» 12 basic guidelines: Make real things happen: events not arguments

Harold Macmillan

Events my dear boy, events - British Prime Minister, Harold Macmillan, when asked what was the most difficult thing about running the country.

Don't argue, do. Events are the stuff of politics - whether formal politics, business politics, personal politics or the politics of the dung heap.

News is not about ideas or concepts it is about things that happen. Ask yourself every day, what is this campaign doing? What's the verb? Is it starting something, publishing, blocking, rescuing, occupying, marching, lobbying, painting .... What are you doing?

Too often campaigns become absorbed in collecting information or circulating it to people who already agree with the cause. Too often campaigns lose sight of the practical changes required in real life and get bogged down in other people's agendas - boxed in by the forces of business as usual. It's easy to do. Campaigns organisations 'campaign' just by responding to outside interest and invitations. It's all activity. But they should be setting the pace and changing real things.

Some of the most powerful events are direct-actions, especially where these are non-violent and can be justified on moral and 'scientific' or 'economic' grounds. That way they gain widest support. But there are many other powerful ways to campaign. The event might be a well timed legal action, with drama in the courts. It could be an expose - such as one of the film investigations by the Environmental Investigations Agency.