Net-Zero Transition News

Reaching the unreachable

Ieuan Williams, Madano consultant and prospective parliamentary Labour Party candidate for Ynys Môn
Ieuan Williams, Madano consultant and prospective parliamentary Labour Party candidate for Ynys Môn

In the modern era of social media, high impact adverts and short attention spans, there remain very few effective tools in getting a message across. Cutting through is becoming more and more of a challenge.

One of the best pieces of advice I’ve received is to repeat your message, repeat it until you’re blue in the face, repeat it to the point where you’re certain the words aren’t spelt correctly, or are even words anymore. Only at the point where you think you might be going insane is when your audience is hearing it for the first time.

There has been plenty of analysis of Keir Starmer’s New Year speech yesterday. For me, most of it understood what he was getting at, but ultimately missed the point.

If you’re reading this, the speech wasn’t for you. If you’ve ever voted in a Police and Crime Commissioner election, the speech wasn’t for you. If you’ve ever watched Question Time, the SNP leadership debates, Have I Got News For You, or any of the Sunday morning politics shows, the speech definitely wasn’t for you.

For those who are so wholly consumed by politics it’s inconceivable that you could even entertain the notion of not voting, but I’m telling you right now, those people are out there, and I’ve never known there to be so many.

Since becoming a Parliamentary candidate I’ve pretty much lost count, there are the under-30s who have never really known anything but a Conservative Government; people who voted Remain but feel they have been forced out of the EU against their will; military veterans who feel completely abandoned; and last-but-not-least, your stereotypical mate who says politics has never done anything for them but unironically complains about the price of literally everything.

These are people who have never known voting to mean anything, and their attention is hard won.

Yesterday’s speech was for them. Those who are left so utterly bereft by politics that the word doesn’t even appear in their daily lives, but also people pushed to the brink by the state of everything, having just come out the other side of worrying how to pay for Christmas, now faced with the everyday stresses of paying rent, or the mortgage, potential Council tax rises, car insurance renewals, and no reprieve to energy bills.

These are people whose standards of living haven’t measurably improved a bit in 14 years, people who are so occupied with keeping a warm roof over their heads that you can then hardly expect them to follow every single story on the political roundabout, let alone have the bandwidth to understand what fiscal drag is, and how that little pay rise they might have received last year has stealthily increased their tax burden.

Yesterday was Keir Starmer extending a hand to the hardest to reach people in our society, whose only interaction with current affairs is something they may have briefly seen on TikTok, or a few seconds of a reel they were sent on Instagram. For others it might be glimpsing a snippet of a headline on a newspaper left on the bus, or hearing something on the radio while getting their hair cut.

Trying to reignite hope in a population which is simultaneously crying out for change, but is more disengaged than ever is no mean feat, but that is the task that Keir Starmer, the entire Labour Party, and its cohort of candidates have.

The only way to get that message across is to repeat it, and for those who do pay attention on a daily basis, there are a lot worse things that could be happening to you right now than hearing the message of hope and ambition set out by the Labour Party a few too many times. We want to change this country for the better, and we make no apology for that.

If you’re still reading this, this still wasn’t for you.