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Are there any great orators in politics any more?

50 replies

redvelvetmooncupcake · 05/04/2011 12:14

Jeremy Vine just played Neil Kinnock's 1987 "thousand generations" speech and I feel tres depressed that I can't imagine any of our current government or opposition making a speech with such passion or eloquence.

However I freely admit that my knowledge of politicians is fairly limited these days, I'm thoroughly disillusioned so pay the Commons little mind.

Are there any great talkers in there? I don't care which party they come from, I'd just like to see a spark and some talent from somebody - sick of dull dull dull Dave/Nick/Ed.

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K999 · 05/04/2011 12:15

Alex Salmond

Chil1234 · 05/04/2011 12:18

I was going to say Alex Salmond. I also think Wiilliam Hague has a nicely witty style. I heard a snapshot of Michael Foot in action yesterday for the 1975 EC Referendum 'no' campaign but they don't tend to go in for lectern-thumping so much now.

redvelvetmooncupcake · 05/04/2011 12:59

I will have a look on youtube.

I like politicians to have character, I tend to find Salmond a bit smug but he is certainly passionate about Scotland, and Hague does have some personality and humour about him.

Tony Benn is a favourite of mine, Neil Kinnock another, and though I despise what she stood for and most of what she did, I do admire (Confused can't find a better word!) Margaret Thatcher, I think she had real force of character and passion for politics - not things you see much at the moment.

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jonicomelately · 05/04/2011 13:00

I thought GB was pretty good to be honest. Ed Milliband is shite.

redvelvetmooncupcake · 05/04/2011 13:14

Ed Miliband is useless and he looks like a claymation puppet. I thought David Miliband was much better. I can't warm to Yvette Cooper but I think she ought to succeed him, she is intelligent and articulate at least. If she can show a bit more personality I think she'd be a good leader.

GB was good once upon a time (I had a tiny crush on him in the 90s, horrifying!), I did find his "swimming breathing" very distracting though.

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claig · 05/04/2011 13:17

Just some suggestions you might want to look at - Andrew Lansley, Theresa May, Michael Gove. I could go on, but the list is long.

Ponders · 05/04/2011 13:21



Ponders · 05/04/2011 13:22

I agree Kinnock was very good but he wasn't known as the Welsh windbag for nothing Wink

claig · 05/04/2011 13:23

Grin I don't know what you mean.

claig · 05/04/2011 13:24

Galloway is probably the best orator around. Shame a lot of what he says doesn't stand up to scrutiny.

TwoIfBySea · 05/04/2011 13:28

Yvette Cooper is apparently as odious as her husband. Labour doesn't have one single MP or MSP worth a salt. They mistake strident for authorative every time (see Wendy Alexander for an example.)

Alex Salmond and his counterpart Annabel Goldie are very articulate, Tavish Scott has his moments - definitely better than the general Lib Dems in Westminster. Unfortunately we may lose our SNP government after May 5th but here is hoping people see sense and don't just vote "because my dad/mum/dog always voted Labour."

Bucharest · 05/04/2011 13:28

Agree with all of the above except Wallace. (or is he Grommit?)

claig · 05/04/2011 13:32

You've got to include some Churchill speeches. Scargill was also a good orator.

Chil1234 · 05/04/2011 13:33

How about that terrific 2003 eve of battle speech by Lt Col Tim Collins?

K999 · 05/04/2011 13:35

Bucharest. Here's a few ideas...

Elizabeth 1 - "I have the heart and stomach of a king"
Franklin Roosevelt - "the only thing we have to fear is fear itself"
John F Kennedy - "ask not what your country can do for you"
Abraham Lincoln - "Government of the people, by the people, for the people"

Bucharest · 05/04/2011 13:36

Oooh, brill, keep em coming! (apologies for hijack!)

Bucharest · 05/04/2011 13:37

I thought I might include the EdM speech about fighting over trainsets......Grin
(and I love Ed, but dear Christ on a bike he makes me cringe)

JollySergeantJackrum · 05/04/2011 13:37

This speech by Jimmy Reid has to be one of the better ones of 'modern' political history.

Ponders · 05/04/2011 13:39

not a whole speech but "That's one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind" was good

K999 · 05/04/2011 13:39

Nelson Mandela - "An ideal for which I am prepared to die"
Oliver Cromwell - "In the name of God, go!"
Emmeline Pankhurst - "I am here as a soldier"

claig · 05/04/2011 13:45

the Guardian's best speeches of the century. I can't find much to disagree with except that George Osborne's budget speech doesn't appear to be on there.

Ponders · 05/04/2011 13:45

\link{\Nye Bevan on the need for a NHS} might be a good one to use considering present circumstances Hmm

"The first reason why a health scheme of this sort is necessary at all is because it has been the firm conclusion of all parties that money ought not to be permitted to stand in the way of obtaining an efficient health service."

My italics.


redvelvetmooncupcake · 05/04/2011 13:47

Andrew Lansley is on my hate list with every other Health Sec since the late 90s (I'm an NHS worker) and I'm afraid I can't pay any attention to what George Galloway might be saying cos I'm too busy shouting "you are a massive twat" at the television :)

Churchill was a great speaker. I do think he was slightly "advantaged" by the war though, people were frightened and tired and looked to him for reassurance and encouragement. In times like those everything you say will have added poignancy.

I too despair of mindless kneejerk voting, I know loads of people who still think that Labour care about ordinary working people! Mind you I voted Liberal Democrat for 10 years so I'm just as guilty of misplaced idealism :)

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redvelvetmooncupcake · 05/04/2011 13:47
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claig · 05/04/2011 13:48

Michael Foot was a good orator.

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