6 June 2012

Daily Telegraph in two minds about the quality of Jubilee oratory?

Just as I was posting the video of Prince Charles' Jubilee speech (HERE), my attention was drawn to an extraordinary example of editorial inconsistency, or perhaps indecision, on consecutive pages of today's Daily Telegraph.

On page 23, under the heading 'At ease with himself and the nation' with the subtitle 'The Diamond Jubilee celebrations have revealed a new and more loveable Prince Charles who caught the public mood brilliantly', Eizabeth Grice writes about the effectiveness of his oratory in the speech (HERE).

Then, in case you're dumb enough to have been taken in by her article, you can, on the very next page, read a correction by Harry Mount under the heading 'This great Jubilee had a missing ingredient' - which was - er - that 'The British have lost the skill of making memorable speeches to mark big occasions' (HERE).

Are we supposed to conclude from this that Prince Charles is not British, that his speech failed Mr Mount's memorability test (whatever that may be) or that Ms Grice's analysis was wrong and/or excessively flattering to the heir to the throne? 

Er, no. I think it's much more likely that this pompous medley of medieval history, Greek words for rhetorical techniques, punctuated by a few famous names from politics, church and the media were written before Prince Charles made his speech.

Otherwise, the author might have been inclined to modify his exaggerated and oversimplified claims that were arguably proved false by Prince Charles.

Or, had anyone in the Daily Telegraph editorial department noticed the inconsistency, we might have been spared having to read Mr Mount's odd sequel (p. 23)to the interesting and thoughtful piece by Ms Grice on the previous page (p.22).

2 comments:

Alan Barker said...

I was intrigued by Rowan Williams' sermon at the St Paul's service on Monday. I wonder whether anyone has analysed it? I've not yet sought it out, either as video or as text, but it seemed to me a curious mismatch between admirable sentiments and - at times- cloudy delivery. On tv, I thought I sensed at least some of the congregation switching off at some points.

Alan Barker said...

OK, my no doubt overdetailed exegesis is now here: http://justwriteonline.typepad.com/distributed_intelligence/