Of course he isn’t. I don’t normally sink to mentioning PR puff polls, but since reputable sources like Sky and the Guardian haven’t have the good sense not to I suppose I’d better.

Here’s the way PR polls work. You are a PR company, you want your client – let’s call it Wizzytech Treacle – to get their name in the newspapers. Now, Wizzytech Treacle could pay lots of money to actually buy advertising space, but a much cheaper way is to commission a couple of questions on an Omnibus survey, asking the public which celebrity has the nicest bottom, whose head they would most prefer to transplant onto their spouse, who they would rather be trapped under a fallen wardrobe with, or whatever other rubbish appeals to newsdesks after a nice little story to fill a few inches.

Once they’ve got the silly result, they press release it saying “New research commissioned by Wizzytech Treacle shows Stephen Fry has the world’s nicest bottom”, possibly with a ready made quote from the CEO of Wizzytech Treacle extolling the merits of Stephen Fry’s bottom. All the freebie newspapers who don’t have the money for proper journalists happily copy and paste it into their newspapers and voila, plenty of Wizzytech Treacle column inches for a comparatively tiny outlay.

As one might imagine, questions done for this purpose don’t necessarily have the highest research standards. In this context, it appears to have asked people who people thought was most boring out of a short list of people, including David Beckham, Kate Winslet and Chris Moyles. It doesn’t show that Gordon Brown is the most boring speaker, it doesn’t even show he is more boring than other politicians. It reveals the shock news that a politician is seen as more boring than a top footballer, a popular DJ or an oscar winning movie star. Hold the front page!

13 Responses to “Is Gordon Brown the most boring public speaker ever?”

  1. OK very wired but i do find gordon a bit like john major in that he is very very slow and yes a bit boring at times.

  2. “Of course he isn’t.”

    Yes, yes he is.

  3. Yes.

  4. Yes, that’s all very well, but what is the SNP breakdown of the figures?

    And I always thought Gordon Brown had a nice bottom…

  5. Even if this poll is not particularly scientfic the very fact it has been published broadly is still an additional spoon of bad new for Gordon Brown. For I suspect that the way many people vote is not particularly scientific. It encourages people to focus negatively on Brown.

    And for many people the question of whether they want to see Brown popping up on a regular basis on their T.V. spoiling their viewing is actually a pretty important issue.

  6. Regrettably these kind of things are getting more common. The fall in circulation and revenues for news papers are such that many particularly local papers do little more than cut and paste what is e-mailed to them.

    This is especially dangerous in an election where in places like Inverness you have a twice weekly paper that is published Tuesday and Friday.

    A well placed juicy late smear story that gets in too close to deadline to be properly checked can be run front page the Tuesday before polling.

    It’s subsequently denied and disproved in the Friday addition but by then of course it’s too late as everyone has voted.

    Three times in the last ten years the Tuesday addition of the Inverness Courier has ran stories about SNP dirty tricks that were proven to be nonsense and effectively retracted on the Friday.

    But then that’s politics.


  7. Yes, but c’mon, have you heard Becks talking? Brown really is doing poorly :P

  8. GB’s oratorical performances might be enhanced by extending his vocabulary – to include the word ‘Sorry’.

  9. you’d hardly call him exciting would you?

  10. i would be more impressed if this was a study carried out by a sleep therapy researcher. A double blind trial against a placebo of sheep bleeting, though Gordon spouting meaningless statistics might be enough to even put sheep to sleep

  11. I always thought Geoffrey Howe took some beating!

  12. if you are comparing gordon brown to David Beckham in terms of oratory ability then i am very saddened that most people think he is a worse public speaker than David Beckham. My god the man Might be able to play football but he can’t string a sentence together to save his life as for David Beckham…….

  13. @ John Charlesworth

    I for one thought Howe was a rather good speaker, because he meant exactly what he said. Was thoughtful, and intellegent.

    Brown however is just a lackluster speaker that doesnt ever have an honest point to make. (see Browns continual “do nothing” accusation, which is worse than ineffective, but damaging to Labour).