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Labour Orators from Aneurin Bevan to Gordon Brown


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This conference was held at the University of Huddersfield on 9 November, organised by Drs Richard Heyton and Andrew Crines. I managed to attend and enjoyed it very much. It’s a very rare thing to find a conference on the rhetoric of a whole political tradition in the UK, so this was a unique event. Labour orators have made a huge impact on British politics, giving voice to the aspirations, hopes and demands of working people. A range of Labour historians and scholars of British politics and rhetoric gave economical papers on the major leaders (plus Bevan and Tony Benn) in the Labour party, surveying their distinctive styles of oratory and the key argumentative moments. It was illuminating, in particular, to learn more of the radical liberal and republican orientation of figures like Benn and Foot, and to hear of the Welsh concept of hywl in Kinnock’s oratory (among many other things). To be honest, the conference could have lasted two days! It was an excellent, neatly organised event that, I gather, will issue forth an edited book in the near future.

See the Huddersfield University News write-up (click)


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