Thursday, September 20, 2007

Ming the Not so Meaningless

IAIN DALE IS AWAY, SHANE GREER IS STANDING IN

Over the past couple of weeks I’ve made it pretty clear what I’ve thought of the LibDem’s recent performance. Under Ming the party has bumbled and mumbled its way from disaster to disaster. Over the past few days their Party Conference served only to emphasise their problems. But we knew worse was to come, like the icing on the cake we awaited Ming’s performance; we awaited his 45 minute suicide note to the party and the electorate.

But it never came. Ming blasted apart expectations and delivered an extraordinary speech.

But here’s the thing. Ming’s speech wasn’t just good by comparison to previous performances. It was good in its own right; as a piece of oratory it stands out, deservedly so.

Far from the dithering, tired, bumbling and mumbling performances of recent pasts Ming Campbell looked strong, resolute, dynamic, tough, tenacious and not simply ready, but spoiling, for a fight.

Of course one speech isn’t enough to turn the LibDem’s performance around – but it is enough to get the party back on track and more importantly standing behind their leader.

Whatever else has comes out of Ming Campbell’s speech one thing looks certain – his position as leader is secure for at least a little longer.

18 comments:

Anonymous said...

Glad he's done enough to stay. Good news for Dave an Gordon.

Colin said...

You must have been watching another speech - over on Cbeebies perhaps??

What I saw was a tired, washed out old warrior, promoted beyond his capability, trying to 'deliver' a speech that was a patchwork quilt of clumsy phrases, cliches, clapped out 'ideas' and almost devoid of content. Almost devoid because the only thing he did with any gusto at all was to attack everyone else in sight. Brown, cameron, even his own MPs Clegg and Huhne got a swipe from the old boy. The near silence in which the sppeech was heard, with scattered, embarrased patches of applause, spoke volumes. There was no passion, no theatre, no oratory - which is what these set-piece numbers are all about. Ming should tear up his equity card - he just doesn't cut it. Great - for everyone except the poor old Lib Dems - mind you anyone who joins such a lost cause as theirs needs their bumps felt.

What with Ming on the way to the exit sign, and Cameron languishing in the pools as more of a zero than a hero, its surely odds-on that Brown will announce an election either in his conference speech next week or on the morning of Cameron's speech the following week./ Take your last remaining devalued pennies out of Northern Rock and hurry down to the bookie's while you can still get odds ....

Daily Referendum said...

I must have watch a different speech. The one I watched was like a episode of Jackanory.

I think the only reason people have been impressed, is because it wasn't as bad as we thought it would be.

mitch said...

Ha one speech gave us cameron instead of davis

Man in a Shed said...

Perhaps he's been let into the secret of the timing of the next general election. After all Labour and Lib Dems coordinate on their anti-Conservative strategy on seats.

Anonymous said...

Which speech were you listening to? All I heard was a desperate man trying too hard.

Kerron said...

Yeah, what speech were you watching?

http://kerroncross.blogspot.com/2007/09/bald-truth-ming-coughs-big-one.html

Bring back Iain!

judith said...

Sorry Shane, I found it embarassing - straining for 'jokes', extended weary similes, if I were a LibDem I'd be very, very worried.

Anonymous said...

yours is an interesting honest analysis of the speech. I have a feeling that Iain would have said similar.

Only six, partisan commenters merely emphasises the fact that your analysis is probably fair.

This is why I, as a Lib Dem, read Iain Dale because he does give his honest critiques of events (though often this involves slagging off the Lib Dems!)

Anonymous said...

Yeah. The 'Quiet Man turning up the volume' cringe-worth.

Still, respect to IDS. His appearance on Newshite about the Social Justice stuff was first rate. Just shows how all shadow cabinet people should specialise in one subject and stick to it for years.

Wrinkled Weasel said...

Are you 'avin' a Ruby Braff? I heard about five minutes of it and turned it off because I was dying of embarrassment on Ming's behalf.

It was terrible! It was a cocktail of one part Malvolio, two parts Gratiano and a dash of Mavis Riley

"a piece of oratory it stands out"..erm yes, as an affectionate tribut to the Commedia Del Squirm.

Diablo said...

Good performance by Ming. Must have dropped the LibDoomed vote in the next general election in October by at least 10 seats, though. Not enough for the Tories to win without Cameron finding a killer point or two.

Has he got them up his sleeve? I am beginning to wonder.

verity said...

Colin 7:11 re Campbell, who I do not want to be forced to defend: "There was no passion, no theatre, no oratory -"...

Unlike, say, Gordon Brown?

Colin said...

Verity (4.01) - I know what you're saying. Gordon Brown has good speechwriters (who we pay for!). He needs 'em to make up for his wooden delivery.

A leader needs some passion, theatre, oratory - but it must be backed by substance. Age need not be a barrier - remember the supreme old 'actor-manager' Harold Macmillan? He's never been bettered. Reagan was from the same mould, backed by the incomparable writer Peggy Noonan. Today's 'leaders' are pygmies by comparison.

Ian Ridley said...

I didn't vote for Ming in the leadership election but still expected a steadier than we got from him in his first year as leader.

However, both Ming and the party seem to be getting into their stride. Keeping the Tories in 3rd place in Ealing Southall and Sedgefield was a good result in the context of a Brown honeymoon. And I feel this conference has produced substantial policy and a more confident, surefooted leader to take us into the next election.

It's not just me - the media (quick to trash us last year) broadly agree with the above

machiavelli said...

Err, are you taking the p*ss or have you completely taken leave of your senses, Shane?

That speech was full of meaningless sentences with desperately poor applause cues, prompting a smattering of claps from bewildered delegates who only realised it was time to put two hands together by virtue of the fact that the old dear had stopped speaking.

I suspect most of them thought he'd finally passed away.

Anonymous said...

Judith, if you were a Lib Dem, THE WORLD would be very very very very worried!

4micah said...

The old man would be mocked from office if he tried to lead Labour or the Conservatives. Only the fringes put up with cranks.