Ed Miliband's style of communication is prone to variable success. This chapter considers how Miliband became leader and the effect it had on his political ethos and persona. It also focuses on Miliband's 2012 conference speech. This can be seen as a watershed moment in which he spelt out his post-New Labour ideological vision, under the moniker of One Nation Labour. The 2012 Labour conference is vital in seeing how Miliband sought to articulate a convincing narrative for himself whilst simultaneously ideologically renewing Labour. The logos of Miliband's argument is that One Nation can be created through social, economic and educational reform. These each depend upon co-operation between different sectors and service providers in British society. He also argues One Nation can be extended to the UK on issues concerning national identity and a sense of cultural and political togetherness.
This conclusion presents some closing thoughts on the concepts covered in the preceding chapters of this book. The book contributes to the emerging debate on rhetoric by focusing on the oratory of leading Labour figures. The orators featured in the book faced a range of audiences such as the party at conference, their fellow parliamentarians in the Commons, and the wider public through the media and/or open meetings. The book explains that the modes of persuasive oratory are each asymmetrically employed by the speakers throughout the post-war period within various changing arenas and political contexts. An effective performer attracts the support of their audience, be that the movement, the Commons or the electorate. This demonstrates the vital importance of clear rhetoric and effective oratory, and how it can produce political success.
This book analyses the oratorical and rhetorical techniques of twelve leading orators who have affected the evolution of Labour Party politics in the post-war period, and demonstrates the important role of oratory. The twelve leading orators are Aneurin Bevan, Hugh Gaitskell, Tony Benn, Harold Wilson, James Callaghan, Barbara Castle, Michael Foot, Neil Kinnock, John Smith, Tony Blair, Gordon Brown and Ed Miliband. The book considers how the politician in question used their oratorical skills in relation to three key audiences: the Parliamentary Party; the wider party membership; and the electorate. These audiences relate to three important oratorical arenas, namely Parliament; party conference; public and media engagement (the electoral arena). The book assesses how political rhetoric has been deployed in an effort to advance competing ideological positions within the party, and the role of oratory in communicating Labour's ideology to a wider audience. It argues that oratory remains a significant feature of Labour politics in Britain, and analyses how it has changed over time and in different contexts. A small (but growing) number of scholars have energised the study of rhetoric in British politics, and brought it more mainstream attention in the discipline. The academic study of the art of oratory has received relatively little attention from scholars interested in British politics.
How do leading Conservative figures strive to communicate with and influence the electorate? Why have some proven more effective than others in advancing their personal positions and ideological agendas? How do they seek to connect with their audience in different settings, such as the party conference, House of Commons, and through the media? This book draws analytical inspiration from the Aristotelian modes of persuasion to shine new and insightful light upon the articulation of British conservatism, examining the oratory and rhetoric of twelve key figures from Conservative Party politics. The individual orators featured are Stanley Baldwin, Winston Churchill, Harold Macmillan, Iain Macleod, Enoch Powell, Keith Joseph, Margaret Thatcher, Michael Heseltine, John Major, William Hague, Boris Johnson, and David Cameron. Each chapter is written by an expert in the field and explores how its subject attempted to use oratory to advance their agenda within the party and beyond. This is the first book to analyse Conservative Party politics in this way, and along with its companion volume, Labour Orators from Bevan to Miliband, marks an important new departure in the analysis of British politics. It will be of particular interest to students of Conservative Party politics, conservatism more broadly, British political history, ideologies and party politics, and communication studies.
This introduction provides an overview of the key concepts discussed in the subsequent chapters of this book. The book assesses one of the most renowned Labour orators, Aneurin Bevan. It argues that although his fiery oratory and role as standard-bearer for the Bevanites informed his reputation as a divisive agitator, Bevan's powerful rhetoric was primarily anti-Conservative rather than aimed at fermenting intra-party ideological disputes. The book evaluates the man who defeated Bevan in the 1955 leadership election to succeed Clement Attlee as Labour leader, Hugh Gaitskell. It shows how Gaitskell's successor, Harold Wilson, could employ varied forms of oratory to appeal to different audiences and frequently drew on pathos and a romantic style. The book considers the more laid-back communication style of the fourth Labour leader to become prime minister, James Callaghan. It evaluates the oratory of Gordon Brown, who was the dominant figure in New Labour politics.
Aneurin Bevan's more noteworthy rhetorical orations straddle a twenty-year period between 1940 and 1960. In order to fully demonstrate his communicative impact during these more prominent years of his career, this chapter evaluates eight indicative speeches from the three arenas spanning this period. These include memorable speeches made in the Commons, at public meetings, and to the party conference. He had a strong 'support for Wales, the Welsh language, Welsh culture and Welsh identity'. His values, based on ethical socialism and social justice, enabled him to oratorically confront the complacency of the conservative establishment by drawing upon these beliefs in his rhetoric. Bevan's effectiveness as a parliamentary orator can be illustrated by some examples, which demonstrate how he utilised his communicative skills towards advancing positions and perspectives that he regarded as requisites.
This book is a seminal study of political leadership selection using two of the main parties in British politics as case studies. They have been selected for their dominance of British politics over the course of recent political history. Indeed, the Conservative Party has held office for much of the twentieth century because it was able to project an image of leadership competence and governing credibility. In contrast, the Labour Party’s record in government is shorter because of issues of economic management, leadership credibility and ideological splits due to various interpretations of socialism. Despite these differing track records, both parties have dominated the British political landscape, with occasional interventions from the Liberal Democrats. As an academically informed study, this book explores the criteria by which political leaders are selected by their parties. To do this the book explores the ongoing relevance of Stark’s criteria of effective leadership by adapting it to identify more skills needed to explain how and why some leaders are able to dominate the political scene. The Conservatives tend to choose unifying figures who can lead them to victory, while the Labour Party opts for leaders more likely to unite the party behind ideological renewal. The book also explores the political choices of contemporary leaders, including Boris Johnson and Jeremy Corbyn. Johnson was selected in response to the perceived leadership failures of his predecessor, while Corbyn’s selection represents an ideological shift to the hard left as a response to New Labour and the professionalisation of the centre-left.
When the Conservative leadership rules were devised in 1965 and then revised in 1975, they had deliberately denied the extra-parliamentary party a formal input, reflecting the firm belief that MPs were best-placed to make judgements about who should lead them. Provision was made for the Conservative Party beyond Parliament to express its preferences, but on a purely consultative basis; the party’s MPs were under no obligation to vote in accordance with the views expressed by members of the extra-parliamentary party. Moreover, as Conservative MPs voted by secret ballot, there would have been no means of knowing if an individual’s choice of candidate corresponded with the preferences of the grassroots membership. Conservative MPs remained representatives exercising their judgement rather than delegates mandated to vote as instructed.