David Cameron and the ‘rule of three’.

The Party Conference season is already a distant memory, overtaken by the fun the media are having with Liam Fox and Adam Werritty. In truth the conferences were not that newsworthy and the speeches from all sides uninspired. Amidst this mediocrity, Cameron, without scaling the heights of his leadership winning “No notes Cameron” speech five years ago, stood apart.


 It was not a great speech but it was cleverly constructed. Philip Collins in The Times analysed it making this observation.

“Rule of three; three rules. The first full paragraph of the speech tells the story in miniature. It is already obvious that whatever we think of the content of the argument, there is a structure here on which to hang the material. There are three questions and we shall take them in order. He ends this summary of the speech with the operative word: leadership.”

Here is that first paragraph.

People have a very clear instruction for this Government; “Lead us out of this economic mess.” ” Do it in away that’s fair and right.” “And as you do it, make sure you build something worthwhile for us and our children.” Clear instructions. Clear objectives. And from me a clear understanding that in these difficult times it is leadership we need. 

Armed with this clear, signposted, easily communicated ‘three’ structure Cameron could focus on his delivery, giving a performance of command and confidence. Leadership in action. Essential to the winning pitch.

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