The Governor of the Bank of England’s Inflation Report for May triggered a series of speeches that laid out the travails of the UK economy. His speech undoubtedly contributed to the Prime Minister’s speech the following day.
Also contributing to the Prime Minister’s speech was the political uncertainty in Greece and the recent elections in France. His audience was left in little doubt right from the start:
We are living in perilous economic times. Turn on the TV news and you see the return of a crisis that never really went away. Greece on the brink; the survival of the Euro in question. Faced with this, I have a clear task: to keep Britain safe.
His speech brimmed with stormy metaphors.
Not to take the easy course – but the right course.
We cannot blow the budget on more spending and more debt.
…the turbulence coming from the Eurozone.
I believe we can see Britain through the storm.
This proved to be an effective and well-written speech. There were one or two weaker elements, not least when he discussed the World Trade Organisation:
And most importantly, I want us to move forwards with “coalitions of the willing”, so countries who want to, can forge ahead with ambitious deals of their own because we all benefit from the increased trade and investment these deals foster.
This was policy wonk material.
Concluding his speech the Prime Minister returned to his stormy theme:
I cannot predict how this crisis will end for others. And I cannot pretend that Britain will be immune from the consequences, either. But this I can promise: that we know what needs to be done and we are doing it.
Get the deficit under control, get the foundations for recovery in place, defend the long-term interests of our country and hold our course.
As Prime Minister, I will do whatever it takes to keep Britain safe from the storm.
Something tells me to anticipate many more speeches on this theme before the storm is calmed.