Regular readers will know that one of my complaints before and during the election was the way in which speeches have played an ever smaller part in UK general elections and media coverage of them (see below).
I was therefore fascinated to hear former Labour deputy leader Roy Hattersley on this week's Any Questions (BBC Radio 4) echoing various other commentators by singling out the last three days of the election as the point at which Gordon Brown finally came into his own (to listen, scroll in 33 minutes HERE):
HATTERSLEY: "What I'm utterly certain of is that had Gordon Brown behaved for instance as he behaved during the last three days of the campaign when he was himself had he behaved like that for three weeks let alone three years the election outcome would have been quite different But that was the only occasion I saw the real Gordon Brown I knew and the tragedy is he didn't become that earlier."
And what was so different about those last three days?
Answer: He made two traditional barnstorming speeches at large rallies.
I rest my case - but very much doubt whether any of the Labour leadership candidates declared so far is capable of doing likewise.
Related posts on the election
- Will the 2010 UK general election be the first one to leave us speechless?
- Blair speaks and the BBC tells you what he said
- Before we watch the debates, has anyone seen or heard any proper speeches yet?
- Silent speeches by party leaders: the wallpaper of television news coverage
- Brown speaks and the BBC doesn't tell you what he said
- At last: the first sign of passion and audience excitement in an election speech
Earlier posts on UK media coverage (or lack of it) of speeches
- Mediated speeches: whom do we really want to hear?
- Obama's rhetoric renews UK media interest in the lost art of oratory
- 'The Lost Art of Oratory' by a BBC executive who helped to lose it in the first place
- Is the media no longer interested in what goes on in parliament?
- BBC discovers the 'Lost Art of Oratory' (again)
- Political speeches can still make a big difference - like changing the date of an election