This book brings together a team of specialists to explore why some left-wing politicians are able to communicate their message effectively, whereas others struggle to connect with the public. To address this question, it analyses the rhetoric and narratives employed by figures from British and Welsh Labour, the Green Party, the Scottish National Party and the radical left, as well as the anti-austerity movement. In doing so, the collection offers insights into why the performances of political actors such as Carwyn Jones and Nicola Sturgeon resonate with a wide audience, whereas some - like Jeremy Corbyn - have limited appeal beyond the party faithful. The volume provides an accessible examination of the language and ideas of the UK left, while offering a novel perspective on the challenges currently facing the Labour Party. It will therefore appeal to a wide readership, including scholars and students of rhetoric, ideology, political leadership, and British politics.
Judi Atkins is Lecturer in Politics at Coventry University, UK. She has published widely on the relationship between rhetoric, ideology and policy in Britain, and she is author of Justifying New Labour Policy (2011) and co-editor of Rhetoric in British Politics and Society (2014).
John Gaffney is Professor of Politics at Aston University, UK. His most recent books are France in the Hollande Presidency: The Unhappy Republic (2015) and Leadership and the Labour Party: Narrative and Performance (2016).
Introduction: Voices of the UK Left: Historical and Theoretical Considerations; Judi Atkins and John Gaffney.- Part I: The Rhetoric of the UK Labour Party.- Neil Kinnock and the Limits of the Labour Ethos; Simon Griffiths.- Recapturing our Traditions? Labour and the Rhetoric of Nostalgia; Emily Robinson.- The UK Left and One Nation: Miliband's 2012 'Moment'; John Gaffney and Amarjit Lahel.- One Nation Rhetoric: The Miliband Labour Party's Case for Social Security Reform; Judi Atkins.- Part II: Voices from Beyond the Labour Mainstream.- Red Dragon FM: Carwyn Jones's Welsh Labour Rhetoric and the Post-Devolution British Labour Party; David S. Moon.- Old, Borrowed or New? Jeremy Corbyn and the Resilience of Labour's Soul; Mark Bennister, Daniel Keith and Ben Worthy.- Green Party Rhetoric and the Arguments against Fracking; Ashley Dodsworth.- The Rhetoric of the Scottish National Party; Mark Garnett and Martin Steven.- The Rhetorical Personas of George Galloway and Tommy Sheridan; Andrew S. Crines and Stuart McAnulla.- Demanding the Alternative: The Rhetoric of Leftist Social Movements; Sophia Hatzisavvidou.- Conclusion: A Contribution to the Debate on Rhetoric and Politics Judi Atkins and John Gaffney.