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Norman Lamb..text book performance

April 9th, 2010 Posted in Election, Liberal Democrats by

“Norman Lamb football politics genius”…..

..they chant from the stands…

Newsnight (8th April) item 2 was about the NHS. Andy Burnham gifted the away teams a wondrous advantage by appearing from a remote studio (maybe not his choice and perhaps one interview too many that day. I have not checked). In any event, it effectively reduced him to a pundit on the sidelines rather than one of the main players. You really don’t want to do that when you are up against the Lambster … 

It surely allowed the silky attacking skills of Norman Lamb – in studio – to dominate possession. Andrew Lansley (Tory Sec of State for Health (and notorious flipper of homes)) did his best- but the footwork of Lamb was a beauty to behold. 

Norman was in superb attack-dog mode. Unstoppable. He never let any statement go unchallenged from Burnham or Lansley… What was it …40% possession?  and what.. two goals ? (sign him up ..sign him up ..sign him up..)

A great text book performance. And frankly we would expect nothing less of Norman. He is really bright, across his subject, and looks great on TV. 

But.. where is his back up? He is a natural at the health stuff – but who was looking after the nuances? With these kind of debates  ordinary folk (i.e. my mum, my sister in law or my mad aunt (won’t name her for obvious reasons)) go away thinking “that grey haired bloke was sound”…but ..give it an hour, a day, a week and will they remember which grey haired bloke? No. They won’t .

How do I know ? Because for the past 18 months I have had to answer the question, time after time, with friends and relatives…..”who’s that clever grey-haired bloke who knows about the economy” …Vince Cable I say…. “which party is he with then?” . Arrgghhh!.  Vince “broke through” with my family about  6 months ago. Ironically around the time he was getting duffed up for the mansion tax thing….. but the outcome has been that  they are NOW huge mad fans of his AND they know which party he is with.

So returning to Norman. A polished performance. And yes, Newsnight is watched disproportionately by nerds, journalists and the politically aware. They will know who he is anyway you may say.  

But I think we should be more ambitious – and cleverer-  than that. We don’t have the luxury of time with the likes of Norman – he needs to punch hard and voters to know who landed the punches.  These debates will be posted on You Tube, discussed on line and talked about in work places in the coming days. So lets get it right..especially with those that can turn in a great perfomance…

Every interview counts. So, Lib Dem strategists ..get too it. Give him a bit of back up. Let him worry about the performance but give him a bit of help… Who’s there to put him in a yellow tie – not a red stripey jobby – and remind him to drop in “we the liberals” once in a while. Its easy to forget that in the heat of the moment – a timely reminder does wonders…..

Come on “spin-meisters” – get to it.

4 Responses to “Norman Lamb..text book performance”

  1. Jack Hughes Says:

    Bishop Hill is investigating eco-propaganda in schools.

    Help if you can at

  2. Ned Lamb Says:

    Norman Lamb is my dad, i laughed a great deal at this article. Hes a handy left winger.

  3. angela Harbutt Says:

    Ned – I would much prefer it if you could persuade him to play on the right rather than the left. I wonder – are you the goodlooking musician I saw on the Vic Derbyshire show?

  4. angela Harbutt Says:

    ps – if so I recorded that show if you didnt manage to get a copy.