Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Ed's conference speech

I have to say that I am a bit underwhelmed. It often seemed that he was addressing the conference hall rather than the country. The speech went down well in Liverpool, especially the barbs against the Tories and Nick Clegg. But for me it didn't deliver a coherent strategy for government. It had the feeling of a speech that had been worked on a bit too much and hence sometimes came across as pedestrian when it aspired to be inspirational.

There was a theme there: I lost count of how many times values was mentioned. Ed was trying to say: these are my values and I think they are your values and the country's values as well. And Ed tried to sell himself as someone with an outsider's background who could deliver real change. He declared that he was his own man who would do things his way, making a real break with Tony Blair and Gordon Brown.

Much was made of the new bargain. This would create a society in which one got something for something, in which effort would be rewarded. A distinction between good and bad companies had been trailed beforehand, but how does one decide which company is a good one?

Ed thinks the system is flawed, and it may well be, but how does one make the link between this and the everyday concerns that people have, even though Ed tried to give concrete examples in his speech?

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