Sunday, March 06, 2011

David Cameron's speech to the Conservative Party's Spring Conference, Cardiff

The Prime Minister has rallied the Party faithful in Cardiff, and enthused them for the battle ahead. In a speech which touched all the right nerves and sang all the right notes, he borrowed from Churchill's patriotism and lauded Thatcher's enterprise. His Grace won't reproduce the entire speech; doubtless it can be found on the Party's website.

But there was one phrase towards the end of the speech which caused His Grace some puzzlement. In fact, until he received the entire text from CCHQ, he thought the Prime Minister had misread his words. Mr Cameron said:
So let me tell you: while there are contracts to be won, jobs to be created, markets to be defended – I will be there.

If it’s making sure Rolls Royce engines are in the world’s planes, I’ll be there.

If it’s making sure skyscrapers in the Gulf are designed by British architects, I’ll be there.

I’ll be there not just because it’s my job, not just because it’s my duty, - because I but because I passionately believe – no, I know that this country can out-compete, out-perform, out-hustle the best in the world…

…and I’m going to make sure I use every last drop of my energy to make sure that happens for our country.
The 'best in the world' must be judged objectively, and established empirically. But in this curious phrase, following directly after Rolls Royce and an allusion to Sir Norman Foster, the Prime Minister appears to say that these are not examples of the best in the world. Indeed, he says quite categorically that the UK can 'out-compete, out-perform and out-hustle the best in the world'.

His Grace does not mean to be obtuse but, while it may be possible to 'out-compete' the best in the world (by selling the second-best cheaper), it is not possible to 'out-perform' the best in the world, or else the product cannot be the best. And to 'out-hustle' the best in the world is not remotely an admirable or moral pursuit: to hustle is to coerce; to deal with hurriedly; to push or bustle; to swindle or engage in prostitution (OED). Is it not preferable to let the best in the world achieve market dominance rather than 'hustling' buyers to purchase second best?

This phrase is an almighty speech-writing gaffe. It is utterly incomprehensible that it got past so many of the Prime Minister's team of writers and advisers, and astonishing that it apparently escaped the attention of the Prime Minister himself. Britain competes best in the world when she promotes those products and services which are the best in the world, and they are legion. Leave the second and third rate to try to 'out-hustle' us: world trade is not souk.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ah Your Grace, 450 years on and you haven't lost your command of the tongue of Sha-, I mean Chaucer.
Your liturgy out-performs the, like, the most awesome like worship that today can like offer.

6 March 2011 at 15:41  
Anonymous Byrnsweord said...

Your Grace; the phrase 'out-hustle' is one that leaves me with a feeling of sinking dread. Could it be that Mr Cameron approved the phrase in a desperately foolhardy attempt to use 'street' parlance?

6 March 2011 at 16:02  
Anonymous Oswin said...

It confirms my suspicion that few these days, beyond the near-ancient, can do their job properly; seemingly that includes speech-writers too.

It is merely a clumsy, and unnecessary attempt by Cameron to vindicate the presence of arms-dealers during his recent Egyptian cavalcade, and of other recent 'associations' of a similar, but more illustrious nature, re' Libya.

Fools, amateurs and bunglers?

6 March 2011 at 16:14  
Blogger Ernst Stavro Blofeld said...

Your Grace comments on main page;

Glad old Ernst wasn't the only one to pick up on this catchphrase whilst watching the speech live.

Thought Dave was putting in a performance for X Factor and all that was missing was the other 4 Jackson's warbling in the background.

'I will be there, I will be there, I will be there..Just call me dave and I will be there.'

Ernst's day just gets better by the hour, after the fine start His Grace gave him with his Baroness Warsi piece. And it's only 14.42 PM.

Keep them coming as Ernst hates Mondays but loves Sundays.

E S Blofeld

6 March 2011 at 16:45  
Anonymous Atlas shrugged said...

I gladly take all of your points.

However whether Camerons speech writers wish it to be known or not, Hustle is most surely where it is at, when it comes to international trade, especially when it comes to things like expensive high tech engines for whatever, and who gets to design certain buildings. In this regard the best hustlers (corrupters) get to build the engines, and therefore get sufficiently good at doing so.

This is something the 'British' in particular have been historically extremely good at, indeed the 'British' are past masters at this type of thing, and have been so for some considerable amount of time.

