It is imperative that the parliamentary opposition in the UK gets its act together.The proposed 'Welfare Uprating Bill' is set to abolish the 80-year-old connection between benefits and living standards. The bill ELIMINATES the honourable principle that the income of those on benefits should rise proportionately with inflation/cost of living. It will be very difficult for any government ever to reinstate this principle. Britain’s poor will be pushed down the slipperiest of slopes.
It is sickening enough that George Osborne, the Chancellor behind this venomous piece of legislation, is heir to a baronetcy, has an inherited fortune of £4 million, and was educated at St Paul’s School (fees currently £29,466 p.a.). But my nausea level rises even more at the Orwellian name of the bill. The OED says that ‘to uprate’ means ‘raise to a higher standard’, ‘upgrade’, ‘improve the performance’ or ‘increase the value’ of something. The bill does none of these things to the living standards of Britain's poorest. It really needs to be called the 'Social Security Drastic Reduction Bill.'
Whatever the Labour Party’s (hazy) position on the bill, one thing is certain: it will be painful to listen to Ed Miliband’s speeches on the topic. Never has a prominent British politician’s vocal delivery hurt my ear-drums so badly. I know that this is not his fault, for he has had surgery to correct a deviated septum. But FIVE DAYS with a competent actor or singer could sort him out. He needs to use his chest voice rather than try to make sound in his nasal cavity and squeak through the front of his face. He needs to propel a sustained column of air up through his larynx with the help of his abdominal muscles.
'Démosthène s'exerçant à la parole', J.L. du Nouÿ
Is George Osborne himself not reputed to have had vocal coaching? I always think my beloved MP, Nick Clegg, has got a bit of a problem with speaking from the back of his throat.ReplyDelete
I agree with the sentiment entirely. It may seem superficial, but the deciding factors in crucial arguments so frequently. I recently had the experience of hearing the economist Paul Krugman's voice for the first time (on TV) having read his articles for years. There wasn't anything wrong with his voice, but it wasn't terribly commanding. I found myself quite disappointed that his voice didn't have the natural authority to match the intellectual force of his arguments - and I found myself wondering, too, whether had he been possessed of more such a voice, and more such a demeanour, whether his arguments might have figured more prominently than they have. Are our political cultures that superficial? Probably.
I had a similar experience in the early stages of studying languages, actually, and particularly in classics. Mileage varies on how much to invest in the presumed authenticity of pronunciation, of course, but I was surprised how many of the sample recordings on various CDs and websites suffered from the speakers in question not speaking terribly clearly or terribly well by the standards of any language. A lot were quite amateurish, which is a shame. Delivery can do a lot to sell things.
Couldn't speak for want of ease
Now when all is hocus-pocus
People have no sense of focus
They cannot know from where they are
A plug-&-play particular