Message to Miliband – don’t be negative


Ed Miliband needed to make a big impact in his speech to the Labour Party Conference. He did not do this for me, as you can see in my instant critique on the website.

The speech had far too much stale politician-language – especially in the peroration, where he most needed to stir hearts and fill minds. “Fulfilling the promise of Britain … a new bargain”. Whose heart beat faster at these vapid phrases? Who remembered them afterwards?

The speech failed to make an emotional connection with its audience either in the hall or with the more important one outside it. Why?

One major reason was that far too much of it was expressed in negative terms. Time and time again, Ed Miliband defined himself by what he was against, or who he was not, or what he was not going to do. Negative statements invariably have far less colour and drama than positive ones, and in Miliband’s speech their proliferation left vital questions unanswered: what are you for, who are you, and what are you going to do?

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One Response to Message to Miliband – don’t be negative

  1. Clare Lynch October 5, 2011 at 11:13 am #

    Hmm. It couldn’t possibly be that they have no policies, could it?

    And what’s with this horrible word “bargain”? It sounds to me like Balls was impressed by some think tank’s piece on the idea of the “social contract”. But “contract” sounded too technical, academic and businessy, so they went for “bargain” in a patronising attempt to appear friendlier.

    Unfortunately “bargain” just makes me think of the citizens of Britain as crazed shoppers rummaging through a basket of sale remnants in the basement of their local Primark. Actually, that doesn’t sound too off the mark.

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