BY Russell Wardrop

DATE: 23 SEP 2008


Gordon Brown just found his voice: authentic, measured and authoritative. If you don’t like him now you never will. Sure, we got substance by the bucket load. But, more importantly we got style. This was the ‘Big Gordy’ every one of his friends knew existed and often spoke about, but the rest of us never believed in. It wasn’t just the personal touch and the humility, though he went through all the gears there. This was the real deal, a speech where everything clicked. If you need proof look at his bombastic podium performances from a few years ago, which were fine, but more Church of Scotland Minister than Prime Minister.

This delivery was statesmanlike, not bombastic; rhetorical, not hectoring; and substantial, peppered with statistics and initiatives, but with a personal story for every one. And those personal stories were, finally, delivered like he actually meant it…ironically because of the economic crisis in which we’re now mired. On this form the great unwashed are going to be that much more likely to believe him. And believe in him.

He’s no Blair, but Gordon Brown has finally got his mojo working: it will have worked within his party and in some ways it will work on you. Watching with the rest, Milliband looked like the only boy without a partner at the sixth form disco, and the bold Mr Cameron now seems younger than Harry Potter. And oh so posh.

The real Gordon Brown finally stood up: a New Man, but one that still can’t tie his tie properly or polish his shoes. And it doesn’t matter. People will think, the way it’s all panning out, maybe he is up to the job after all. Oh, and by the way, don’t think for a minute that this was delivered for the people in the hall, as some have said: it was delivered for you and me.


The empathetic, authentic, almost understated delivery: passionate and confident, but not trying too hard.

Light and shade; changes in pace, tone and volume that were natural (or naturally scripted).

The mix of his beloved statistics with the all important emotional connection.

The “no time for apprenticeships “ line, aimed at the two wee Davids; in fact all the humour was appropriate to the character of the man.

The admission of mistakes; not just on the 10p tax, but also that it has never been all about him (we never believed him until now; it’s called empathy).

The cleverness in flashing some personality and airing some other personal stuff, while claiming all the time not to be like Dave C.


The video intro was totally unnecessary and a distraction, it could have backfired as the TV people had little good to say about it, even the Labour ones (on this form he simply does not need any help).

So was the intro from the wife. In fact this, combined with the video, could have made him look weak (he could have snogged her at the end just as effectively).

Nearly went too far with some of the stories, but at least that’s coming over as genuine now.


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