Not a Day for Soundbites: The Craft of the Political Speech
When: Mon 24 Jun 2013, 18.30-20.00
Where: Conference Centre, British Library
Price: £7.50 / £5 concessions
Bar open from 17.30
Speeches can be the making of a politician; elections can be won and lost almost on a single turn of phrase. Our brilliant panel Philip Collins, Sam Leith, Bob Marshall Andrews and Jan Ravens dissect some of the most celebrated and notorious oratory of recent times.
- Philip Collins was Chief Speech Writer for the Prime Minister Tony Blair from 2005 to 2007 crafting such lines as ‘education, education, education’. He is now a columnist and leader writer for The Times; chair of the board of trustees at the independent think tank Demos and a visiting fellow in the public policy unit at the University of Oxford. Philip is author of The Art of Speeches and Presentations.
- Bob Marshall Andrews QC was Labour MP for Medway from 1997-2010, yet his opposition to the Iraq war, defence of civil liberties and refusal to engage in spin made him a formiddable critic of his own government. His uncompromising views and brilliant turn of phrase have made him a popular guest on Have I Got News For You, and can be appreciated in his book Off Message: The Complete Antidote to Political Humbug (2012)
- Jan Ravens came to public prominence as one of the voices behind Spitting Image's latex caricatures and she has been in constant demand as an impressionist ever since – notably in Alistair McGowan's Big Impression and playing all the female parts in BBC TV and radio show Dead Ringers – from Anne Robinson and Nigella Lawson to Ann Widdecombe and the Queen, plus unforgettable takes on Fiona Bruce and Kirsty Wark. Her numerous acting roles have included parts in The Grimleys, Hebburn, and Big Bad World and among her television credits are Strictly Come Dancing and Question Time.
- Sam Leith (Chair) is a former Literary Editor of the Daily Telegraph, and contributes regularly to the Evening Standard, Guardian, Wall Street Journal, Spectator and Prospect. He’s the author of two nonfiction books: Dead Pets and Sod’s Law and a novel, The Coincidence Engine. In 2011 he published an acclaimed book on speechmaking - You Talkin' To Me?: Rhetoric from Aristotle to Obama.