As I blogged earlier, sound bites can win the day when there is a big, set piece statement in the House of Commons. Sometimes an argument does need to be knuckled down into a few seconds which can be clipped for the TV and radio news bulletins.
Having watched the Autumn Statement earlier, I noted down the top nuggets deployed by the Chancellor George Osborne and his shadow Ed Balls. Expect to see a fair few of them appearing on tonight's news packages and in tomorrow's papers.
One point of constructive criticism to each of them; George Osborne really needs to find a solution to his dry throat which hampers his speech delivery, while Ed Balls must slow down and use the pause better to allow his soundbites to come through. Overall the Chancellor probably had the better lines while Balls' were more numerous, neither though delivered a knockout punch that will be used by all the media over the next 12/24 hours. I'd prefer, also, to see both of them try and build a better connection with the viewers at home rather than merely satisfying those sat in the House of Commons.
George Osborne's best lines:
- We are going to see Britain through the debt storm
- Something for nothing economics
- Britain will pay its way in the world
- We will reinvigorate Right To Buy, one of the greatest social policies of all time
- British savings for British jobs
- In this tough time we are helping where we can
- [Ed Balls' policies are] promises of a quack doctor selling a miracle cure
- Leadership for tough times
Ed Balls' best lines:
- Plan A has failed
- The Chancellor's economic and fiscal strategy is in tatters
- Cutting too far and too fast has backfired
- Recovery was choked off a year ago
- We’ve had all the pain, none of the gain
- It is his reckless gamble that has made things worse
- Not a game changer, just more of the same
- If we are all in this together why is it always women and families who pay the price?
- The country needs a new chancellor or a new plan
- Chancellor is giving with one hand and taking with the other