Spare a thought for the political advisers who write speeches like the one delivered by Boris Johnson

Mistakes during speeches happen but they really shouldn’t happen to the prime minister, writes Salma Shah

Wednesday 24 November 2021 14:09
<p>Holding his hands up: But was Boris Johnson’s  blundering CBI speech really all his fault? </p>

Holding his hands up: But was Boris Johnson’s blundering CBI speech really all his fault?

It was the best of speeches, it was the worst of speeches, depending on whose spin doctor you spoke to. It was a genius dead-cat strategy, it was the ramblings of a PM who has lost his grip on reality. It was great for Sir Keir Starmer, it was terrible for Sir Keir Starmer. This was the essence of the general assessment surrounding Boris Johnson’s much-derided speech to the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) national conference on Monday. Whatever you decide it was, at least it wasn’t uneventful.

We’ve all had an opinion, made the memes, read the commentary and viewed the parodies on TikTok but spare a thought for the poor writers behind the speech who will be lambasted for ever thanks to the prime minister losing his place.

It is the moment most political aides and private offices dread. Your principal is out there, on a stage, flying solo in front of all your critics. Your carefully curated words, your diligent research all lead to this important moment when the eyes of the world are watching and despite all your genuine efforts what they see is a dishevelled heap.

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