Governor Gary Johnson goes crowd-surfing

Posted on October 03, 2012

It’s a depressing reflection on our nation’s politics that one of the reasons Ed Miliband’s well-delivered speech at Labour Conference is being feted by apparently stunned journalists is that he was able to make a speech without having it written down in front of him.

Across the pond, on the other hand, Gov Gary Johnson – the Libertarian Party Presidential candidate – has shown how to really break the mould when making a speech: Crowd-surfing…

Shaun Woodward says cuts are Northern Ireland’s “new troubles”

Posted on September 29, 2011

Shaun Woodward is the Shadow Secretary of State for Northern Ireland – a job that requires unusual levels of historical understanding and diplomatic language. Given that, I couldn’t help but wince at his speech to the Labour conference. It started with a flourish of historical references, mentioning the Croke Park Bloody Sunday of 1920. Unfortunately, he then moved on to the economy:

But there are new challenges. New troubles. For the whole island. The crisis faced by the economy of Ireland. Compounded by austerity cuts by the Tory Coalition, felt as harshly in Northern Ireland as any other part of the UK.

The word “troubles” isn’t really the most appropriate for Northern Ireland, given the history of the Troubles with a capital “T”. Shaun Woodward cannot be ignorant of the meaning of the word, so is he just insensitive or is he deliberately joining Guido’s Order of the OTT by comparing the cuts to the Troubles?