Very stable geniuses

Been prompted to think what makes a good after-dinner speech and directed by a search engine to read an article by Gyles Brandreth.
Bullet points –

1. Know your audience
2. Entertain your audience, not yourself
3. Stay sober
4. Speak before 11pm
5. Don’t be lumbered with a set text
6. Don’t get rattled
7. Don’t out stay your welcome

In the last 8 months, I have learnt not to read speeches, but setting out to be funny, knowing what will make people laugh ain’t a strength I have.

Pride in your home city / town ought to be a sure-fire winner for a home audience, but point 1 applies, cos knocking a “rival” city ain’t the way if people from that city are there.  And of course, in the Nottingham & Derby scenario, we’re trying hard to develop a new partnership.  Cos really, if taking on Derby is the limit of your ambition, there’s a lot of the world you’re missing out on.

Equally, knocking your home city / town can be a winner if you still live there.  Scottish emigrants to Israel once took exception to a Billy Connelly speech to which he replied “C’mn, I love Scotland so much, I actually live there”. (35+ years on, I still remember that.)

Less struck by the idea of knocking neighbourhoods; especially if with some kind of genius, you’ve moved on and left them behind.  Maybe those who’ve aspired for them since haven’t achieved enough – maybe we should take some stick.  But I’m not keen on looking down on people, even fellow guests.

Though I thought the remark against right-wing protesters of “very stable geniuses” by Sadiq Khan was a peach of a put-down, even if I think the idea of trying to stop him speaking cos he’d opposed a Trump visit was quite witty.

Nottingham Full Council

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Facebook messages from today’s full meeting of Nottingham City Council.

Full council: and my speech on a new tourist attraction or Nottingham and why we should celebrates the Luddites and the Chartists

Full council: and the Tories are back on the old failed ideas of rebuilding a medieval Nottingham castle. Wanting to celebrate Robin Hood; not wanting to talk too much about rebellion. And completely overlooking that Robin Hood stole from the rich to give to the poor.

Full council: Nottingham Tories have introduced an amendment for the Plannng Cttee to allow the public to speak at their meetings. An amendment drafted so late that they hadn’t rehearsed it with legal officers until 2 minutes before the council meeting; so late they they didn’t have copies of the amendment to share with fellow Councillors; an amendment with the wrong meeting date; an amendment they could have rehearsed at a special committee set up to discuss any ideas for change. Imagine proper discussion being possible if they actually ran the council. Incompetent or discourteous, or maybe a ploy.

Full council: Nottingham Tories have called on Nottingham Labour to listen to the teachers on our plans for reform. 1. we did; 2. if they actually meant agree with the teachers, then we look forward to Gove taking a different view on the English baccalaureate …