October 2, 2006

When I first read his speech, I assumed that Master Cameron had made a slip of the tongue in his famous catchphrase and that , in a new spirit of political honesty, he actually meant to say “Let moonshine win the day.” Reading the whole thing, however, I find that he is rather more subtle than that. Referring to some other politician whose name I can’t be bothered to look up he said “He’s so gloomy, he makes Gordon Brown look like a ray of sunshine”. So, there we have it.  He’s actually expressing the hope that Gordon Brown will win the day. And they claim to be a party of optimism! In any case, no one familiar with British weather could imagine that sunshine would ever win anything there. A much more realistic message would be ‘Let scattered showers win the day.’
The other thing I noticed was that, out of 334 sentences, 28 contained fewer than four words with an average sentence length of 11.92 words and 1.63 syllables per word. In his Conference speech, however, Blair did even better with a sentence length down to 10.83 and 1.61 syllables per word. My advice to Master Cameron, for what it’s worth is ‘Cut out the weather metaphors, sunshine, and then cut sentence length, not taxes.’


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