Posts Tagged ‘emotional decision-making’

We haven’t got time to be rational

16/12/2010, 07:00:07 AM

by Peter Watt

A mistake that we make on the left is to behave as though people make rational decisions, when we know that on the whole they don’t. People tend to make emotional decisions. We go with what feels right; and then if it feels right we adapt our rational thinking to meet our emotional view of the world.

It is what we do when we are trying to make decisions in our personal lives. You may start with logic, but ultimately you just go with your gut. And it is as true in politics as in life. If we had won in May, we would have made cuts, reformed welfare and implemented the Browne review. OK, we might have done things slightly differently (I am sure that we wouldn’t have tripled tuition fees; but we’d have put them up), but we would have rationalised the things we didn’t like. We would have taken to the airwaves and Twitter in defence of the government’s decisions. We would be stressing the overall impact of the international banking crisis and the noble and progressive motives of the government.

And that is why a “two year blank piece of paper” is potentially disastrous for Ed Miliband’s leadership, and therefore the Labour party’s chances at the next election. Rationally, of course, it makes sense. We have just suffered the worse election defeat for nearly thirty years. A period of reflection; time being taken developing policies for an election not due to be fought until 2015; what is wrong with that? (more…)

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