Crines, Andrew and Hayton, Richard (2012) ‘Emotional, logical... credible?’ The Art of Labour Oratory. In: 62nd Political Studies Association Annual Conference, 3rd - 5th April 2012, Belfast. (Unpublished)

The examination of elite oratory is a significantly under researched area of British political analysis. This is due in part to the focus upon groups, ideological tendencies, and collective bodies within some of the existing literature. This tendency is particularly evident in Labour studies, where historians often lean towards a broad conception of Labour as a collective movement. Oratorical analysis is thus something of an under-developed field in Labour studies.

Within the Labour Party, groups such as the Tribune Group, the Campaign for Labour Party Democracy, and the Manifesto Group have emerged as organisations committed to pursuing certain positions and/or agendas. Yet within such structures, leading elites emerge to champion ideological positions. Throughout Labour history, such figures as Aneurin Bevan, Hugh Gaitskell, Michael Foot, and Neil Kinnock, amongst others, each aligned themselves to an ideological tendency, and sought to uses their oratory to advance it. The analysis of these individual orators thus has the potential to be a fruitful field of political analysis, adding to our understanding of Labour Party politics and groups within it.

In addition to this, the general ‘personalisation’ of politics in Britain over recent decades suggests the importance of a rigorous agency-centred political analysis. This paper offers a preliminary assessment of Ed Miliband’s performance as an orator, through a tripartite analysis consisting of ethos, pathos, and logos. Miliband’s position in the tradition of Labour oratory is evaluated and contextualised in relation to previous leading oratorical elites in the party.

Microsoft_Word_-_Labour_Oratory__PSA_paper_draft_20_03_2012_.pdf - Accepted Version

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