Friday, March 19, 2010

The Leader's Speech

While I was catching up with the other reports from the UKIP Spring Party Conference, Lord Pearson's full speech has been published on the UKIP website in a burst of quite remarkable efficiency. It was broadcast in full on Sky News and in part on the BBC. And Iain Dale did not like it. To be quite accurate, he did not like the delivery and had no particular comment to make about the content. When asked about that, Iain gave it as his view that party leaders need to be able to vow the audience and if the audience is turned off then they are talking to themselves.

Well, maybe. But as one UKIP member said to me, they already have a speaker who vows the audience and, by and large, Lord Pearson is an easier brand to sell than Nigel Farage or UKIP. Come to think of it, he is an easier brand to sell than David Cameron because of his innate sense of honour that comes across despite all attempts on the part of the media to rubbish him. The weekly FT lunch interview, published in tomorrow's paper but on the net already is a very good example. One can warm to someone who believes so passionately in doing the right thing and actually going ahead with it (and I speak as someone who knows how exasperating his lordship can be).

Incidentally, Lord Pearson did not make much of immigration control, though he did point out a couple of times that it was an important issue, whcih cannot be dealt with unless we come out of the European Union, something that the main parties refuse to discuss.

Using UKIP's own slogan Straight Talking, he tackled the subject of standing against hard-line eurosceptics in other parties and came down on the side of those who think there should be political arrangements. UKIP, he explained, must be the one party that should not put party above country.

It was typical of Lord Pearson that he ended his speech with a quote from his friend Alexander Solzhenitsyn:
I end by reminding you of the words of my friend Alexander Solzhenitsyn said from the depths of his Soviet prison camp, “One word of truth outweighs the whole world”.

Ladies and Gentlemen, let us now put those words to the test.
Whether the party manages to live up to that remains to be seen.

And so, rather wearily, I end my report from the UKIP Party Conference and head off back to London where a sandwich does not have to be grated plastic cheese with some tasteless tomatoes in limp white bread at a price that implies something a bit better.


  1. WitteringsfromWitneyMarch 19, 2010 at 7:42 PM


    I quite share your opinion of the sandwich fare offered - although the double Bells did help to wash away the non-taste of the food!

    BTW, yes surprise it was to see such efficiency from Ukip on posting Pearson's speech - maybe they had had two double Bells!

  2. I'm afraid I have to agree with Mr Dale.

    I'm a pissed off Conservative looking for a new home and have considered voting for UKIP in the election. I saw the BBC broadcast and was impressed with the range of topics and policies covered in Lord Pearson's speech, it made the point about UKIP not being a single issue party very well. Some good key messages came out that I hadnt spotted in recent wanderings around the party's website. All in all it was well crafted with good content.

    But, oh, the delivery!! Dull, dull, dull.
    He stumbled over his words far too many times, had he rehearsed at all?
    Could no-one have provided an autocue so he could raise his eyes to the cameras?

    In the upcoming political battle image, style and delivery will be vitally important to win over undecided voters in key areas. Today did nothing to make me confident that there is enough passion, fire or energy available to make any of the policies happen even if UKIP had a majority in the HoC!!

  3. Here is the video clip:

  4. Wrong, John R Smith.

    You want presentation over message? Have Blair, Cameron, Obama.
    The thinking masses (and yes, they are out there) recognise message over presentation.

  5. @Charlie..also wrong..I want presentation AND message.

    Through a well constructed intellingently delivered speech you can convince every single one of the thinking voters in the UK, but their votes will be buried under the weight of the mindless sheep who vote for the same thing over and over again. You'll not change their minds by boring them to death.

    What I saw in the UKIP speech (as I said) was good content but in no way was the man delivering the message giving me any belief that he was able to do what he was proposing. It will take massive energy to do anything at all about the public sector money pit, let alone enact the major reforms being proposed. That speech was free of any passion or energy or showing ability to change the world.

    If this speech was so inspiring, why was it not shown on any news bulletin later? Because it was boring and the TV channels didnt bother with it so the sheep never saw the message. They wont go to the website either, so a major PR opportunity was lost.

    You want votes?
    You need voters.
    You wont get them without some fire for the TV to focus on.

  6. Who cares about the delivery? Haven't we had enough of air-brushed politicians and spinmeisters?

    If UKIP's views accord with your own, rather than with those of the other parties (what policies?!), then vote with your conscience, heart and conviction.

    Toss the other bnggers out. They offer only window dressing while, behind the scenes, they do the EU's bidding. Though, they refuse to tell you that.

    BTW, it was widely predicted in the blogosphere that Mrs Dale would attack Pearson's delivery.

  7. Nigel Farage might be a bruiser, but he would have delivered the speech with the style and eloquence that John R Smith was looking for. I think Lord Pearson is sincere and honest man whose views coincide with mine very closely, but leadership of a political party is obviously not is forte.

    No wanting to get into UKIP party politics (I am not a member), but why oh why did Farage relinquish the leadership? Could he not have relinquished his MEP role to fight Buckingham instead? Who cares what goes on in Brussels anyway!

  8. FB - that's all very well in theory but wont work in practice because although you and I might vote our beliefs the flocks of sheeple wont...and that speech wont make them change their minds.

    The only credible alternative to 5 more years of Bully McNutter and his troop of oxygen thieves is CallMeDave (unfortunately). We all have to whatever we can to get rid of the current filth and I'm afraid in most constituencies that means holding your nose and voting for the Conservative candidate....but email and call her/him to make sure they know that the lack of an EU referendum is a real problem and push them to commit to fix it as the price of your vote.

  9. I think the assumption that the unwashed masses cannot tell the difference between style and substance is wrong. A great many people (though not those who think they understand better than anyone else) are really very tired of empty soundbites.