In my doomed bid to become the MP of Selby and Ainsty, I broke all but one of the Golden Rules of Politics, as I see them.
- People care about how you make them feel: branding myself as the AI-Powered Candidate left people feeling cold towards me. Nobody could fall in love with a robot and a robot is how I appeared.
- People don’t think about politics very often: my offering – of influencing me each week with repeated voting – meant that people needed to think about something they hated all the time!
- People want leadership: I said that I would follow the leadership of the people, noble but flawed politically.
- People use the sniff test: my campaign was – deliberately – gimmicky and people could detect that.
- People like simple messaging such as “build the wall”, “get Brexit done”, “education, education, education”: but my message was newfangled and complex.
- People want to have seen the candidate: I was nowhere to be seen, given the size of the constituency, my lack of people and my ropey health.
- A candidate must have energy: my energy levels are low. The indefatigable Barbara Castle MP advised the young William Hague that to be successful in politics a candidate must have stamina.
- A candidate must be known in the area: perhaps the only Golden Rule which I ticked.
- Preferably a candidate should be local: although I lived just three miles from this massive constituency, I was not a “local” and I was clear about that, perhaps too clear.
And in a by-election, when the governing party is at its nadir in the opinion polls, whichever candidate can viably show that voting for them will give the government a kicking, then that candidate will win. This explains why Labour won in Selby and Ainsty and why the Liberal Democrats won the other recent by-elections.
(Photo of is of me in a high school in York where I was invited to speak to the students about my AI-powered campaign)