Spring competition: where, when and to whom should our politicians read their 'press releases'?

Regular readers of this blog know that I've been getting exasperated by the growing obsession of leading British politicians with making important speeches at strange times and at peculiar venues.

David Cameron's much heralded speech on Europe was given at 8.30 a.m. in the morning at the London headquarters of an American news agency and was, in effect, a press release thinly disguised as a 'speech' (on which, more HERE).

A week or so later, George Osborne turned up to read another press release at the offices of JP Morgan in Bournemouth (on which a bit more HERE).

Today, Mr Osborne's aides excelled themselves with the selection of a venue - a Morrisons supermarket distribution centre somewhere in Kent - for another important 'speech'/'press release' on the government's latest benefit changes - most of which had, as usual, been available in all this morning's newspapers and/or online long before he arrived to read out the 'speech' (see extract above).

As with the earlier two by Cameron and Osborne, there was no coughing, sneezing, applause, cheering, booing or indeed any other evidence that there was actually an audience there in the warehouse (or was it a corridor?) listening to his every word, or indeed any of his words...

Which brings me to announcing our next prize competition.

Contestants are invited to propose exactly when, where and to whom any UK politician of their choice should give his or her next major 'speech'. They may also, if they think it relevant, add what the subject matter of the speech should be.

The lucky winner will receive a signed copy of my book Lend Me Your Ears: All You Need to Know about Making Speeches and Presentations and the runner-up will receive a signed copy of Speech-making and Presentation Made Easy (also by me).

CLOSING DATE: midnight, 15th May 2013
The results will be announced on 16th May 2013 at the International Speechwriting Conference in London.


Brian Robson said...

At least it's just speeches they're making. Back in 2003, the Ontario provincial government delivered their budget outside the legislature - at a car plant: www.cbc.ca/news/canada/story/2003/03/27/ontbudget030327.html

My competition entry - I'd like to see Clegg deliver a really upfront defence of immigration. At an airport or port, in front of a 'welcome to the UK' sign, with an audience of immigrant nurses, doctors, bus drivers, other uniformed staff who we all rely on. Emphasise these are people who work hard, pay taxes, and keep the wheels of our economy turning.

Can't for the life of me see Clegg doing it, but someone needs to counter the prevailing narrative - which even Clegg played into the other week.

Timing ASAP - but certainly before next year's European elections.

Unknown said...

Sticking with George Osbourne I propose four appropriately daft speaking venues -

* A doctor's waiting room (might suit the 08:30 shift)

* A guest appearance on Eastenders (could it really damage anything?)

* Radio 4's 'Thought For The Day' spot (might suit the Autumn Budget - suitably sterile)

* (Grace à the late lamented Gerard Hoffnung) The reading room of the British Library

.. And I was called McLean after Colin

Mark Pack said...

As the 'speech' is often for the benefit of TV footage, surely the logical extension is to turn up at a TV studio and give the speech direct to the cameras?

Frank Little said...

It helps if the audience is docile, preferably not even understanding what the speaker is saying, and has a good ethnic mix for the cameras. Clearly a refugee detention centre toward the end of Ramadan would be ideal for a speech on the Union by Michael Gove.

Unknown said...

Nigel Farage on the site of Colditz. He can speak about whatever he wants but we all know what his supporters are thinking at the time.

Nick Davies said...

I would like Lord McNally to have delivered any of his speeches from the last few months defending closed material procedures (CMPs)/secret courts from within a CMP. Being a secret court, the audience would be a single judge (who would have my sympathy). The rest of of us would, mercifully, never have to listen.