The oratory of MargaretThatcher
MargaretThatcher was one of the most charismatic and controversial party leaders and prime ministers in British political history, providing a fascinating academic
case study in the art of oratory. Three particular characteristics strongly impacted
upon her oratorical style and rhetoric; her background (a grocer’s daughter), her
grasp of empirical detail which enriched her speeches, and her particular interpretation of Conservative philosophy, each imbuing her oratory with a strong sense of
Coriolanus resonated for a Jacobean London audience through performance, assuming it actually was performed in the early seventeenth century. This book focuses on the postwar-productions of the Shakespeare's play. It deals with the Laurence Olivier's 1959 version at the Shakespeare Memorial Theatre, the reconfiguration of Bertolt Brecht in the 1960s and early 1970s, and the Royal Shakespeare Company's staging of the play in 1972. Alan Howard won the 1978 London Theatre critics award for Best Actor, starred in successful Coriolanus remounts at Nottingham and London in 1978. The 1984-85 National Theatre's Coriolanus reveals the Shakespeare-plus-relevance ideology under strain from the factious political climate, and Peter Hall's outburst in 1985 was the result of years of stagnant arts funding from Margaret Thatcher's government. The book discusses goulash communism that characterized the mid-1980s Hungary and the staging of Coriolanus in Budapest by Gabor Szekely, and the 1988 theatrically radical presentation at the New York Shakespeare Festival. Coriolan embodies the competing influences that help define Robert Lepage's Shakespeare production, which overlapped the highly charged political events in Canada when Quebec voters turned down a proposal to negotiate sovereignty from the country. The new Globe theatre's Coriolanus in May 2006 was the inaugural production under the theatre's new artistic director, Dominic Dromgoole. This Coriolanus appeared to be designed to fulfil a set of expectations related to a certain image of Globe performance. Ralph Fiennes's film in 2011-12 made Coriolanus a failed action hero in denying him unambiguously heroic status.
especially as reformists of the centre left and right (Clinton, Blair) came to dominate the
party-political scene after Thatcher and Reagan embedded the neoliberal revolution of the 1980s.
After the Cold War, in other words, the liberal world order was a fact of life. In MargaretThatcher’s immortal words, ‘there is no alternative’.
The consequences of this focus on private enterprise, mobile money, weakened unions, reduced
state welfare and regulation and lower taxes are all too visible today in areas like wealth
Margaret Thatcher and women’s politics in the 1950s and 1960s
‘The statutory woman whose main task was to
explore what women … were likely to think’:
MargaretThatcher and women’s politics in the
1950s and 1960s
A prominent question that emerged in the many appraisals of MargaretThatcher’s
life that appeared shortly after her death was how to position the United Kingdom’s
first woman Prime Minister in relation to the women’s movement and to feminism.
In some ways the question may have seemed unnecessary, given Thatcher’s own
ambivalent attitude towards both on assuming office. John Campbell’s 2003
If honour and principle were the watchwords for Caesars of the nineteenth century, and totalitarianism the core of twentieth, the word which ghosts twenty-first-century productions most clearly is 'spin'. This book traces this evolutionary journey, and discusses productions because they somehow speak to ideas about the play which characterise their period of production, or they have significant features in their own right. It first gives an account of productions of the play prior to the Second World War, right from the stagings at the Globe Theatre's in 1599 to William Bridges-Adams's productions till 1934. The 1937 Orson Welles's production of Julius Caesar, staged at New York's Mercury Theatre was decked out with all the trappings and scenic theatricality of contemporary European Fascism. Shakespeare's play becomes a forum for a consideration of an ethics of American identity with John Houseman's 1953 film. The book discusses three modernist productions of Lindsay Anderson, John Barton and Trevor Nunn, and the new versions of the play for the British TV. The productions under Thatcher's Britain are also focused as well as the unknown accents, especially the Indian and African ones. The productions of Italy, Austria and Germany productions have eschewed direct political association with past or present regimes. The book also presents a detailed study of two productions by a single company, Georgia Shakespeare. In the new millennium, the play's back-and-forth exchange between its long past and the shrill and vibrant insistence of its present, have taken centre stage.
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.
‘Has the world changed or have I changed?’:
The Smiths and the challenge of Thatcherism
Welcome me, if you will,
as the ambassador for a hatred
who knows its cause
(Frank O’Hara, ‘For James Dean’)1
What’s frightened you? Have you been reading the newspapers?
(Shelagh Delaney, A Taste of Honey)2
The Smiths’ recording career roughly corresponded to MargaretThatcher’s
second term in office. ‘Hand In Glove’ was released a month before 1983’s
general election; Strangeways, Here We Come appeared four months into
Thatcher’s third term. Such facts can
The Conservative Party and
the ‘winter of discontent’
At the height of the industrial unrest of the ‘winter of discontent’,
MargaretThatcher’s party political broadcast (PPB) on 17 January, which
had been filmed the previous day in the party leader’s room at the House
of Commons, was a turning point in Conservative political fortunes.1 As
she observed in her memoirs, it was no conventional television broadcast.
The Conservatives had suddenly soared to a 20-point lead over Labour in
the opinion polls and this had dramatically altered the political
suggests that in the periods 1964–7 and 1974–6 the ‘modernization-dream’ of Labourism ‘crumbles into mere crisis-management, discrediting the progressives’. 11 The end of consensus, of the foundations of the post-war settlement, is often attributed to the coming to power of MargaretThatcher and her monetarist policies in 1979; Nairn insists that it is the prior failure of a centrist ‘Labourism’ that creates the conditions for public support of right-wing reaction.
Alan Sinfield, in Literature, Politics and Culture in Postwar Britain (1989
Liverpool City Council’s struggle with the Thatcher Government
ideas and their opponents.1 The experiment was conducted against a backdrop
of central government cuts to local government spending. Two major struggles
between the Militant-led, Labour-run Liverpool City Council and MargaretThatcher’s Conservative Government not only resulted in chaos and turmoil
but also called into question the purpose and existence of the Labour Party,
damaging its reputation and harming its fortunes in the 1987 general election.
The historiography of Militant’s experiment in Trotskyite socialism can be
divided into three strands. The first of