Pitching a budget.

Most of us have experience of ‘pitching’ a budget.It can be a fee proposal to a client, a request for a salary increase or for a loan from the bank. How well do we think Alastair Darling pitched his budget to us yesterday?Did he persuade us to his point of view?

The budget itself was pretty nondescript. Bit of this, bit of that, bit of green and the usual on drink.As anticipated nothing dramatic given economic factors outside his control.

What was in his control, or should have been, was the way he put his message across.He had plenty of time to prepare and , presumably, to rehearse. Yet his performance was at best dreary and was slated in the press-“so boring he even stupified himself” .

Worse than this was the lack of confidence. How can we be confident in what he proposed if he is not?

The only person to benefit from his poor performance is Gordon Brown. He,in contrast, we remember as a master of his subject- whether we agreed or not- who radiated confidence, a quality less evident in his current role.

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