Monday 27 June 2016

Brexit: how Game of Thrones can help explain what just happened

There's a very interesting series of Youtube videos that teach leadership using Game of Thrones examples. Here's his take on the persuasive leader: Tyrion Lannister. Tyrion is effective because he finds out what people care about then offers it to them.

The outstanding persuaders of the Brexit campaign were Nigel Farage, Boris Johnson and Rupert Murdoch. 2 ex-public school very rich men and a billionaire.

The notable persuaded demographic was the "Left Behind." In this video Matthew Goodwin explains who these disenfranchised voters are and why they are drawn to the radical Right. Briefly these are older blue collar working men who lack the skills for a modern career.

The interesting thing about the Leave campaign is how effectively they offered British people, particularly the disenfranchised Left Behind group, what they wanted. The key themes are "ordinary British people" v foreigners, skillfully muddling fear of radical Islamic murderers with immigration from ordinary European citizens; "taking back control" - a key theme in the lives of the economically disadvantaged Left Behind; and support for the NHS - a primary concern for older voters. And a strong appeal to patriotism which saw Leave supporters decking themselves in Union Jacks or England flags, conflating the referendum with the football tournament that's happening just now.

And as for Murdoch along with reasons to vote Leave he gives the British people Game of Thrones and the Premier League - the man knows precisely what people want.

Now let's go back to the Game of Thrones videos. This one is about how the Starks always manage to make people to betray them. They never pay attention to what other people want and take it for granted that other people will respond the way they do.

And this runs so very true for the Remain campaign. They offered dry economic facts and statistics which might be persuasive to a Westminster technocrat but are unappealing to a population that has been bullshitted with statistics for decades. They reminded people how well the economy is doing which might be appealing to politicians driving their Range Rovers around London but has no appeal to Leave voters some of whom have said in interviews that they chose Leave because they don't see how things can possibly get any worse. Remember over half a million Britons use Food Banks.

The people who fronted the Remain side were awful. Cameron and Osborne who are associated with the austerity that has made so many voters feel poorer. Corbyn's heart wasn't in it. Rich businessmen urging people to vote In was disastrous because those people symbolise the winners and losers situation that the Left Behind feel they're in. The Bosses were asking the Workers to support the status quo. Both sides were led by very wealthy men - one side downplayed that and appeared relatable and ordinary; one side smugged about how prosperous economic union was making them and showed the voters graphs.


Chaos is a ladder.

The one positive to come out of this fiasco is that the information politicians need to build us a better country, so that in time we can repair the damage we just did to the rest of the world, has been brought into sharp relief. It's a wake up call for politicians, activists and ordinary citizens who want to influence policy - find out what people want and how to offer it to them. It's actually a good thing that the losers of the last few decades have had a chance to say "Hey! We're not happy.". This MP gets it. Let this be the last time someone talks to their MP then thinks

You know nothing, Jon Snow.

Tuesday 14 June 2016

What's next for the North?

One of the burning questions for many Eve players is: Is the War over?

For The Imperium the answer is no, although some elements of the coalition have quietly ended the war on their own terms with 4 alliances having left, numerous corps and a steady bleed of about 250 individuals a week from the main Goon alliance.

Ratting statistics from CCP Quant and Croda show that ratting activity is back to pre-war levels which perhaps suggests that a number of the displaced Goons have found discreet ways to rat, perhaps using a Horde or Test alt to continue working the same space as before while maintaining a loyal Goon pvper in their lemonade factory hideout.

For the attackers however the war is over. Sure people will form to fight Goons and will form to defend space or assets  but the notion that we are at war is no longer true. Both KillahBee (PL) and Gobbins (PH) have stated that they consider the war over and as for Waffles we left the war zone over a month ago.

Inertia is a powerful force however and it's unlikely that PL will want to undertake the onerous chore of moving until after Alliance Tournament season which is expected to start any day now.

Nonetheless the forces holding The Imperium down will slowly lift and.... well, what will hppen next?

It will depend on Goon leadership - their choice will set the location and some of the participants for the next war. I  think it will be a reconquest of Deklein, the toughest option and the richest prize. If Goons were willing to settle for a lesser region surely they would have already deployed to take it.

The difficulty here is that the conquerors are in many cases now rather entrenched. If Deklein is attacked then the regions in front of it - Pure Blind and Fade - are likely to be attacked or to support Deklein anyway and regions further back - Branch Tribute and Vale contain ex-MBC members who have everything to lose if Goons can re-establish themselves as sov-holders. This is the rough force composition:

Deklein: Guardians of the Galaxy (approx 10k pilots).

Fade: Pandemic Horde (10k), French Brave (400).

Pure Blind: PBC (1k), MOA (1800), NC. (2750).

With the Imperium now at about 25k that means numbers are even against the residents of the regions directly in the path of a Deklein invasion.

So even if PL leave the Goons won't have a huge advantage, even against the locals now living there.

Let's add in the residents of ex-Imperium space nearby:

Branch Out of Sight (750).

Tribute: OSS (1350), MC. (800), CO2 (3500)

Vale: Test (7k)

This means even if the nomadic alliances leave, let's include MC. and NC. too the Imperium is still significantly out-numbered just by the new locals. I think this means the only chance Goons could have to win is if they use their supercap fleet and if they started doing that PL would be back before you could say "third party."

Something pretty seismic needs to happen for Goons to get back into the game and it's not simply waiting for PL to get bored, that alone isn't enough. A Goon/Test axis would make it interesting but it's time for the Goons' famous corps diplomatique to shine.

Meanwhile the future of nullsec is stalemate, until something game-changing happens like The Imperium going south or hiring PL as mercs or something even more unexpected. But I honestly think Goons will still be in Saranen at Christmas.