Jeremy Corbyn and the limits of authentic rhetoric

Bennister, Mark, Keith, D. and Worthy, B. (2017) Jeremy Corbyn and the limits of authentic rhetoric. In: Voices of the UK Left: Rhetoric, Ideology and the Performance of Politics. Rhetoric, Politics and Society . Palgrave Macmillan, Basingstoke, pp. 101-121. ISBN UNSPECIFIED

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The New Labour project shifted the party’s rhetoric firmly to the centre ground, relegating older left-wing rhetoric to political fringes. Yet having symbolized everything that was wrong with Labour for the Blairite modernizers, this ‘old’ rhetoric bounced back. Jeremy Corbyn’s remarkable 2015 leadership campaign re-energised language and ideas thought to have been expunged from Labour’s lexicon, shifting the party’s priorities to social movement-building and away from parliamentary activity. This chapter explores the role of the ‘authentic’ political outsider, utilizing the classical rhetorical approach of ethos, pathos, and logos. It shows that Corbyn revived a strand of campaigning and grassroots rhetoric that proved surprisingly resilient, rebooting seemingly moribund ideas. However, authenticity has its limitations when rhetoric fails to present a credible pathway to power.

Keywords:Corbyn, Labour party, rhetoric, leadership
Subjects:L Social studies > L200 Politics
Divisions:College of Social Science > School of Social & Political Sciences
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ID Code:33476
Deposited On:07 Nov 2018 16:24

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