The usual argument to match this is that unless something has been ‘focussed grouped’ there is no point considering it. Raising funding to have issues focus grouped now seems one of the easiest things to achieve in the NGO world.

Heaven above that anyone should have an original idea that no one in a focus group has heard of, meaning it has no prospect of resonating there. These don’t count. It is the apparent job of the NGO to now either promote the mundane, the extreme (which often gives well with focus groups) or the outright Daily Mail view. The rest really is not of concern, apparently.

It will surprise no one that this irritates me. The tax justice movement would most certainly never have got going on this basis. Nor would the Green New Deal. Neither ‘cut through’ for some time. The ideas had to be developed, nurtured and carefully promoted. And then they began to work. Neither, very obviously, was deeply Tory.

They’re all such bastards, aren’t they? Refusing grants to the Sage of Ely?

So what is happening here? Are we seeing the takeover of NGOs by Tory thinking? Or the suppression of original thinking? What I do know is that there are many who do not know the value of anything. But it all suits the Tories very well.

12 thoughts on “Diddums”

  1. Why do the NGOs focus group stuff? The reason is that they’re the campaigning type. They don’t spend the money on doing stuff they worked out its far more efficient to spend the money on campaigns to persuade someone else to do stuff and foot the bill.

  2. Bloke in North Dorset

    Now we add focus groups to the list of subjects on which Spud has displayed his ignorance. The whole point of a focus group is to put ideas forward to see how people react and then to use the reactions to develop the idea and messaging to persuade people.

    If you just want to know what people think and then give them what they want you do opinion polls or surveys.

  3. I’m guessing Murphy’s hawking of Sustainable Cost Accounting around the grant providers has not been favourably received.

  4. He’s 180 degrees wrong. Both tax justice and the Green New Deal would go down a storm in focus groups: they’re exactly the sort of wibbly-wobbly shit focus groups love. “Yes, I agree the rich should pay more taxes.” “Yes, I agree we should invest more in sustainable jobs for our kids’ futures.”

    The problem is, that’s as far as they go. They’re merely dreams. When you try and turn them into reality, people realise they’re actually nightmares. Higher taxes for the rich means higher taxes for everybody; investing in sustainable jobs means… higher taxes for everybody.

    Focus groups love broad generalisations. But when it comes down to it, none of us actually wants to pay more tax or give up the car or stop flying overseas or stop eating avocados or any of the stuff that those generalisations actually mean.

  5. We didn’t ask the customers what they would accept, how dare they not accept what we thought up without consulting them.

  6. “There are very many who do not know the value of anything”

    This the stopped clock moment – Murphy has got something right. He has described Grauniad columnists (not all cynics meet that definition).

  7. “Both tax justice and the Green New Deal would go down a storm in focus groups”

    Yes, if the idea was presented by anyone else…
    And most of the ideas in it are being “presented” by the usual suspects..

    It’s just that the whole “same ideas with new coat of paint” rig is their part of the Trough, and they don’t want to catch P³ cooties…
    And I can’t blame them…

  8. I’d settle for seeing a takeover of the Conservative party by Tory thinking. Little sign of this happening at present.

  9. Dennis, Bullshit Detector

    The tax justice movement would most certainly never have got going on this basis. Nor would the Green New Deal. Neither ‘cut through’ for some time. The ideas had to be developed, nurtured and carefully promoted. And then they began to work.

    This is ‘working’? What they’re doing now?

    Huh.

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