‘I’m Telling You, and You’ll Listen’: Ethos in the Rhetoric of Neil Kinnock

Griffiths, Simon. 2017. ‘I’m Telling You, and You’ll Listen’: Ethos in the Rhetoric of Neil Kinnock. In: Judi Atkins and John Gaffney, eds. Voices of the UK Left Rhetoric, Ideology and the Performance of Politics. Cham: Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 23-37. ISBN 978-3-319-51901-2 [Book Section]

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The chapter argues that Neil Kinnock’s ethos, as Labour leader in the early 1980s, gave him the authority to take on the left of the party. Yet, the same ethos that Kinnock possessed—derived from his Welsh, working class background—contributed to his failure to convince the electorate of his suitability to become Prime Minister. Indeed, perceptions of a speaker’s ethos can be filtered by factors outside their control, as was the case with Kinnock and the media. Responding to this negative portrayal, Kinnock’s later rhetoric drew less on his own ethos and more on other rhetorical modes: a transformation that created a degree of mistrust. The chapter concludes with some wider comments on the importance of ethos, broadly understood, in rhetoric.

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Date Deposited:

08 Oct 2018 15:37

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08 Oct 2018 15:37



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