A Rhetorical Review of PMQs

Summer recess is over so parliament is back and with it comes Prime Minister’s Questions! To many people, PMQs seems like one of the crazy side effects of democracy. Politicians jeering, waving papers and making snide comments whilst devolving into a tribal state of savagery. This anthropological debacle is chaired by the speaker, who like a toothless beast has to control the chamber with nothing but howls. It is worthy enough to be a David Attenborough documentary. Continue reading “A Rhetorical Review of PMQs”

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Defence Against the Dark Arts: Lying Logos

The term Logos refers to logic which can be seen as the pursuit of proof. There are two different types of logic, formal logic (also known as mathematical logic) and informal logic. Informal logic is the sort we use in speeches and it is what this blogpost will focus on. If you want to know more about formal logic, we have a blogpost about that too!

Logos is the term used when you try to persuade someone with evidence or a logical argument. A logical argument can be anything that is loosely based on logical principles. You can think of a logical argument like a wall. You get some walls that are impressively tall, however in reality, it doesn’t take much to knock them over. You get some made out of sticks and mud whilst others are made out of solid rock. You even get some badly built walls that have gaping holes letting in the foul winds of manipulation and deceit. Continue reading “Defence Against the Dark Arts: Lying Logos”

Defence Against the Dark Arts: Elusive Ethos

Ethos, logos and pathos are often celebrated as the Three Musketeers of Rhetoric. However, they can be much more menacing than people realise. They distort logic, they cloud reason and they manipulate judgment.

Ethos is probably one of the most commonly used and least commonly detected forms of rhetoric. Ethos is when a speaker attempts to invoke authority or credibility (either over themselves or someone else) to persuade an audience. Continue reading “Defence Against the Dark Arts: Elusive Ethos”

A visit to the Folketing in Denmark

Last week I went to Copenhagen to visit the Folketing, the national parliament of Denmark. It is fascinating to see the many similarities and differences between the Folketing and the British parliament in Westminster. I was amused that the ‘Father of the House’, which is a role given to the longest serving member of parliament, is a title used in the Danish parliament as well as the British one.

Continue reading “A visit to the Folketing in Denmark”

A Rhetorical Commentary on Kevin Rudd’s Apology to the Indeginious People of Australia

Kevin Rudd’s apology to the Indigenous People of Australia is one of the best written political apology speeches of our time. This rhetorical commentary highlights some of these components and explains their use and effect.

The speech was delivered in the Australian Parliament in April 2008…

Continue reading “A Rhetorical Commentary on Kevin Rudd’s Apology to the Indeginious People of Australia”