A view from Dave Trott

On 8 May 1945, Germany surrendered. Japan was still fighting, so World War II wasn't over.

But, with the war still in progress, Britain held an election.

Everyone would vote whether Winston Churchill should stay as prime minister.

It was pretty much a foregone conclusion, of course.

After six terrible years, it was Churchill who’d led Britain to victory.

When all seemed lost, he’d made speeches that gave everyone hope.

It took three weeks to count all the votes because the troops were still fighting abroad.

That didn’t worry Churchill and the Conservative Party, though.

They knew they’d be elected with a massive majority.

Except they weren’t.

They lost.

The Labour Party got twice as many seats as the Conservatives.

Even though the war wasn’t over, Churchill was voted out.

It was called "the khaki election" because it was the armed forces vote that swung the result so dramatically.

At home, Churchill was seen as a hero.

But, abroad, the troops didn’t see it like that.

They saw Churchill as a member of the ruling classes.

They remembered the previous war.

Five million men had volunteered to fight and a million had died.

They’d been promised they were fighting for better lives.

But when they came home, things were worse than ever.

There were no jobs, families were living in hovels, children were dying from starvation and disease.

These soldiers weren’t going to go through that again.

They’d done the fighting and dying; not Churchill, not his class.

At home, Churchill was seen as a hero, But, abroad, the troops didn’t see it like that. They saw Churchill as the ruling class

The ruling class was happy Britain had won because things could go back to the status quo.

But the working class didn’t want to go back to the status quo.

This time, they wanted real change.

The Labour Party offered housing for everyone, a government that looked after the poor, the old, the sick and the unemployed.

That’s what the working class wanted.

But Churchill wasn’t having any of that.

That was socialism, which, for him, was next to communism.

Churchill hated the communists more than the Nazis.

He made speeches telling the working class why they should steer clear of socialism at all costs.

He was booed and jeered.

But Churchill and the Conservative Party took no notice.

They had won the war and that was all anyone should care about.

Except it wasn’t, because there was a world outside their bubble.

Churchill in 1945. Kinnock in 1992. Miliband in 2015.

Each time, these people were talking to themselves and their followers.

Each time, they assumed their bubble was the world.

Each time, they kept telling everyone what they thought they should want.

Rather than bother finding out what they did want.

That’s bad marketing.

That’s misunderstanding what marketing does.

Marketing isn’t about selling people something whether they want it or not.

Marketing is finding out what people actually want.

Then finding a way to match what they want with what we have to sell.


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