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Cameron’s New Year speech was more than a formality

It’s common knowledge that in modern politics, the choice of words used can be as significant as the actual proposals they describe. Spin doctors are an integral part of any candidate’s election campaign team, as they seek to sway they electorate with grandiose initiatives and rousing speeches. Such is their significance, we now have Alistair Campbell as a household name.

David Cameron’s New Year’s Eve speech was a prime example of a focus on diction from the Tory communications team, with the aim of presenting a more caring image as we move into 2014. Cameron’s time in office has been mixed, with many claiming that the Eton-educated PM is out of touch with the modern working Briton. This latest speech suggests a move to better connect with voters using a key weapon from the copywriters armoury – engagement.

The Scottish independence referendum was a major topic, and Cameron was keen to persuade the Scots to vote ‘no’. He addressed them directly, commenting that “our family of nations is at its best when we work together with shared interest and common purpose”, suggesting that Scottish independence would be akin to a divorce. The children and grandchildren were then brought into it, with talk of building a better future for them to accentuate the point.

The speech was certainly a more human approach compared to those delivered previously, with plenty of ‘we’ and ‘our’ creating a sense of unity and shared responsibility. Positive action verbs featured heavily, with ‘plan’, ‘deliver’, and ‘secure’ signifying a commitment from the party in the long term – perhaps a nod to the 2015 general election.

The opportunity to get one over on your rivals is rarely missed in politics, and Cameron made sure to mention the poor economic health that was ‘inherited’ from the previous administration. ‘Deficit’, ‘dragging’, and ‘out-of-shape’ featured when referring to the Labour party, swiftly countered with ‘progress’ and ‘discipline’ when mentioning the Conservative’s solutions.

Overall, the speech employed a number of persuasive and engaging techniques that seasoned writers use frequently to effectively convey their desired message. To discover how Stratton Craig will help you to better connect with your audience, please contact us today.

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