29 September 2009

Was it Mandelson's self-deprecating humour that won the day for him?

Having suggested yesterday that the Labour Party faithful had withheld applause from some rather important points in Peter Mandelson’s conference speech and that he'd had to use the ‘last resort’ technique for winning applause (the ‘pursuit’) a few times, I was surprised that no one in the media seemed to notice.

I was even more surprised at just how positive most of the media coverage has been - so much so that I've taken a closer both at it and at the speech itself.

What was widely featured both by TV news programmes and newspaper reports were Mandelson's jokes. Given that his departures from Tony Blair's cabinet had been clouded with controversy and that his recall by Brown as an unelected Peer, his use of self-deprecating humour may well have been the smartest thing he did to win over doubters in the audience (and in the media).

But I've had one email that summed the whole thing up as 'pantomime performance' - and these three examples almost make you wonder whether Rory Bremner has has joined the Mandelson speech writng team.


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