Like-wise, for example when it comes to designing buildings, building ships, or arms to blow things up with, so that there is more ships and buildings to respectively build or design.

After all if it where not for obviously deliberately conspired to happen events such as so called Great Fires of London, or world wars. We would still have the original St Pauls gradually crumbling to the ground, and be using Victorian style steam powered war ships, or none at all.

Peace is as a general rule good for small business, but not at all good for many of the biggest of all businesses. Which includes the Oil, building, and Offense Industries, and of course the business of ever larger government.

Which is why peace should be defined as the period of time between deliberately created wars.

The excuse is always the same. It safeguards jobs. Which is the weakest of all arguments, as well as the most immorally untrue. There is always plenty of work that needs to be done, but only a very limited amount that is highly profitable, and therefore also highly taxable.

I do not entirely blame our politicians for this, for this long standing situation is not of their making. Leading politicians, like most ordinary people have the needs of their bosses to consider. Which, as I am sure many are now beginning to understand, is not at all either the people who voted for them, or the people who did not.

6 March 2011 at 16:46  
Blogger Ernst Stavro Blofeld said...

Apologies to All.

'And it's only 14.42 PM'..Oops 16.42 PM..Ernst is getting overly excited.

E S Blofeld

6 March 2011 at 16:48  
Anonymous non mouse said...

Another wonderful post, Your Grace.

It appears that DC just can't get his feet out of his mouth. He hasn't given a gaffe-free speech yet...

He's stuck in a time-loop - as an accident that just can't stop happening...

And just imagine being stuck in one of those with something called Warsi and calls itself by a German title.


6 March 2011 at 17:05  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

all areas accept in train making perhaps should have been added

6 March 2011 at 17:05  
Anonymous non mouse said...

sorry ... shld. be: called Warsi that also calls itself by a German title.

6 March 2011 at 17:07  
Blogger LeucipottomySpoon82 said...

"...and I’m going to make sure I use every last drop of my energy to make sure that happens for our country."

Sounds pretty much like a cast-iron guarantee to me.

6 March 2011 at 17:31  
Anonymous MrJ said...

Surely anyone whose doubts were still lingering will find this conclusive evidence that the speechwriter, speechgiver and publicists are, one way or another, unfit for anything connected with conducting the affairs of State of this country. How many fellow-countryman will find it worthy, persuasive or uplifting? Even most of the usual suspects must be feeling queasy.

6 March 2011 at 18:06  
Anonymous len said...

The World of business is a cut throat one and I am sure more than just a little'hustling' goes on.
Whether it is P C to mention this is another matter.
I would rather have some one out there 'hustling' than sitting back in no 10 running the County into the ground!

6 March 2011 at 18:50  
Anonymous len said...

apologies 'Country'

6 March 2011 at 18:51  
Anonymous MrJ said...

Country or county, Ien, whatever those whose business is business ought to be doing, this is surely not what the Prime Minister should be doing, pretend to be doing or boasting of doing. He cannot make up for the failings of businessmen nor they for his.

6 March 2011 at 19:17  
Anonymous @john_raftery said...

This is lazy speechwriting. The phrases "out compete" and "out perform " are stolen from speeches used by Prseident Obama in the past few months, they are easily available on You tube. "Out hustle" seems to me to be unseemly and vulgar from a Head of State.

6 March 2011 at 19:48  
Blogger Rebel Saint said...

I don't pretend to be in the same league as your good self Cranmer, or even many of your regular communicants, when it comes eloquence or prose. However, I thought the meaning was clear and I do indeed think you are being obtuse

The "best in the world" doesn't necessarily refer to a single subject. The World Cup is a tournament of "the best in the world" - all 32 of them. One team "out performs" the best in the world to become THE best in the world. Surely this what Dave was meaning: that we are in the same competitive league as the "best in the world" and we shall come out on top.

Or the other meaning that is also sensible & credible is this: that whilst we may be the best manufacturers of engines, or designers of buildings we may not necessarily be the best at competing or performing or hustling. As Jamie's dream school proves, you can have the "best in the world" and they can still be shite at other aspects of delivering the desired outcomes.

Maybe it was a speech meant for the likes of plebs like me because I quite liked what he said. The problem is that whilst I understood it, I don't believe a word of political rhetoric any more.

