Over on his blog Jonathan Calder makes a good point about the speech-making abilities of Liberal Democrat President Tim Farron:
My impression of Tim is that he is very good at saying things people agree with. So in Cumbria he is against second homes and in favour of farming subsidies and Kendal mint cake…
Now that Tim Farron is being spoken of as a possible party leader, he needs to risk the odd unpopular speech. Someone in that class cannot always be telling people what they want to hear.
There’s certainly a role for funny and uplifting speeches, but I always think it is a real shame if all someone giving speeches ever says are things everyone would have thought before hearing any of their speeches – especially if the speech giver is as gifted an orator as Tim. Simply telling people what they already thought is a waste of the opportunity given to you when you have a room or hall full of people looking your way and listening.
Providing people with new information or new perspectives is one way of taking that opportunity, but so too is telling people things they didn’t agree with at the start of your speech.
So, I’m in the queue behind Jonathan wanting to hear a speech from Tim Farron that I disagree with – at least in parts.