If you’re going to ape Neil Kinnock,
I warn you not to read out your speech;
I warn you not to talk posh;
I warn you not to be cheap;
And I warn you to be prepared for the obvious question about Britain remaining in the EU.
Neil Kinnock’s speech on the eve of the 1983 election – the “I warn you” speech, is almost iconic.
Made more so by weeks of public campaigning that gave his voice a gravelly quality.
Capturing the imagination; making you think.
Vindicated by time.
Quite why David Cameron thought some of that would rub off, when read and delivered with a plum voice, is beyond me.
He was going to get air time anyway.
The rhythm was ruined too, because he felt he had to explain each conjecture.
And totally exposed by a question from the BBC editor who paraphrased Neil Kinnock in a different way, highlighting business concerns on threats to EU membership.
Cameron spluttered he wouldn’t have put it that way.
But business laughed.