers were doing their job too. But the reason that judges are judging and newspapers are shouting is because powerful people – in business and politics – are not focusing on the chasm. Instead, they appear to everyone on the other side of the chasm to be focusing on themselves.

    We have to accept we are coming out of the European Union. We will be triggering Article 50 by the end of March. Two years after that we will be out. I don’t know if that means a Hard Brexit or not, but I do believe the sooner talk of delays, second referendums and Soft Brexits stops, the better Brexit will be for everyone.

    At an election rally in the US on Friday night Barack Obama told the crowds they have to stay focussed. He said it over and over again. He’s right. But has he and Hillary been focussing on the right thing?

    We’ll find out on Tuesday night.