By John Gaffney
Analyses of management speeches by way of David Owen, David metal, Neil Kinnock and Margaret Thatcher. the writer examines how the leader's convention speech finds either the limitations upon and the probabilities for the nationwide presentation of customized political management in Britain.
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Extra resources for The Language of Political Leadership in Contemporary Britain
In the final paragraphs (69-74) the notion of 'we' juxtaposed with the people (the link between the two being trust) returns: Our attitudes are far closer to the true heartbeat of the British people. The nation can trust our Alliance, trust us to tell the truth, trust us to negotiate in good faith, trust us to defend our freedoms. Above all, we are determined to forge again a new sense of unity within this nation (69) We shall return to this notion of trust in section 3 of this chapter. Here we can say that its essential basis is evidenced not only by the sureness of judgement of the speaker but by the moral relationship being posited between David Owen/the Alliance and the people.
We are right' begins the first eight of the fourteen short final paragraphs (61-68). This repeated certainty acts in a classical rhetorical manner as a crescendo at the end of the speech. What is significant here is that the certainty proceeds from the 40 The Language of Political Leadership in Britain assumed correctness of the preceding long argument (essentially, about tax reform), and projects the total self-assurance of a speaker offering concluding certainties as proven by the argument. In the final paragraphs (69-74) the notion of 'we' juxtaposed with the people (the link between the two being trust) returns: Our attitudes are far closer to the true heartbeat of the British people.
This is a prerequisite to his projecting some kind of special relationship with them which, in turn, legitimates the subsequent call to action. He confers mythical status upon them and transforms them into an inspired community ready to follow an inspired leader ('Given unity, there is nothing that our nation cannot together achieve' (71». Before this, however, he must indicate the breadth and depth of his knowledge in order to justify his possession of insight concerning the British people. Indications of the speaker's knowledge abound and are (paradoxically) reinforced often by the absence of personalisation, that is to say, of a prefixing 'I believe' or 'I would like to make the observation' and so on.