Party conference season prize competition

The video clips I posted a few days ago to show how simple objects can be used by speakers as visual aids to impress audiences - ranging from Neville Chamberlain's piece of paper to Margaret Thatcher taking her scissors to a £1 note (HERE) - have inspired me to launch another prize competition.

All you have to do is to suggest one object that any of the three main party leaders could use (or, in the case of Nick Clegg, could have used) to strike a chord with their audience during their 2010 conference speeches.

Keen anoraks are welcome to propose an object for each of the three party leaders, but one leader/object is perfectly acceptable.

1st: signed copy of Lend Me Your Ears.
3rd: signed copy of ВЫСТУПАТЬ ЛЕГКО (Russian version of Lend Me Your Ears).

How to enter
In 'Comments' below or email (via 'View my complete profile' on the left).

Closing date:
24 hours after the completion of David Cameron's speech at the Conservative Party Conference.


dirkvl said...

Nick Clegg: Strong Rubber Band showing the flexibility and strength required to hold together as a party

RSR108 said...

David Cameron should hold up a copy of Mandy's memoirs The Third Man in his conference speech.

And remind his party what he once said to Fraser Nelson 'the only job I'd give Mandy was heading a Truth and Reconciliation Commission on New Labour.'

Rich Watts said...

I'd suggest David Cameron wields some heavy-looking regulations/guidance manual and then throw it to one side, in a passage about deregulation or on freeing up professionals to make the most of their expertise.

The natural thing for the Labour leader to use would be scissors, but these would seem quaint in the narrative they'll likely try to establish about the size of the cuts. I'd thus suggest they hold up a colourful publication of a voluntary and community sector organisation, with an appropriately symbolic picture on the front, which has had to close because of the cuts. The gesture could be accompanied by some lines about the Big Society in rhetoric and the Big Society in reality.

Those are my entries!

Hadleigh Robert said...

My first suggestion would be for a Labour conference speech in which the speaker has a copy of the Liberal Democrat Manifesto of 2010. "Remember this? They don't!"

Then additionally, the Labour speaker (not too high up as it's very partisan) might have some scissors and start snipping bits and pieces out.

Better yet would be to just tear entire pages up ; because they can convey more anger match up the iconic gestures that way, timing it with the speech.

The words spoken would mock the Lib Dems by repeating the latest sound-bites of "we have to compromise" "this is a coalition".

If the speaker feels particularly bold, they might attempt to echo Kinnock "You start with impossible promises..."

Hadleigh Roberts said...

My second suggestion would be to David Cameron or another Conservative.

The speaker, talking about the economy and how cuts are necessary, could use a small pot plant with dead leaves. He then takes out a SMALL pair of pruning shears, proceeding to trim little bits off. (NOT great big shears hacking at the stalk!)

A perfect analogy for cutting waste to encourage growth.

Hadleigh Roberts said...

My third idea, if I may, would be either to a Lib Dem or a Labour speaker, depending on the point that was made.

To illustrate the Lib Dem line of how the party has changed, the speaker should bring out a mobile phone from around 2005, then put next to it an updated version. "It's still a phone, of course, but it has adapted to meet the needs of the public. As our tools have changed, so must our party. We have the same features, policies and values as before, but we must be ready for new challenges."

Likewise, a Labour speaker would create a similar metaphor with something from the 1997 era "We can't use the same thing over and over again."

Hadleigh Roberts said...

A simpler idea for the Tories, much like "fixing the roof when the sun was shining."

The Tory speaker brings a large biscuit tin (union jack pattern to represent the country.) He quotes Lyam Byrne "There's no money left." "The tin is empty and it was Labour who emptied it."

Unknown said...

(Thinking I may have lost the plot here ..). Suggestion: Ed the new boy holds up a red elastic band. "This keeps the coalition together, for now", he says. "To keep the country together you need a Milliband. Better still, two."

hsramdnih said...

One neat and everyday object that David Cameron might brandish is a red banana with a map of Iraq on it - to symbolise the Miliband of Brothers.

hsramdnih said...

Or maybe Cameron could use two elastic (mili)bands - he could fire one off the stage and the other off to the left.

(of course, this would only be a distraction from the blunt scythes that Dave, Gideon and Nick carry at all times)

Brian Jenner said...

I would advise David Cameron to remove his wallet and take out a credit card.

I would then get him to say what the Labour national debt is per per person in the country, and pose the question how the Labour Government got away with it.

Then he would take out his scissors and cut it in to pieces, announcing that the only hope of change for a person let's say £20,000 in debt, is to dispense with the credit card and stop spending.

That would be shocking to a lot of people.

Aaron said...

Perhaps a copy of the brochure for the new Vauxhall Astra estate...

"Labour wanted to tell the public in the elections that we're all rich folk with estates...

for 17k - the very amount every man, woman and child owes due to the spending of Labour - one can buy a Vauxhall Estate.

And if Labour had not betrayed Rover, a company just a few miles at Longbridge, perhaps this might have been a British car for every man, woman and child"

Andrew B said...

Party leader [of your choice] after rapturous applause should hold up a copy of 'Lend me Your Ears" and acknowledge their deep debt to the author