Wednesday, 18 January 2017

How to turn an utterly woeful speech into a brilliant one


Theresa May's January 2017 Brexit speech was absolutely woeful stuff. We've been waiting for six damned months for the Tories to cobble together a Brexit negotiating stance, and after all that time the best they could come up with is: "Give in to our ridiculous demands to 'have our cake and eat it' or we'll turn our entire country into a bargain basement corporate tax haven and then you'll be sorry!".

It's remarkable that after six months all they've managed to come up with is a load of fantastical nonsense about cherry-picking Single Market access for corporations with the financial muscle to bribe or coerce the Tory party into defending their interests, and a load of ridiculous threats against our 27 former EU allies if they don't just cave in and give Theresa May what she wants!


The extraordinary thing is that loads of people are celebrating this embarrassing new low point in the history of British diplomacy as if it's some kind of incredible triumph!

Aside from revealing her inept threat-based negotiation tactics, Theresa May's long-awaited Brexit speech was dishonest, delusional and full of inherently contradictory nonsense.

Anyone with basic comprehension skills must surely have been able to spot how terribly flawed it was, but right-wingers actually lauded her for it. The front pages of the mainstream press cast her as if she's 'Thatcher reincarnated' sticking one to the 'nasty foreigners' on behalf of the 'plucky Brits', and I even saw one guy claiming that this useless hotch-potch of a speech was the best thing since Winston Churchill (a man who would surely be turning in his grave at such an inept orator leading the Tory party and announcing her plan to scrap the European Human Rights that he worked so hard to establish)!


This obviously isn't the first time the mainstream press have framed an absolutely woeful speech as if it's the best piece of oratory in years. Just before the 2014 Scottish independence referendum Gordon Brown gave a ludicrous anti-independence speech that started out by implying that all Scottish independence voters are not real people and deteriorated rapidly from there. Seeing the right-wing press, who had routinely savaged him for years, suddenly start heaping praise on the man for delivering "the speech of his life" was extremely telling.

It really doesn't matter how incredibly poor the actual content of the speech, nor even who is making it, if the theme aligns with interests of the tax-dodging billionaire press barons who own most of our media, then it's framed as having been absolutely brilliant. If it doesn't align with media moguls' interests then it's either ignored or it's lambasted, no matter how well crafted it actually is.

So the answer to the question of how to make a woeful speech into a great one is easy: All the hacks who work for the billionaire press barons have to do in order to re-frame a load of woeful cobblers as a brilliant piece of oratory is to tell people that it was brilliant. So many of us these days are completely unwilling/unable to question what we read that blatantly obvious lies easily end up as "common sense" truths, and utterly pathetic speeches become incomparably great ones.

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