The Futility Monster

He'll pointlessly derive more enjoyment out of your resources than you

Who Will Inspire Us?

Posted by The Futility Monster on October 7, 2009 @ 07:49

Osborne attending the wake for British electoral politics.

Osborne attending the wake for British electoral politics.

The next election is increasingly going to be one for the the manic depressives of this country.

George Osborne’s speech yesterday was a mixture of the glum, the moody and the foreboding sacrifices ahead for this country. The man struggled to break into a smile throughout the whole event, and if his whole demeanour is carried forward to the campaign, it’s going to make things rather difficult.

Where’s the hope? Where’s the optimism? American political speeches always have one key theme: we are American, and we will beat this. No matter what the topic, there is always a rallying cry towards the end which always says “we’ve come through worse times; our great American nature is what will make us get through this one”.

Perhaps I’ve got so used to the way Obama does it that no one comes close any more. Everyone is always a disappointment by comparison. Especially George Osborne, whose general behaviour and mannerisms seem extraordinarily wooden and aloof to me.

That’s not to say Osborne didn’t try. There was a vain attempt to set out what he would like his future Britain to be like for his children. But, as always from him, it felt contrived and lifeless. Dull, dull, dull.

Meanwhile, on the other side – who are now also talking about cuts – who are the leading protaganists? Alistair Darling. Gordon Brown. Harriet Harman. Alan Johnson. Not a dose of oratorical inspiration between them. Each have their own style, but none of them have the ability to get an electorate truly motivated about the choice that lies ahead. Especially if they’re all talking about cuts too.

The next election is, sadly, going to be all too real. There will be no grand visions of a transformed society with a new government. Instead, the economic situation necessitates a terribly dry election about numbers and what each party are going to do with them. The Germans have just went through exactly the same thing: in what most observers have called the most boring election ever. All parties wanted similar things. There were no huge issues. No scandals. No conflict.

At least there will be some conflict here to quicken that moribund pulse. Even if it is borne of the fake Mandelson-Osborne rivalry, purely for the TV cameras, it might get people listening. But otherwise, it’s going to be funereal: somber and composed.

There is scope for some party, or party figure, to drive a very compelling narrative here. One about “British values” of fairness and freedom; of stiff-upper-lipness in the face of a dual enemy: the economy and the environment. These are challenging times: but we can meet them by invoking the war-time spirit of community and togetherness in the face of a common threat to our existence.

See how easy it is?


One Response to “Who Will Inspire Us?”

  1. […] Who Will Inspire Us? […]

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