Danny Alexander’s speech to Lib Dem conference. (AKA: we need to move beyond lists of achievements.)

If you missed it yesterday, you can catch up on Danny Alexander’s speech to the Lib Dem spring conference below. Listening to it, and trying to gauge the reaction of the audience of fellow Lib Dems, a couple of things struck me.

First, Danny has definitely improved as a public speaker. After almost four years in the cabinet as chief secretary to the treasury, he’s much more confident. Perhaps his best line yesterday was when he fended off Tory attempts to steal the credit for the Lib Dems’ tax-cuts for low-earners by saying, “There’s a big difference between doing something because you have to and doing something because you want to. They had to because we wanted to.”

Secondly, that improvement in Danny’s speaking only goes so far. Too much of the speech sounded like read-out versions of the e-mailed lists of Lib Dem achievements party members regularly receive. That’s fine in an email and we all need to have some handy facts to back up our doorstep conversations. But a speech needs also to tell a story, to engage. Can’t say Danny’s did it for me. Am I being too harsh? Well, judge for yourselves below…

* Stephen was Editor (and Co-Editor) of Liberal Democrat Voice from 2007 to 2015, and writes at The Collected Stephen Tall.

Read more by or more about or .
This entry was posted in Conference.
Advert

One Comment

  • Phil Rimmer 10th Mar '14 - 3:50pm

    I’m not a fan of Danny Alexander, his record in Coalition or his political positions. However, it is in my a opinion and error to judge any politician by the standard of their public speaking. Being a poor public speaker should be no bar on becoming a Councillor, MP or a Minister.

    Even if this weren’t the case, surely representatives of Liberal Democrats, gathered at a conference, should judge a speaker by what they believe and have to say on an issue rather than how they say it?

Post a Comment

Lib Dem Voice welcomes comments from everyone but we ask you to be polite, to be on topic and to be who you say you are. You can read our comments policy in full here. Please respect it and all readers of the site.

If you are a member of the party, you can have the Lib Dem Logo appear next to your comments to show this. You must be registered for our forum and can then login on this public site with the same username and password.

To have your photo next to your comment please signup your email address with Gravatar.

Your email is never published. Required fields are marked *

*
*
Please complete the name of this site, Liberal Democrat ...?

Advert



Recent Comments

  • Roland
    @Hywel - It is a difficult area, however, fundamentally, what the Tavi offers is conversion therapy, just a variant that reinforces a person's perception of the...
  • Alex Wilcock
    Thank you, Caron (and Christine, and Daisy)! The best, simplest way I’ve seen of getting across the problem with the transphobic dog-whistle three words wa...
  • Mark ValladaresMark Valladares
    @ Denis, Maybe. But, if you knew that a phrase was one used by people in support of a contention that a group within the community simply shouldn’t be able...
  • Nigel Quinton
    Thank you Caron for highlighting Christine’s appearance on Women’s Hour. I listened on BBC Sounds today and thought she was excellent....
  • Denis Mollison
    @William Francis If you could look at it the other way round, perhaps it isn't "hatred" or a "dog whistle", just a defensive reaction from someone who feels eq...