‘Listening’ is nice – but it’s no substitute for action | Imogen West-Knights

On Black Lives Matter, the climate crisis and Brexit, politicians and brands seem to be all ears. There’s a reason for that

You have just been elected leader of the Liberal Democrats. Congratulations! Allow me to be the first to say: we always knew it would be you. Like millions of other little children all over the world with posters of Paddy Ashdown above their beds, you had a dream: to one day lead our boys in yellow. But unlike them, your dream came true.

Now, you’ll have noticed that people are very angry at the moment, about all kinds of different things: the coronavirus pandemic, Brexit, racism, climate breakdown, the economy, the Tories, the Labour party. And we want all of those people to vote for your friends and mine, the Lib Dems, at the next general election. So what we need is a statement that implies we’re like, good, but in the most general possible way. OK, hold on, now I think you might love this. What about: “I am listening”? It’s good, isn’t it? Hoof the ball right back into the public’s court. Great stuff. OK, here’s two free drink tokens – enjoy the party, champ.

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