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“All Things Indefensible, Our Leader Made Them All” The Logic, Emotion, and Credibility of British Political Satire in the 1980s

Crines, Andrew (2012) “All Things Indefensible, Our Leader Made Them All” The Logic, Emotion, and Credibility of British Political Satire in the 1980s. In: Rhetoric in British Politics and Society Workshop, 4th May 2012, Manchester, UK. (Unpublished)

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    Abstract

    Satire draws upon irony, derision and wit in order to illuminate vice and ineptitude in public
    figures. For political elites, this makes satire a dangerous tool of civil society, given its
    capacity to challenge and undermine political efforts. This is a healthy characteristic in any
    liberal democracy.
    This paper provides an indicative example by showing how a single Spitting Image sketch
    draws from a range of rhetorical tools to convey a broad critique over the perceived social
    failures of the Thatcherite period. The sketch exposed real-world manifestations of
    deprivation, placed them into comedic setting, before presenting them to the viewer. This
    raises the questions: what effect in the viewer did they hope to generate, and how did they
    garner appropriate credibility?
    The ethos of the sketch derives from the neutral character of the messenger, from the
    visual illustrations, and by tapping into a broader sense of discontent with the political
    leaders at the time. The pathos was discontent with social ills, seemingly attributable to
    deliberate government policy, whilst the logos aims to inform and educate the audience of
    such issues.
    As such, this paper will argue that satire can be utilised to communicate a specific message
    using ethos, pathos, and logos, as illustrated by this sketch.

    Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
    Subjects: J Political Science > JN Political institutions (Europe) > JN101 Great Britain
    Schools: School of Human and Health Sciences
    Related URLs:
    Depositing User: Cherry Edmunds
    Date Deposited: 01 Aug 2012 15:36
    Last Modified: 01 Aug 2012 15:36
    URI: http://eprints.hud.ac.uk/id/eprint/14428

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