6 March 2011 at 22:51  
Anonymous IanCad said...

This speech may have been directed at 'dragons' but it is far more suitable for sheep. Veiled in a phony familiarity the contents were predictable and light. Where is the promise to revisit our enslavement to the EU? What about addressing the rise of militant secularism which threatens the liberties of us all? Not a word! Of course not. This is Dave and I'm here to help you.
How long, how long, must we endure?

6 March 2011 at 23:10  
Blogger AncientBriton said...

I was unimpressed by the speech. Just the same old communications claptrap, propaganda and blame game with another opportunity for public service kicking. Too much red tape and regulation? Would that be in implementing government policies? Perhaps there will none to bring back the Enterprise Zones leaving Big Society volunteers with bags of money to dole out as the mood takes them! In the PM's blame game he forgot to blame his predecessors for getting rid of manufacturing in the first place.

6 March 2011 at 23:14  
Anonymous Atlas shrugged said...

The problem is that whilst I understood it, I don't believe a word of political rhetoric any more.

There writes a wise man.

I am sure you are seriously regretting having ever done so in the past, as well. I certainly am, and I have not done so for the best part of 30 years.

However be careful, because you might not instinctively believe anything they say anymore, but it does not mean that they are not going to do something that they say they are going to do. You have to listen very carefully, and to especially the bits you don't like or don't fully understand.

As a general rule, if I like what they say, I absolutely trust that it will never actually happen, and if I perfectly hate what they say I put money on the fact that it will, either soon, or eventually.

There is a reason for this, and it is not one simply based on well justified paranoia.

It is the certain knowledge that the establishment have a clearly defined and largely horrific agenda which MUST be obeyed, and that it is said establishment that actually runs the show, and not elected politicians of any political party, however many times they all enjoy to claiming that they do.

For just one example

This is why we are in ever deeper vastly authoritarian and wholly unaccountable do-do's with The EU, at the same time as the vast majority do not want to be. The exact same can be said about a whole lot of other issues, far to numerous to mention.

Democracy is not dead, because for it to be so, it would have to have once been alive. The truth is that democracy was always a Dark Art illusion, but is even more so today then at anytime since 1913.

7 March 2011 at 00:28  
Anonymous Atlas shrugged said...

In the PM's blame game he forgot to blame his predecessors for getting rid of manufacturing in the first place.

As a British manufacturer myself, I resent that comment. You would be quite amassed at how many things this country still makes.

Money for example, off of the backs of other more enslaved populations. Do you personally want a job on the minimum wage working on a mindless production line. I thought not, so best you shut up on the subject.

Perhaps you also regret the closing down of much of our coal industry.
I am sure spending a majority of ones life buried underground for also a minimum wage, was also a barrel of laughs.

Globalization quite frankly scares me half to death, but not as much as sending my own children down a coal mine, or personally having to watch them wasting their existence on a production line making tap washers. Quite frankly I would much prefer them to spend their entire lives on the dole doing some serious reading.

Of course the problem with not making much that we the people need on a daily basis, is that a country becomes utterly dependent on the meurderous criminals that run/own the establishment. Which is a devil, and the deepest blue sea situation, if ever there be one.

The good news is that these crooks, villains, and mafia in incredibly expensive suits have been running your and my existence since the first second our mothers conceived us.

Therefore it is entirely possible that they may allow most of us to live long enough to see our grandchildren born, better still grow-up, you never know your luck.

7 March 2011 at 01:01  
Anonymous not a machine said...

I thought it was alright overall , there a few policies that flounder in the circumstances , and some that will take months if not years to see results . We have to remember that we understand David Cameron as an economist (one of the best of his year at uni) from a stockbroking background , just the thing you need when we have had a complex financial bust, quite where his laser like skills for politics come from I dont know .One source had quoted his early civil service meetings as being like a combine harvester and he sometimes has somthing of the formula one racer about him , finding those little things that give you the edge , and despite the cast iron guarentee still leaving wheel marks , I think he does what he says and is more thoughtful than the earlier flashman tag , which may inject some honesty back into poltics .
I am surprised not everyone gets along with Mervyn King who I think has been very thoughtfull in this crisis .
The chancellor has a reasonable chance of making some progress , enterprise zones are as good an idea as any , providing they become homes and not tents .I think there are still some fundmental problems around work and salaries that wont inflate away , but propoganda ponzi schemes leave an awful lot of people hurt and unfortunately for Ed ,unlike stalin he cant airbrush them out of the halycon days pictures .

