Osborne Cites Football Teamwork in Chatham House Economy Speech

By Andrew Ivey | Speeches

Sep 13

The Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, spoke at the Chatham House event “Challenges for the Global Economy” on Friday morning.

His speech started in a halting and hesitant fashion, umming and erring as he thanked the new Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund, Christine Lagarde for her participation.

The style of his speech was subdued…sombre even. Perhaps he was anticipating further economic uncertainties, the G7 Marseilles meeting or the looming report by the Independent Commission on Banking, led by Sir John Vickers. Whatever the cause, the Chancellor barely took his eyes from his printed script as he read his speech to the invited audience.

Much of his content was good. It was his delivery that lacked style.

His material contained some good seafaring metaphorical pieces that we come to expect in a financial speech:

Those meetings need to produce a coordinated plan of action that helps us navigate through the economic turbulence we are all experiencing.


Britain will stick to the deficit plan we’ve set out.
It’s the rock of stability on which our recovery is built.

He also repeated his sporting analogy that he used at the Lloyd’s of London Annual City Dinner earlier in the week:

To repeat the sporting analogy I used on Tuesday…in 2008 the world had to act like a tug of war team, all pulling in the same direction.
Today, we need to be like a football team—with everyone’s role suited to their positions and abilities if the team is to be successful.

Did he play football at St Paul’s? I thought it was a rugger school? Any way, it was a good combination of contrasting sports analogies.

We were also treated to the type of language that we come to expect in one of these speeches. We heard…

…how to deliver strong, sustainable and balanced growth

It all began with the UN. And now it’s practically impossible to listen to a politician’s speech without hearing the word, sustainable. I know it’s all terribly serious, but I still sense flannel. Growth is growth.

Yes, Please

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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+