Benchmarks for Britain. Osborne Speaks Out

By Andrew Ivey | Speeches

Feb 07
George Osborne Speech

George Osborne, Shadow Chancellor

Beginning his speech at the London School of Economics (LSE) last week with the words…”I believe,” was a risk for George Osborne the Conservative shadow chancellor. It’s a term that either invokes incredulity, ridicule or worse. Incredulity that we have any conviction politicians left. That’s “conviction”, not convicted. Ridicule because of the lampoons of comedians such as Kenny Everett and Lenny Henry.

But that’s how the shadow chancellor began his speech. Much better was his use of a question in nearly his next breath. The question then allowed him to explore the theme and content of his speech, “A New Economic Model.”

This exploration allowed George to ridicule the incessant claims of the current Chancellor and his immediate predecessor. So he’s no stranger to ridicule.

His Eight Benchmarks for Britain gave the speech some needed structure. Albeit, the tone and weight did sound suspiciously like the tests set by Gordon Brown for our membership of the Euro Zone. A different time, place and context, but familiar.

The eight benchmarks provided structure but George did not hammer each one of the points home. That was a pity because as the speech continued it became more and more oriented towards a soundbite-style piece for the waiting newsmen. Phrase after clever phrase littered the piece. These were good, but they were too numerous to recall later.

A listening audience needs some substance but not soundbites.

A good effort from a speaker who has sounded reedy in the past; he’s got some way to go though to challenge the supremacy of others who have held the office to which he aspires.

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About the Author

The Principal Trainer at training business Time to Market. Based in Oxford, I run presentation and public speaking training courses, coaching sessions and seminars throughout the UK. Andrew Ivey on Google+