7 March 2011 at 02:13  
Blogger Manfarang said...

Triumph motorcycles are now made in Thailand.I don't see any sign of Cameron being there.

7 March 2011 at 02:38  
Anonymous not a machine said...

Manfarang : Your quite right some of us having been shouting very loudly , finance deals have ruined manufacturing and agriculture , some other attitudes have been longer term. Why did labour let call centres (in the great services revolution that closed down nearly every insurance office and utilities shop so we could pay our bills over the phone ) go abroad is one example . Bit of dissapointment on triumph though none the less , we may be back to little bikes that do 100mpg before summer.

7 March 2011 at 03:26  
Anonymous Voyager said...

Cameron has no respect for words. Like Blair they flow in a torrent but have no meaning either individually or concatenated. He simply burbles for effect and has no idea what he has said - it is mood music

7 March 2011 at 07:29  
Blogger Gnostic said...

So wasting time spouting BS rhetoric is better than actually tackling the real problems? While Cameron is busy stroking himself the economy is so far past the U bend it's about to buy the sewage farm...

7 March 2011 at 07:57  
Anonymous MrJ said...

Atlas shrugged "...democracy was always a Dark Art illusion, but is even more so today then at anytime since 1913." You may have a point or more than apoint, but why not before 1913?

7 March 2011 at 09:03  
Blogger AncientBriton said...

You may well shrug with your mixed message Atlas.

Yes there is evidence to support your claims for manufacturing, eg
but that is only part of the story. You would be content to sit on your backside reading rather than work in a pit but the generations of those who have been forced to do so with little hope of work may not see it the same way.

We have citizens described as scroungers and a burden on the state while new jobs are being taken by immigrants because 'British workers don't have the necessary skills'.

I would agree that dirty, repetitive jobs are not ideal but dumping them in favour of idleness does no-one any favours. Rhetoric alone doesn't solve problems.

7 March 2011 at 10:35  
Anonymous Voyager said...

am sure spending a majority of ones life buried underground for also a minimum wage, was also a barrel of laughs.

Mining was hardly minimum wage especially after 1972 and 1974. Joe Gormley got a very good deal for miners - and had we not had the lunacy of making coal uneconomic by removing it from Base Load generating sets we would not be in the pickle we are today

7 March 2011 at 12:14  
Anonymous len said...

I think poor' old dave' is in a 'no win' situation whatever he does.

You can please some of the people some of the time...........

7 March 2011 at 13:30  
Anonymous Robin said...

Here`s a test for the New Enterprise Britain .

British trucks pay taxes and tolls when they are abroad ,foreign trucks pay nothing when they are in the UK (YOU pay their track costs ).
The Department against Transport has plans to (finally ) charge them in 2014 - Oh the urgency !

They want to charge more than the EU allowed £9 per day , but the EU colleagues , whose own ministries take £100 or more per day from British trucks , wont allow it .

Level playing field ? Hustle for us ?
I bet a pound to a penny we wont charge foreign trucks at all .

(And if you know any pro EU types please tell them I will give £10 for every British truck coming off a ferry at Dover if they give me £1 for every foreign one ) .

7 March 2011 at 18:21  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Weve been dragged down a dark alley and turned over good a proper guvner.

7 March 2011 at 18:45  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Proverbs 28:28 says "When the wicked rise, men hide themselves: but when they perish, the righteous increase".

We are to pray for leaders with integrity. Believers also need to be shrewd - partly because wickedness 'screws up'. The anti-God element reveals itself in words, then in actions, or non-actions. A democracy collectively judges and then finally removes them from power.

The real challenge is the discernment of plausible actors who can fully master the English language.

8 March 2011 at 10:25  
Blogger Ernst Stavro Blofeld and Naughty Tiddles said...

Len said 7 March 2011 13:30

"I think poor' old dave' is in a 'no win' situation whatever he does.

You can please some of the people some of the time..........." But there is ONE person we must please ALL the time, my fine chap, or else He will express disappointment publicly and be ashamed to declare us to The Father, Holy Spirit and His Angels!!!

Depends on your Eternal perspective, does it not?


9 March 2011 at 12:46  
Anonymous len said...

Amen to that Ernst!

9 March 2011 at 23:53  

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