Tag Archives: David Cameron

Leadership and Authenticity Lessons From PM Cameron to Miliband

When it comes to leadership, the quote ‘If you can fake sincerity, you’ve got it made’, is often attributed to former Labour PM Blair. Good leaders need to be authentic, but what does that mean? Here is a masterclass on authenticity and leadership which Ed Miliband could well take from PM Cameron. In fact, I’d go as far as saying that Ed really needs to sack his media advisors – they’re from another age.

  1. Authenticity is Passion, Mirroring is Important; Being Your True Self

In the UK election, the widespread view has been that once the PM rolled up his sleeves, killed the tie and started speaking with energy and passion, he was all of a sudden much more captivating. Is this fake? No, it is the PM being his true self — unconstrained by suit, tie and the uniform of Westminster. It is only when you let a leader ‘be him/herself’ that you find out if they are fake or the real thing. PM Cameron started winning, hands down, once he’d come out as the ‘real him’, showing that he does care about the people, not just power.

The public are very good at spotting authenticity. It’s probably an evolutionary trait for self-protection. And they are very good at it when they have a face to face comparison they can make, as in the recent TV debates in the UK between the political party leaders. Of course, sometimes we are duped, for a short time (‘tricky Dicky’ managed to dupe the American public for a while, but not when up against Kennedy). Passion is authenticity, it is caring, it is being liked by your audience (who are there because they care). So the rolled up sleeves and no tie helps to show passion and mirrors the audience more closely. 

  1. Not too much passion

When Hillary Clinton during her failed election campaign pretty much started crying because of her love of America, that didn’t work in her favour. Passion from a leader – yes! — but not to the point of weakness. When Miliband was asked by Jeremy Paxman in a TV debate if he ‘was tough enough to be PM’, the Labour leader struggled to bury the idea that he is weak and soft and not up to the job. Phrases such as ‘heck yes, I’m tough enough’ didn’t ring true. In fact, off camera, Paxman could be heard asking: ‘are you alright Ed?’ His attempt at passion came across too much like he was going to cry. Sitting back, calm and in control, can be the way to go when passion might suggest weakness. Miliband got it wrong. He wasn’t being authentic, he was trying to be authentic.

Miliband should have learnt from the former Labour leader. When Gordon Brown, who is widely considered a poor communicator, was fighting against Scottish Independence in the referendum vote, many said he ‘saved the Union’. Unleashed from the constraints of office you saw what made him a successful politician – a man who genuinely cared, speaking with care. Just the right amount.

  1. Authenticity is focus

Sitting in a room listening to Bill Clinton speak, I truly felt he was addressing me personally. Speaking to me. Looking at me. Genuinely interested in me. Ever spoken to someone at a party and they start looking over your shoulder? He didn’t do that. Ever been to an event where someone has a point to make, and just talks at the audience. Clinton doesn’t do that. The UK PM in the latest TV debates came across as genuinely addressing the person and their concerns when asked questions by the audience. Some people, as the PM said, were never going to be convinced, but the polls showed he ‘won’ the debate. Miliband spent too much time trying to affect the mannerisms of a father figure, asking for the person’s name and thanking them for the question. It worked 8 years ago, now it doesn’t. He needs to sack his media people. They’re from a time machine.

  1. Not too much focus

When Ed Miliband in the first of the TV debates in answering audience questions started staring into the TV cameras the tweets that followed gave instant feedback that the strategy looked contrived and insincere. He was trying to fake sincerity, too much like Labour PM Blair. Indeed, in a TV satire about the UK elections, his chief campaign manager is portrayed as an American; the point being you have to be genuine, not aping the cultural norms of another culture or ticking off a list. You have to be yourself, what got you where you are to begin with. Once you need to change to get further, you’re in trouble.

  1. What do you do when you’re telling the truth but you’re not believed?

As a former barrister, this was an issue I could expect to face in every case. The answer is two-fold: emotion and reason. The best example of this in the TV debates was when the PM was told ‘Conservatives are not trusted with the NHS’. What does he say? He cannot say, ‘please believe me’.

When the Labour leader was asked ‘Labour cannot be trusted with the economy’ his response was simply ‘you can’. That doesn’t work. What worked for the PM was emotion and reason perfectly combined. He told the specific story (and stories work best) of his disabled child and the NHS treatment he received. You can’t fake that. You feel the reason and the emotion. It’s authentic. Either Labour were underprepared or negligent. But I don’t remember the Labour leader’s answer.

