Our Political Tribes by Peter Jones

The need lies deep within us, being in the right, or wrong one could be the difference between surviving winter or dying alone in the cold. Today we identify our loyalty by the kit we wear, the places we shop, and the beliefs we have.  

As a "cave person" your unquestionable loyalty to your group may have been core to the survival of the tribe, and yourself. It's this deep routed psychology which holds so many to a political ideology and party, despite the vast shifts in what originally drew them to those groups. Of course, that deep desire is manipulated by the many political spin doctors. More often than not the devides are clearly drawn and many naturally funnel into their political tribe. If you like field sports or aspire for, or have wealth, you must be a Conservative, want to save the planet and eat plants, then you're a Green.

It is extraordinary how so many people will so confidently state, 'I am a Tory / Labour/ Green/ Lib Dem voter, I always have been, and I always will be!'. 60 - 70% of the electorate on the 4th of July are already unconditionally aligned to a tribe and will vote as they always have. Their tribal allegiance will not be swayed by the debates, manifestos, historical competence or incompetence of that party or its leaders.

It makes you wonder if the leadership of that party were to openly lie, waste public funds in corrupt deals, run the public services to the ground, would they realise they are in the wrong tribe? Surely you would?

Incredibly many will willingly vote against what they believe is best for the nation. Despite an understanding that our "first past the post" voting system often means it's only a two-horse race, so many will still only vote for their tribe. This more than often can result in splitting the vote, with victory going to a party that stands against everything they value, even when they know there is a better alternative.

What will you do on the 4th of July? Will you rationally consider the best option for you, your family, and North Devon? Or are you already in 'your' tribe?!

Cllr Peter Jones

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