06 Jul

Matt Wootton, lost at sea in the Pacific

It breaks my heart to have to tell you that Matt is missing, presumed-dead. Matt was on board a yacht that vanished in a storm, a month ago: www.stuff.co.nz/national/8884399/Search-for-missing-yacht-Nina-called-off

See also the following BBC story…For a succinct reminder of Matt’s brilliance as a reframer, and of his influence in this capacity in the past ten years or so in the history of the Green Party, the account offered in this video here is useful: www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-lancashire-23139631

Matt and I had plans to turn ‘Green Words Workshop’ into a consultancy. Tragically, that is now unlikely to happen. What I DO plan to do – though I may need help to complete the project – is to finish the book that Matt and I were working on on green reframing and values. The working title is THE VALUES REVOLUTION.

This site for now stands as a reminder of Matt’s legacy in this area. I hope that in future we can celebrate his brilliance and his incredible achievements in his 35 years with the book just mentioned, and much more besides.

Watch this space.


10 Apr

A few quick suggested green reframes:

  1. ‘Sustainability’ > One-planet-living.
    [The terms ‘sustainability’ is vague; ’One-planet living’ is not]
  2. ‘Sustainable development’ > Limits to growth; steady-state / dynamic-equilibrium economy.
    [’Sustainable development’ is basically a nice way of saying ‘economic growth’; and is unbelievably hubristic (are we really a model? Have we really developed?]
  3. ‘The environment’ > Ecosystems, ecology; the Earth / our living planet (though NOT ecosystem-services).
    [’The environment’ is not us. WE need to be a part of what we are saving.]
  4. ‘Human being’ > Human animal / humanimal.
    [We need to remind ourselves constantly that we are animals too. (How do you like my neologism, ‘humanimal’?)]
  5. ‘Future generations’ > Future people.
    [See my recent article in THINK for why…]
01 Mar

The meaning of Eastleigh – or, why UKIP can’t be stopped by caving in to them

So, UKIP came second in Eastleigh, pushing the Prime Minister’s Party into a humiliating 3rd: http://www.channel4.com/news/eastleigh-by-election-result-lib-dems-ukip

The Tory fantasy has been that by focussing on Europe they could neutralise UKIP. The opposite is true. As anyone with a decent understanding of framing knows, by stoking interest in the opposition’s issues, one stokes support for them too. Every time the Tories talk about Europe, NO MATTER WHAT THEY SAY, they increase likely UKIP support. In particular, promising an in-out referendum on the EU certainly INCREASED the basic ‘salience’ of UKIP.

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16 Jun

More values analysis of Britain’s Alternative Vote referendum: Lakoff’s categories of moral action

In my last post I identified the metaphors at work in George Lakoff’s two opposing morality systems of “Strict Father” (Conservative Authoritarian) morality and “Nurturant Parent” (Progressive Nurturing) morality, and applied them to Britain’s failed referendum on the Alternative Vote. This post goes further, exemplifying the way Lakoff applies those metaphors to create “categories for moral action”. This post will be of interest to anyone wishing to learn more about Lakoff or for a persuasive explanation of why the Alternative Vote failed.

In chapter nine of the book Moral Politics: how liberals and conservatives think, Lakoff lists the two sets of categories for moral (and hence political) action.

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16 Jun

A Constructive Critique of the Common Cause Handbook

The Common Cause Handbook is a timely, accessible and important contribution to its field. We’re not quite sure what that field is: it could be called “values theory”, “values campaigning” and it is part of a larger field that is – at least in the States – called “cognitive policy”.

But in short, it’s a new and extremely exciting way to understand the communication of politics, campaigning and public engagement. The handbook’s sub-title is “A Guide to Values and Frames for Campaigners, Community Organisers, Civil Servants, Fundraisers, Educators, Social Entrepreneurs, Activists, Funders, Politicians, and everyone in between”. If you’re any of those people, you should definitely read it.

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