Alpesh Patel is CEO of a UK Asset Management Company investing in Global businesses. He is a Board Member of the UK India Business Council and a former Financial Times columnist and Bloomberg TV presenter on global investing – as well as the author of 18 books on investing.



David Cameron: “Phir ek bar Cameron sarkaar”

Is Hindi the second language of future UK politics? Prime Minister David Cameron may just have hinted at that, when in a recent interview with NDTV he told the camera: “Phir ek bar Cameron sarkaar”.

If you haven’t yet seen the full interview, do check it out below!

It came at a price…The Right to Vote


It came at a price…The Right to Vote!
(Published in Asian Voice & Gujarat Samachar, dated: 23 April 2015)

We live in eruptive times. These are the times of no patience that warrant instant results. Close on the heels of the General Election 2015, we see a heightened (even manic) political activism. Whilst a number of you may find the election fervour exciting and are totally switched on about the minute by minute developments in the world of politics and campaigning; for a number of others, it is just a blur.

Last week I read Lord Popat’s article titled “This election is about you” and he highlighted the struggle of immigrants from East Africa in the 1970s. I felt a strange weight upon me, reading the words: “Imagine living for fifty years and never having the right to say who should be in Government.” I also happened to witness the “I am an Immigrant” campaign go up at tube stations. I have been attending hustings and have read through the many manifestos spelt out by various communities. While it is heartening to see so much activism and awareness on ‘our rights’ and ‘our demands’, it saddens me to then hear from members of public: “I don’t believe in politics” or “There is no point in voting because everyone is just the same”.

IMG_9834As a resident, tax payer and a responsible member of the British Indian society, I feel it is my personal and moral responsibility to vote. Not because I am always in the minority, seeking representation. Or because I am an immigrant and I wish to prove my contribution. As a woman, a mother and a community worker, I take it upon myself as a special duty to ensure there is adequate discussion on the importance of the Right of Vote.

I would like to reach out to fellow ladies reading this article, all of you need to realise that today the vote that we so callously dismiss has cost many of our predecessors their lives. Some of you will recall that it was not until the Equal Franchise Act was passed in 1928 that women won the same voting rights as men. It was, until that time, a privilege left to very few members of the male fraternity to be able to vote and to voice opinion.

While we may want magic solutions to economic crisis, increasing population, environmental degradation and employment figures, as a mother I would like to remind you that it takes 9 months for us to nurture and give birth to a life and many years followed on from there to shape them into responsible adults. What we sow today, we will reap tomorrow. However, if we choose NOT to sow, we shall not be in a position to reap at all!


Let’s keep it simple and sow today. The Right of Vote gives us not just the power but places upon us the responsibility to be good citizens. Let us not be part of the statistic that says we DID NOT shoulder our responsibility in the democratic process. Today men and women both share the responsibility to uphold this democratic process and ensure the vote isn’t wasted.

I read this graffiti somewhere and it has stuck with me: “It’s a man’s world….unless women vote”.

lakshmi kaulLakshmi Kaul
Community Activist & Chair of Public Relations – Hindu Forum of Britain
Twitter: @KaulLakshmi

Why I vote Conservative: People Speak

I vote Conservative because….

ricardo premchand
“Based on their past record of sustained economic growth, they are the only party that seems to have a blue-print for the future.”

-Ricardo Premchand

“Tshanoo razdanhey are the party who support pluralism and provides a peaceful society where everyone is treated equally – a need of the hour, looking at religious extremities in other countries. Besides this, all the other economic policies and progress.”

– Shanoo Razdan

vivek kaul“Despite getting pay a freeze over years, I feel that the Tories have done their utmost to reduce the National debt and handled the effects of credit crunch admirably.”
– Dr. Vivek Kaul


vishal saprooThey are the present and the future.”
– Vishal Saproo



girish bellur 2


The economy is moving in the right direction. And Conservatives encourage small businesses.”

– Girish Bellur


“Theyvinod tikoo have the right policies with regards to the British economy and are good for British businesses. The Conservatives have a fair immigration plan, have a strong leadership and for me personally, they have got their handle on issues specific to the British Indian community.”
Vinod Tikoo

Manu Khajuria_Family“I support the Conservatives because their efforts in initiating an economic turnaround have shown results and I would like to see that take roots and even do better. Their ethos of results through hard work appeals to me. Additionally I like their approach and attitude towards India and I hope to see good things come out of it in the future.” – Manu Khajuria Singh

The UK’s Small Business Revolution

“There is an entrepreneurial, small business revolution taking place in Britain, and I want to start today with a very big ‘thank you’. A ‘thank you’ to all of you. A ‘thank you’ to the small businesses, to the entrepreneurs, to the techies, to the roof tilers, to the retailers, to the plumbers, to the builders — I want to thank you, because you know what you’ve done in these last five years? You know what you’ve done in terms of jobs? You’ve created 2.2 million private sector jobs. That’s more than the rest of the EU put together.” – David Cameron

For the full speech, check out the video below. 

