Task 1A: The future of British politics

Outline of Jeremy Corbyn's speech

The assignments in Task 1 revolve around issues in British politics and society and their future. Task 1A requires you to comment on and explain the effect of some of the language features and/or literary devices Jeremy Corbyn uses to enhance the message in an excerpt from a speech he delivered in 2017.

The speech was delivered at a Labour Party conference by the leader of the party, Jeremy Corbyn, after the 2017 general election. In the UK, the Labour Party has a left-wing orientation, promoting social policies, particularly workers’ rights and social justice. In the 2017 elections, the Labour Party won the second largest number of seats in the Parliament, after the Conservative Party.

In the excerpt, Jeremy Corbyn praises the outcome of the 2017 election as a victory, despite the Labour Party remaining in opposition and argues that this is a sign that the party will win the next elections.

He lists a series of polices that the party is ready to implement, such as dealing with inequality, reforming the National Health Service, reforming the economy, tackling climate change, and improving the country’s relationship with the EU.

Corbyn argues that that Tories (the Conservative Party) are unfit to govern and lists a series of failures of the Conservative government. These failures include: lower wages and increased poverty, job cuts across vital government-run services, and violating UN regulations regarding disabled people.

He claims that society is doing worse because the Conservative Party favours the rich and privileged. He talks about the chaos within the Conservative Party after the elections and the fact that they are using Labour Party policy proposals. Corbyn ends by asking Theresa May to make another mistake, as the Labour Party is ready to be the governing party.

Language features and literary devices used by Jeremy Corbyn to enhance his message

The overall message of the speech is that the Labour Party is stronger and increasingly popular, compared to the Conservative Party. The speaker is praising his party while criticising the opposing party. To convey these ideas, Jeremy Corbyn uses a series of language devices that we will highlight next.

Allusions and direct references

An allusion is an indirect, subtle reference to people, events, media, or literature that the speaker finds relevant for his arguments. 

In the beginning of the speech, Corbyn alludes to the 1945 elections at the end of World War II, which were won by the Labour Party, making Clement Atlee Prime Minister: “Against all predictions in June we won the largest increase in the Labour vote since 1945…” (l. 1). The allusion is meant to give today’s Labour Party credibility and draw ethos from past achie...

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