Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Advice to Ed Miliband: Get a lectern

Whether Ed Miliband forgot to mention the deficit or decided to drop that passage because he sensed a restive audience, I don't know. But whatever the reason for that omission, the time has come for him to drop the stunt of giving his conference speeches from memory.

The first time he did it, people were impressed. But once you have seen it done a couple of times, you are not impressed at all. It begins to look like showing off.

Ed Miliband's defence of the technique is that it makes it easier for him to connect with people. But that sounds to me like a hangover from the early days of his leadership when we were told he was a brilliant communicator.

He is not, though he is not an awful one either. Miliband's real weakness is that people think he lacks leadership qualities.

In short, he needs to acquire some gravitas. And speaking from a lectern with a written speech - a speech that is not afraid to mention the deficit - would be a good first step.

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