A week is a long time in politics, new cabinets have been selected, new leadership contests begun and political comment in a heady frenzy. Cast your mind back if you will for a moment to the resignations of those not elected into power just over a week ago.
The speeches of the broken leaders battling to hide their personal devastation focused in a farewell speech. It reminded me of men about to be executed, politically at least as they make their final and desperate plea to be remembered well in the hearts of their people and establish their place in history.
Nick Clegg was first, after the most crushing defeat, he stood with incredible dignity and power as he delicately balanced his own personal emotion with resignation. He accepted full responsibility for the outcome and shone a tiny glimmer of light for the future of his party. He was powerful, credible, articulate, humble and dignified as he took his final political bow – for now at least. I was captivated by what he said and my admiration for the man increased because he was authentic, believable and real.
Ed Milliband was next, walking in to a fanfare of applause from his faithful. He raised his hands like a triumphant Dictator amongst his people. His speech, whilst well written with all the potential to build to heady delight, I felt it was blundered and disappointing and left me feeling unsated. He lacked the conviction and authenticity that I craved to here.
Finally, out came David Cameron, demur wife by his side, he paraded like a man fulfilling his own destiny. Whilst obviously exhausted from the political marathon, he was triumphant. Any smugness was veiled with that lovely British modesty that we pride ourselves on. He thoughtfully gave recognition to his former colleague and rivals and reiterated his political promises. I did feel brighter when he spoke of our national pride, what an exciting time it was to be British and his optimism for the future of our country. It was good to hear.
So as the political wagon rolls on, we watch with interest. What mattered for me was that for once they appeared vulnerable, passionate and dare I say it, truthful. Reiterating in my mind that the power to move people through speeches comes not from political spin, but rather when we speak from the heart.