17 January 2014

A 'backie' of Miliband's speech about bankers?

Ed Miliband's speech today had been trailed by the media and social media all week, so what he had to say about the banks hardly qualified as news. But where and to whom he was speaking remains a bit of a mystery.

Some, like ITV and the Daily Telegraph, were helpful enough to tell us that he was speaking at the University of London. But at which of its many colleges or at which of its even more numerous departments did this happen? It might, of course, have been at a political club somewhere in some college of London University, but no one bothered to tell us that either.

Blue tie to the front
Nor did anyone note or comment on why the Labour leader was wearing a blue tie and we were left wondering whether he or his aides thought that dressing up like a Tory would be a subtle ploy while confronting the banks.

Audience to the back
And no one will be surprised that I was also left wondering (yet again) why our leading politicians are so obsessed with speaking with their backs to part of the audience. I'm still waiting to be told which of their advisors think it's such a good idea - not to mention why they recommend it.

A defence sometimes made is that it's a neat way of showing what a mixed bunch of supporters they have (if supporters they were). Yet women seem rather poorly represented in this particular audience (at about 3:25), as too are youth and the elderly (0).

But, however uninspired they may look, no one yawns or goes to sleep. At least one - in a grey jacket on the lower left of the picture - had brought along his tablet to distract him (and viewers like me).

At about 26 seconds in, he starts to take a photograph of Mr Miliband's back, after which he spends quite a while admiring his efforts.

A backie?
So one question arising from the Mr Miliband's speech is whether 'backies' have started to replace  'selfies' or are merely yet another new word for pictures made possible by innovations in portable technology...