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Watching Barack Obama magnificent acceptance speech I wondered if we could take some inspiration from him in the speeches we deliver at Council meetings. Part of the success of the speech was to say a lot with great power in a few words. For instance on the Second World War, a subject very much in our minds, he said in the passage recounting the life span of Ann Nixon Cooper, an 106-year-old, who had just voted for him:  "When the bombs fell on our harbour and tyranny threatened the world, she was there to witness a generation rise to greatness and a democracy was saved."

Council meetings seldom have many members of the public attending and so can have the feel of actors performing a play without an audience. Lots of point scoring. Lots of ploughing through the procedure. Literally going through the motions.

Perhaps at out next Council meeting in Hammersmith I should give a rousing speech declaring: "Our campaign was not hatched in this Town Hall in King Street. It began in the sitting rooms of Parsons Green, the back gardens of Sands Ends, the pubs of Goldhawk Road. To those who say we can’t cut the Council Tax to Wandsworth levels. To those who say we can’t bring in the 24/7 policing needed cut crime in our Town centres. To those who doubt we can bring in shared ownership schemes to extend home ownership to the many and not just the few I say: ‘Yes, we can.’ "

11 comments for: Oratory in the Council Chamber

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