Budget day in Parliament is part finance, part politics, and part theatre. I didn’t set out to this, but after having watched the performances of the main players on TV, and by channel hopping I’ve decided on a two-part analysis.
Part 1 is on my impressions of individual performances, politicians and TV media, leaving to Part 2 my two analysis of the contents of the budget and politics.
Right, straight to it, while the impressions in my mind are not lost:
- Alistair Darling: Delivery – flat and dull; Content – thin and no shocks; Analysis of nation’s finances – poor; Overall marks 5 out of 10
- David Cameron: Delivery – energetic; Humour – matchless: Content – rich; Analysis of nation’s finances – very high; 10 out of 10
- Nick Clegg: Delivery – trying too hard & boring; Content – thin; 5 out 10
- Huw Edwards: Laboured, needed to be snappier: 6 out of 10
- Stephanie Flanders: Clear authoritative and analytical; 8 out of 10
- Nick Robinson: Solid, dependable analysis; 7 out of 10
- Robert Peston: Irritating, too slow to make the point; 2 out of 10
- Andrew Boulton: Incisive – but, get rid of sandwich board man; 8 out of 10
- Lord Mandelson: Irritating, a serial interrupter, weak; 4 out of 10
- Iain Duncan-Smith: Sharp, landed good punches on Mandelson; 9 out of 10
- Charles Kennedy: An empty vessel: 2 out of 10 [lucky to get 2]
- Jackie Smith: Tough – but oh that hair-do; 7 out of 10
- Ed Davey: Weak; 3 out of 10
- Michael Fallon: Clear and authoritative; 7 out of 10
Note: my impressions of the bottom three were based on not much viewing.
On the day, the clear winner, by a country mile, was David Cameron. Sure I was expecting a good performance from him, but this was excellent. Where Alistair Darlings speech lacked the numbers, Cameron’s was number and analysis rich. I’ve not heard a better speech from him. It was the difference between Cameron, and Darling, and Gordon Brown in the earlier Prime Minister’s Questions that prompted this subjective analysis of individual performances.