The EU Referendum is happening.
Lots of spin and theatre went on before David Cameron finally got an agreement from the EU. He says its a good deal for Britain. Martin Schulz, President of the European Parliament, says it doesn’t matter anyway.
David Cameron then gave two speeches. I have been a fan and a supporter of david Cameron since before he was elected – I even carried an I❤️DC water bottle at Blackpool conference during the leadership contest. That was the conference when he gave THAT speech – the one that he worked on an rehearsed all week instead of schmoozing activists. I remember watching him delivering it from up in the gods of the conference centre. That was a speech. It did the job.
Boris says OUT
London Mayor Boris Johnson joined Vote Leave and the OUT campaign today. Often foolishly written off as a blond airhead, this statement has depth and thought. I am not in a position to call anything or anybody intellectual – but this piece contains more intellect in the first paragraph than the all the US Republican Presidential candidate debates so far!
Conviction politician Gove Goes for Leave
He did it. He actually did it. Deputy Editor of The Times. Friend, ally and Lieutenant to David Cameron on so many issues. Reforming Minister within a Cameron government. And, stealing shamelessly from Andrew Neil, he has decided to go out on a limb and put his country first.
What makes good campaigning literature?
So what is so great about this piece of campaign literature?
The Guido Fawkes Awards night was on Tuesday night and I was delighted to attend. I have lived in countries without a free and fearless press and I firmly believe that every country needs at least one Guido equivalent. Politicians should be scared of transparency. Transparency and accountability are good for democracy.
I have been friends with Paul Staines, aka Guido Fawkes, Harry Cole, WikiGuido and the gang for years and this promised to be a great night – and it did not disappoint. Boris gave a great speech and Michael Gove and David Cameron sent video messages. My old boss Francis Maude won an award for his work against tax-payer funding of Union representatives. I saw lots of old and good friends there including Matthew and Sarah Elliott and Aidan Burley amongst many others. Christian May was a brilliant Master of Ceremonies and Harry and Paul conducted the awards themselves.
Unusually for an awards ceremony – the food was good, the drinks were plentiful, the speeches were fun and brief and there was just the right number of awards. The night rattled along brilliantly (not like some awards ceremonies!) and ended too soon – saved or rather enhanced by two great after-parties!
I have attached the videos from the evening – I hope you enjoy them!!!
I never thought I would write a blog post with this title. In fact I disagree with Gordon Brown on most things and when I heard that he was to be a part of the No campaign I groaned. However Gordon Brown’s speech changed all of this.
Yesterday, with passion reminiscent of William Wallace declaring the freedom of the Scottish people, Gordon Brown mustered up every ounce of passion to defend the union.
Brown has never been admired for his speeches. He has never been one for rabble rousing speeches, impassioned sermons or emotional pleads. The former PM has in the past given speeches with the same characteristics as a sex-less scarecrow. He had the habit of listing policy details in the most lack-lustre way possible. Brown’s speeches consistently lacked passion, drive and enthusiasm.
Finally, yesterday, the passion of Gordon Brown came out. The ideas and the energy that make up his political ideology, the drive that got him to the top of UK politics all came out. Yesterday Gordon Brown was a man on a mission. He had beliefs that he needed to say – he had ideas that he had to get out. He needed to do what he needed to do to save his country, not his career.
No longer was he a politician being wheeled out to give a speech one way or the other. Effectively side-lined from the campaign up until recently, Gordon Brown was back. In a way that I had never seen him before.
The passion and energy of the speech was there from the first sentence and it rose and rose as Brown continued. This was a man in a rush to say what he believed. Gordon Brown did not wait for applause – he seemed frankly irritated by it. He was there to give a message, to explain his ideas, to save the union, not to receive praise and a pat on the back. Which is what good politicians should be like.
I doubt Gordon Brown’s speech was written by a speech writer although it was certainly well crafted. It was natural, pure and from the heart. Gordon Brown spoke with the fluency of a man whose concrete ideas have built up and developed over decades – this was the moment when these ideas came out for all to see.
Social justice, the NHS, securing a future for the next generation, pride in your country, Scottish history, British history – Brown covered them all. The speech seeped with emotion – feelings dripped off of every word that came out of his mouth.
The speech took the crowd by surprise, expecting to see a droning, mono-toned ex-Prime Minister reeling off the over-used lines of the campaign so far. But instead they got this – a paper-free, eloquent speech.
When I heard that Gordon Brown was to take a bigger role in the Better Together campaign I, as well as pretty much everyone else, thought that was the final nail in the coffin of the union. However, along with the Queen’s almost-intervention and some of the campaign ads, Gordon Brown may have just done enough for the No vote to win.
This was not a state of the union address, it was the saving of the union address.