Monday, September 25, 2006

So Gordon's speech.

I made the not-very-smart decision of arriving late, hence me standing on my tip toes at the bottom corner of the stage.

What did you think? Add your comments below.

For me, we saw a personal side rarely seen before. Too many people have seen him as a lifeless robot who has one single, pre-programmed dimension. For me, he was reminiscent of some of the best bits of New Labour circa 1997. He seemed like the bloke from down the street who genuinely cares - a trait which has real pulling power at the electorate.

He was at his best when talking in simple terms. He spoke of his parents and their influence. He spoke of the mother he met in the street, the young couple who couldn't afford to buy a home, the kids who had nothing to do on an evening.

Needless to say, the biggest applause he received was his "I would love to take on David Cameron". From the reaction he received, that's what everyone else wants too.


At 2:00 PM, Anonymous Stuart Bruce said...

I'm working in the office and despite having the speech on BBC 24 I drifted off and went back to working. I'll have to listen to a replay before I can give a verdict.

But it is worrying that a self-confessed political junky drifted off. I didn't drift off for Peter Watt or Hazel Blears last night, and even heard most of Darling's.

At 3:02 PM, Anonymous Gary Elsby said...

Hi Jonathan, well done in landing the role of conference blogger, I hope it goes OK for you.

You are lucky enough to be on the front line this week and will probably meet many well known politicians and fellow bloggers, especially the MP bloggers.

That reminds me, when you bump into Tom Watson, ask him to update his own blog.

I sent a lovely piece in acknowledging his 'loyalty' to Labour. Well, he appears to have mislaid it. I would re-send it but I wrecked my keyboard in the process, so I can't.

I'm sure Tom would put it up if he ever finds it and I'm sure he's open to an incy wincy bit of criticism, but my guess is that Tom wants to keep a clean sheet nowadays.(The erase/moderator button certainly helps here)

Politics is fun Jonathan and don't let anyone say otherwise.So get off the program and get into the leadership contest.Deny everything and admit to nothing.It's the only way to become leader.

So here are my questions I'd like you to ask:

1. Tony when are you stepping down?

2. Gordon, do you want to be leader?

3. Tom, have you ever been to Scotland?(grid ref 1245N-5467W)

4.Is Stoke-on-Trent, the biggest City outside of London?


ps. haven't seen or heard Gordon's speech, but reckon we all could have written it beforehand.Kissing babies and all that.
My own advice is for Gordon to keep his gob shut and the job's his for the taking.Anything else will trap him into being Labour's bullyboy.That's just where the press want him and Labour to be.

At 5:32 PM, Blogger Jane Pike said...

Great speech from Gordon although he laboured the point about his and Tony's long-standing working relationship perhaps a little too long! But the soundbites were there to guarantee the 1 O'clock headlines. He had me at the announcement about funding to stop the rich countries crippling the efforts for the developing world to meet environmental targets. So simple, so needed, so GENIUS! Gordie is a nice bloke really, and I'm glad more people got to see it today. Watching at home I got the sense conference decided at the end of his speech that he is now officially PM in waiting, and TB looked pretty happy too.

PS - Tell Helen I'll be watching for more reports about what she's up to via your blog!

At 5:54 PM, Blogger John said...

think it was a good job overall, and based on that, if he wins I'll have no probs trudging the streets for him come election day. i agree i wasn't so gripped it kept me from the phone (my boss doesn't pay me to just listen to speeches), but think it's a bit unfair to expect that too. as it was it was delivered with conviction and coherence - two attributes that would serve him well against Cameron

At 7:43 PM, Blogger Praguetory said...

I must report that I had a similar problem with Tom Watson's blog.

At 8:33 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wonder why no-one has mentioned the WAR yet. Are they afraid or something? Gordon didn't say a word on his views about it and to my mind he should be asked. How can it just be ignored? How many people have to die before Tony realizes that he is recruiting terrosists not stopping terrorism?
Thank you for being a blogger and please look out for comments on World issues.

At 11:02 PM, Blogger Jonathan Roberts said...

hi everyone. Thanks for posting and thanks for your best wishes.

A few comments:

Cecily - Gordon did mention the war in terms of the war on terror. Something along the lines of "there is no place to hide for terrorists". That comment alone probably sets out his feelings on the issue.

Jane - I agree, he made a compelling argument for PM today, and is looking very statesman-like around the conference village. There are, however, numerous rumours about other "Blairite" contenders that you all will have heard. I must say, John Reid seems to be everywhere tonight.

Gary - I haven't seen Tom Watson around at all, perhaps he's lying low. If I do, I'll be sure to pass on your comments.

Best wishes and keep posting!


At 11:04 PM, Anonymous Richard Corbett MEP said...

Great speech, but interestingly, there was no menion of Europe.

Even when he said he was proud to be Scottish and British, he didn't't add "and European", which would have been particularly appropriate the day after Europe's triumph in a sport invented in Scotland!

Does he want to keep quiet on his European policy? Or does he think it not important? Or is he still pondering on it? Who knows. It certainly contrasted with the view of his closest confident, Ed Balls, whio in a fringe meeting said Europe was the most important issue facing us over the next decade.

At 1:36 PM, Blogger Jonathan Roberts said...

I've just remembered, another thing that I thought was nice was GB saying he regretted the times when his personal differences with TB got in the way of Government. A rather mature thing to say, and I'm surprised that the media haven't picked up on it more.

At 5:38 PM, Anonymous Paul Hilder said...

It was an understatedly fine speech, and the signals on the great mystery of what he might do were all in the right direction, although clearly he's not yet released from his box.

If he follows through, it will prove retrospectively to be a great speech.

What he's saying on sharing power, devolving, is very strong and could put paid to the accusations (and some of his record!) on Fabian centralism and control freakery. The story of service is politically canny. The stuff about solidarity and common effort is a rich seam - and it looks like it goes right to his core.

On terrorism and foreign policy, he stressed more attention to winning hearts and minds (not just "no place to hide", though that's important too).


On a more mundane point, has anyone else noticed that Ruth Kelly's speech has been stolen and replaced by a copy of Baroness Amos's? Jonathan, you might want to let the appropriate authorities know.


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