David Cameron: Conservatives will have first black or Asian PM

Earlier this morning, Prime Minister David Cameron said that the Conservatives will be the first party in the UK to have a black or Asian PM.

“The prime minister told an audience in south London he looked forward to the day, as he outlined plans to increase the number of ethnic minority Tory MPs,” reports BBC.

“In 2015, [the Conservatives are] fielding 56 candidates from black and Asian communities. Labour is fielding 52 ethnic minority candidates.

“‘We are the first party to have a female prime minister, we were the party of the first Jewish prime minister and I know one day, we are going to be the party of the first black or Asian prime minister,’ [said Cameron].”

Read the full story here.


The Best Quotes from David Cameron’s speech at Gravesend Gurdwara

Prime Minister David Cameron visited Guru Nanak Darbar Gurdwara in Gravesend, Kent on Saturday, where he took part in the festival of Vaisakhi. In a 10-minute address to the worshippers present, Mr Cameron went to great lengths to describe his relationship with the British Sikh community. Below are some of the best quotes from the Prime Minister’s speech. 

“I am the first British Prime Minister to have visited the Golden Temple, and that makes me so proud. The visit was intense and fascinating. I will never forget the tranquillity of that beautiful, peaceful place, or meeting the remarkable worshippers who call this temple their own.”

“What I saw in the Golden Temple, I see in British Sikhs day in and day out. Your devotion to God, just how hard you work, and the thing that is at the centre of everything that you do: community.”

“You can see it in our hospitals, in our schools, in our businesses all around the country: hard work runs through your veins, and the combination of hard work, courage, service and loyalty runs through your history, too.”

“I look back over the last five years of being a Prime Minister, and I think: who was there in the storms, helping people flooded out of their homes? It was British Sikhs. Who was there in the riots, protecting Gurdwaras, and Hindu temples and Mosques, too? It was British Sikhs […] Every single day, British Sikhs help make Britain great, and you prove one thing: our country is not just red, white and blue — it is orange,too.”

“We support you in your devotion, in your work, in your commitment to your community. We support you every step of the way. Remember that we were the ones who banned turban searches at airports, and who said that Sikhs could wear turbans at work. We’re the ones with Paul Uppal, the only serving Sikh MP, and with Ranbir Suri in the House of Lords, too. In 19 days, I’m hoping that Paul will no longer be the only one on the commons benches, because from Samir in East Ham to Suria in Wolverhampton, we’ve got some great Sikh candidates.”

Samir Jassal: Cameron’s the first PM to join us for Vaisakhi (Video)

Samir Jassal, the Conservative candidate for East Ham, played a large role in organizing the Prime Minister’s visit to Gravesend Gurdwara on April 18. In this video, the young candidate comments on how India-UK relations have changed under David Cameron.

“He has not just put his hand out and said ‘we’re here for you’ — we’ve actually done things and resolved issues that concern the Sikh community, so I think he’s been revolutionary in that sense,” said Jassal.

Priti Patel: I have seen first hand David Cameron’s commitment to India (Video)

Earlier today Prime Minister David Cameron joined in the celebration of Vaisakhi at the Guru Nanak Darbar Gurdwara in Gravesend, Kent. 

Mr Cameron was accompanied by his India Diaspora Champion (MP for Witham 2010-2015), Ms Priti Patel. In the video below, Ms Patel talks about some of her experiences of engaging with India and the Indian community in the UK. 

The Manifesto: Three New Commitments

Today David Cameron unveiled The Conservative Party’s 2015 Manifesto. “The most important words in this manifesto,” said the Prime Minister, “are stated on its first page: ‘securing a better future for your and your family.'” In a half hour long speech, Mr Cameron explained how the Conservative Party intends to secure the future, and he did so, partially, by making three new commitments to the British people.

1) Creating affordable homes for everyone

2)  30 hours a week of free childcare for three and four-year-olds, saving parents 5,000 a year

3) no income tax on anyone earning minimum wage – and as basic wage increases, so will the personal allowance

Let’s stick with the plan, let’s not go back to square one.