7 October 2009

George Osborne + Chris Grayling = Geoffrey Howe

Having seen shadow Chancellor George Osborne and shadow Home Secretary in action at the Tory Party Conference, an uninspiring voice from from the past started to echo in my mind: Sir Geoffrey (now Lord) Howe.

The encouraging news for Messrs Osborne and Grayling is that, apart from his devastating resignation speech that marked the beginning of the end for Mrs Thatcher (HERE), he wasn't known for his electrifying oratory either and it didn't stop him from getting senior jobs in the cabinet.

Conference's luke warm response to taxing booze
I particularly enjoyed the delayed applause and below average 6 seconds of applause (for more on which see HERE & HERE) for some of Mr Grayling's plans for clamping down on the booze culture.

Whether this was the result of poor scripting, poor delivery or because the such down-market drinks didn't resonate with the audience is a matter for conjecture.

GRAYLING:
So let me set out for you in more detail our plan to introduce big increases in the tax on super strength alcohol.
We’ll increase the price of a four pack of super strength lager by £1.33
We will more than double tax on super strength cider.
And our planned increase on alcopops will raise the price of a large bottle by £1.50.
Not changes that will affect responsible drinkers.
Not changes that will affect the ordinary pint in the pubs.
And we’ll make sure for those of you- those parts of the country with traditional producers that we protect local traditional products
But we'll call time on the drinks that fuel antisocial behaviour.

(1 second silence)
(6 seconds of applause)


video

2 comments:

John Turner said...

Hello Max.

Your point that weak oratory skills need not be a bar to success is very important.

Aristotle suggested a winning combination should include prudence, virtue and benevolence. I won't waste your space defining them; suffice to say the elements to work on are not as shallow as simply alternating chest tone with head tone tastefully.

The booze tax section was a case (imho) of an audience being reminded they hadn't had a G & T for a while. He kind of lost them. However, a little tinkering with the script order could have trapped a clap more successfully. That is,

Not changes that will affect responsible drinkers.
Not changes that will affect the ordinary pint in the pubs.
But changes that will call time on the drinks that fuel antisocial behaviour.
(7.3 secs of applause, on cue)
"and we'll make sure for those of you, those parts of the country with traditional producers that we protect local traditional product."

An opportunity for a nice little three-parter and a contrast somehow escaped the editor.

The underwhelming, almost bathos quality of the "£1.33" can't have helped. Try multiplying it by the number of four-packs sold annually and then give the topline figure. "We'll raise the cost of super-strength lager by £266m a year" is much more interesting!

When a chancellor announces an extradoes so in order to make the sum sopund insignificant. The opposite should be the case here.

I hope you don't mind my commenting, and referring to my own efforts to analyse and give a few tips of my own here :

http://www.howdoyoudopresentations.com/Blog.aspx

Best wishes, and I very much enjoyed the claptrap vids.

Kind regards

John Turner

John Turner said...

"When a chancellor announces an extra 2p on a pint of beer, he does so in order to make the sum sound insignificant. The opposite should be the case here."

Appalling script-editing by me. I apologise for that, and of course for the abominable "IMHO", by which I meant "In my humble opinion"