Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Where We Work We Win....

I don't like shibboleths. I don't like this particular shibboleth of the Liberal Democrat party "Where We Work We Win".

I understand that we need to motivate our support to come and campaign for us. I don't think generalisations are the way forward - both because they can be counter-productive and also in this particular case, it could lead to burn out.

For me, the phrase more irritates me due to inaccuracy than depresses me but I have met activists who are depressed by this attitude. More depressing to me is blank looks when you raise that there may be a better way of putting this, or sometimes outright hostility and the assumption if you question the received wisdom you must not be working hard enough, possibly accompanied by side eye from the person you are questioning. Because hard workers don't have time to question, you see. Although I've always found there's a lot of time for thought whilst delivering leaflets......

I don't like to raise problems without solutions - so how about some of these for motivation?

- What have you done for the Lib Dems today? 
- Where can you help today/this week?
- Look at all these other activists helping, come join in!

I have an additional concern that phrases like this contribute to a general sense in the party that you can never work hard enough (and I wonder if that happens in other parties too?) and that can lead to burn out and loss of activists - it's important to balance the short and long term. Plus I am sure with a bit of imagination a less judgemental slogan to motivate people could be achieved.  If for no other reason that it should be renewed to keep it fresh. 

As a side issue : I'd actually be interested in the genesis of this phrase, especially as a campaigning motivator, so any idea where it started, or who was it's main advocate? Please answer in the comments if you are aware.

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