How to Use Politicians to Get What You Want Paperback – 14 Apr 2011
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About the Author
Scott Colvin has been an adviser in Parliament, at the national HQ for the Conservative Party, as the head of group public affairs for the world s biggest airports company and as a lobbyist at two heavyweight PR agencies.
Top Customer Reviews
Helped by his own background in politics, the political section is particularly good at explaining how campaigns look from the politicians' side of the fence and so how best to go about campaigning with a view to persuading politicians to change their minds. The business section is not quite as strong in this respect, particularly in not really giving a sense of how matters look to someone on the frontline of customer service. Politicians come out of the book as people who mostly want to do the right thing and you just need to find a way of helping them do this for you and your situation; businesses come out of the book in a far less flattering light: "the days of the customer is always right are long gone" he claims.
Even so, the advice is still good advice and though its frankness makes it a little controversial at times (especially his enthusiasm for over-egging the pudding about who you know and what contacts you'll use if someone doesn't do what you want) readers can pick which approaches they are comfortable with. The book is packed full of both useful little tips, such as who to copy your letters to in order to maximise their impact, through to more general advice on how to plan a long campaign.Read more ›
I suspect Colvin's book offers the same service to anyone who isn't an ardent political activist (but it offers plenty to those of us who are, of which more later). This is a fantastic insight into the pressures on, and priorities of, our elected representatives. Obvious as some of it may be to those of us in the Westminster Village, the rest of the population may at times have a need to understand what motivates politicians, and reading a guide like this would save them years of political activism as a means of learning.
The author's empathy with politicians is the outstanding feature of the book, and Colvin is right to see this as essential to getting politicians to do anything. No one who understands how government in Britain really works believes lurid accounts of laws being made and amended through lobbyists having a brief whisper in the right ear - as if politicians are empty vessels, easy to win around. As the author puts it, "governments do not change their minds because individuals call them up and ask them to". MPs, MEPs, councillors and special advisors in fact have constituents to defend, beliefs they wish to uphold, and face endless pressure from Whips and local media.
So the book traces these pressures and motivations.Read more ›
This book is not only a lesson in politics and how to effectively use politicians but a lesson in life. Far too often people are willing to blindly agree with a corporate decision to raise prices or provide a poor service. It has in fact become so normal that people are increasingly becoming de-sensitised to it. This is a dangerous development and we have seen with the ever used phrase `rip off Britain' that everyday people feel more and more powerless to big interests. In sum, Scott shows the small person can win and achieving this is nowhere near as difficult than you might imagine.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
"How to use Politicians to get what you want" is one of those books which comes along from time to time and makes a difference. Read morePublished on 28 July 2011 by Mx2
I'm only half way through it, but enjoying the practical tips, as well as the general commentary on the political system. Read morePublished on 28 April 2011 by Roya Tahmasebi