Is there a crisis in political rhetoric?

I’ve been asked to take part in an initiative led by university academics into whether there is a crisis in political speech. The group wants to encourage a better understanding of the theory, history, use and reception of political rhetoric in this country.

I’m not sure what I think about this. One rhetorical way to deal with this is to write down my thoughts.

Ever since I read the Heath brothers book Switch, How to Change when Change is Hard, I’ve been reluctant to get into the business of analysing social trends.

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My Debt to Toastmasters International

Top politicians go to Oxford. As a teenager, I wanted to be a politician. I did the exams and, after a fashion, I got a place at Brasenose College.

In my first weeks I joined the Oxford Union. Michael Gove ran the induction.

Huddled on the floor in the Gladstone Room, the young freshers were invited to come up and speak. Nobody moved. Eventually he coaxed a few. I thought of something to say, but I was in awe of the surroundings. Far too petrified to stand up in front of my peers.

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