It doesn’t seem that many years ago that the Chancellor’s public speaking voice was questionable. People believed that it was shrill and lightweight, in comparison with the tones of others on the Tory party’s front bench. That was on the occasion of the Conservative Party conference in 2008 when Mr Osborne was judged too lightweight to give a conference speech on the economy! And his 2013 Chancellor speech was cough-filled. So how would he do with his budget speech 2015?What a difference a five year term as Chancellor makes.
In the meantime he’s definitely made progress. That’s with his public speaking as well as the economy. His tone is much improved, his posture and stagecraft all brim with as much confidence as his new haircut and svelte waistline.
His budget speech 2015, whilst not masterful, certainly ticked all the boxes.
His classic introduction, a reference to the state of the economy five years ago, opened up a series of contrasts with the position today.
Five years ago, our economy had suffered a collapse greater than almost any country.
Today, I can confirm: in the last year we have grown faster than any other major advanced economy in the world.
Five years ago, millions of people could not find work.
Today, I can report: more people have jobs in Britain than ever before.
Repetition galore…a feature of the Chancellor’s public speaking style.
His long term economic plan was very evident. Even if it’s also clear he’s only halved the annual deficit over five years and not eliminated it as suggested in 2010. Hey ho.
But, his other long term planning has also paid off. His speech was well-constructed and equally well-delivered.
Yes, we heard moments of groaning tedium during this 59 minute budget speech.
Or do we say to the British people, let’s go on working through the plan that is delivering for you?
Delivering. It’s everywhere in political speeches and it grates.
Short staccato sentences proved as popular with his Conservative party audience as did his use of repetition:
For we choose the future…
So we choose economic security…
We choose jobs…
And so on and so on.
He’s not without a humorous side in this budget speech 2015…
There are some who advise us to abandon our plan and pursue the French approach.
I prefer to follow the advice the Secretary General of the OECD gave us all last month: “Britain has a long term economic plan – and it needs to stick with it”
“A long term economic plan” – now there’s someone with a way with words.
So, he entertained his Commons audience with a well-worded position taker and some self-deprecating humour. Good stuff.
He maintained that edge with some remarks aimed at the labour leader, Mr Miliband.
So should – to use a ridiculous example – someone have two kitchens, they will be able to control both fridges from the same mobile phone
I can also tell the House that we will conduct a review on the avoidance of inheritance tax through the use of deeds of variation.
This last one was a bit below the belt for the whole Miliband family.
However, his humour did begin to grate as he aimed to include comments from a Gordon Brown speech in 2010 in his final budget speech.
The sun is starting to shine – and we are fixing the roof.
Apparently, we’re not the only people who want to fix the roof when the sun is shining.
Fixing the roof was also mentioned by Mr Miliband in his generation speech of September 2010. This long term joust is tedious. They sound like boys in the school debating society. After five long years it’s no longer funny.
Beyond that small gripe…this proved a confident budget speech 2015 by a Chancellor who has the appearance of getting it about right.
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