No Zero Sum Game For Cameron Foreign Policy Speech

By Andrew Ivey | Speeches

Nov 16

The Prime Minister used his speech at the Lord Mayor’s Banquet yesterday to explore points similar to those he aired in his speech at Peking University last week.

The speech at the Lord Mayor’s Banquet in the City of London last night focused on the pursuit of Britain’s national interest. Indeed, that was his theme: “pursuit of our national interest.”

The speech was notable for its similarities to the speech delivered by the Prime Minister at Peking University last week. The speech contained two very similar phrases.

In China, he said:

“Globalisation is not a zero sum game.”

At the Mansion House, he said:

“…that we are in some vast zero -sum game in which we are bound to lose out.”

In China, he said:

“Free trade is in our DNA.”

At the Mansion House, he said:

“One in 10 of our citizens live permanently overseas reflecting our long tradition as an outward facing nation, with a history of deep engagement around the world, whose instinct to be self-confident and active well beyond our shores is in our DNA.”

He’s a busy man and his speechwriters are equally busy and it’s not surprising that certain favourite phrases are used over again.

His speech sought to set out three main points:

  1. Linking the economy with the fastest growing parts of the world.
  2. Taking a more strategic and hard-headed approach to national security.
  3. Focusing the aid budget on building security and preventing conflict.

The speech made good use of some excellent contrasts and position-takersstandard tools for the Prime Minister’s speech making armoury. His factual references worked well, mixing figures, anecdotes, explanations and viewpoints.

His conclusion was equally powerful:

“We are choosing ambition. Far from shrinking back, Britain is reaching out. And far from looking back starry-eyed on a glorious past, this country can look forward clear-eyed to a great future.”

This wasn’t a patch on Churchill’s 1940 speech… “If we can stand up to him, all Europe may be free and the life of the world may move forward into broad, sunlit uplands” but there’s some similarity here!

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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+