30 September 2009

GORDON BROWN: The way he told them

It’s good to see The Guardian taking a leaf out of my book and having a go at doing (part of) my job for me!

Regular readers of this blog will know that I sometimes go through a speech looking at the rhetorical techniques the speaker used (e.g. HERE and HERE) and the amount of applause received – where the average burst is 8 ± 1 second (e.g. HERE).

So I was delighted to see the following piece on the Guardian website today, as all it left for me to do was to spot the rhetorical techniques and note whether the bursts of applause were average, below or above average (in red below).

(Links to other posts since the conference season began can be found at the bottom of the page).

Key moments in the prime minister's speech to the Labour party conference
(from today's Guardian website)

"We nationalised Northern Rock and took shares in British banks, and as a result not one British saver has lost a single penny. That was the change we chose. The change that benefits the hard working majority, not the privileged few." (CONTRAST)

Applause: 9.38 seconds (Average)

"The Conservative party were faced with the economic call of the century and they called it wrong."

Applause: 8.13 secs (Average)

"Call them middle class values, call them traditional working class values, call them family values, call them all of these; (1) these are the values of the mainstream majority; (2) the anchor of Britain's families, (3) the best instincts of the British people, (4) the soul of our party (5) and the mission of our government." (5 PART LIST)

Applause: 11.41 secs (Above average)

"For us the NHS has not been a 60-year mistake but a 60-year liberation." (CONTRAST)

Applause: 12.13 secs (Above average)

"In a crisis, what the British people want to know is that their government will not pass by on the other side but will be on their side." (CONTRAST with embedded biblical imagery)

Applause: 10.13 secs (Above average)

"Always a party of restless and relentless reformers, the new mission for new Labour is to realise our passion for fairness and responsibility in these new global times."

Applause: 5.69 secs (Below average)

"The best way finance can serve our country now is to help ensure that the inventions and innovations pioneered in Britain are developed and manufactured in Britain."

Applause: 7.56 secs (Average)

"And when people say, faced with the constraints of the recession, can you make progress towards a fairer and more responsible Britain, let us tell them we did, we can, and we will."

Applause: 7.25 secs (Average)

"I do think it's time to address a problem that for too long has gone unspoken, the number of children having children. For it cannot be right, for a girl of 16, to get pregnant, be given the keys to a council flat and be left on her own." (3 part list)

Applause: 14.72 secs (Above average)

"Whenever and wherever there is antisocial behaviour, we will be there to fight it."

Applause: 6.06 secs (Below average)

"Britain - the four home nations - each is unique, each with its own great contribution and we will never allow separatists or narrow nationalists in Scotland or in Wales to sever the common bonds that bring our country together as one."

Applause: 13.66 secs (Above average)

"Countries from every continent look to our NHS for inspiration. And this summer didn't we show them? We love our NHS." (PUZZLE + SOLUTION)

Applause: 9.28 secs (Average)

"Others may break their promises to the poorest, with Labour Britain never will." (CONTRAST)

Applause: 5.54 secs (Below average)

"Never again should any member of parliament be more interested in the value of their allowances than the values of their constituents." (CONTRAST)

Applause: 7.50 secs (Average)

"And so I say to the British people, the election to come will not be about my future - it's about your future. Your job. Your home. Your children's school. Your hospital. Your community. Your country." (CONTAST WITH LIST OF 7 AS SECOND PART!)

Applause: 11.88 secs (Above average)

"There is a difference between the parties. It's the difference between Conservatives who embrace pessimism and austerity and progressives like Labour who embrace prosperity and hope." (PUZZLE + 3 PARTED SOLUTION)

Applause: 11 secs (Above average)

"We love this country. And we have shown over the years that if you aim high you can lift not just yourself but your country - that there is nothing in life which is inevitable - it's about the change you choose." (CONTRAST?)

Applause: 10.56 secs (Above average)

"This is the change we choose; change that will benefit not just the few who can afford to pay, but the mainstream majority." (CONTRAST + ch-ch-m-m ALLITERATION)

Applause: 7.47 secs (Average)


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