T Nation

Gordon Brown Gets His

For those of us from the UK this is a breath of fresh air, Daniel Hannah tells it like it is to the PM.

That was a verbal shredding. I have never seen a politician be that direct with another politician. That is exactly what we need in the US, someone to stand up in the middle of the madness and in clear and direct terms say enough is enough. Sadly, in the US, it doesn’t matter if they are Democrat or Republican because they are in it together, so this will never happen. One question though, why was Brown just sitting there laughing?

Goddamn it… British people sound too fucking cool.

I want an accent that doesn’t mark me as a Long Island Jew damnit…

I say! well done, Sir.

I would love to see the President have to take that type of grilling from the opposition. Any president. I’d also like to hear them give it back.

goddammit that was awesome. I wish we could have this played on repeat in the houses of Congress here, only change the names a bit.

The one thing I’ve always liked about the Brit system is the fact that the PM has to sit there and take direct questions and criticism from the parliament. That adds a dimension that we could probably use.

Also, I don’t think anybody in the entire Congress is that articulate on this side of the pond. That makes me sad.

[quote]Aragorn wrote:
I don’t think anybody in the entire Congress is that articulate on this side of the pond. That makes me sad.[/quote]

Oh, I think we have at least one.

What’s really funny is contrasting Hannan’s speaking ability with that of our own President, a man commonly considered to be “articulate” and even “eloquent.” I didn’t hear a single “uh” in Hannan’s whole speech, and he didn’t even use a teleprompter.

Anyway, this is the difference between a statesman and a mere politician. I hope that one of our statesmen will someday stand up and say to our President,

"You cannot carry on forever squeezing the productive bit of the economy in order to fund an unprecedented engorgement of the unproductive bit.

"You cannot spend your way out of recession, or borrow your way out of debt. And when you repeat, in that wooden and perfunctory way, that our situation is better than others, that we’re ‘well-placed to weather the storm’, I have to tell you that you sound like a Brezhnev-era apparatchik giving the party line.

"You know, and we know, and you know that we know that it?s nonsense!

Everyone knows that the United States is worse off than any other country as we go into these hard times. The markets have said so, and soon the voters too will get their chance to say so. They can see what the markets have already seen: that you are the devalued President of a devalued government!"

This grilling was actually only possible because it was delivered in the European parliament as it would never have been allowed to happen by the speaker of the house in the Commons.

The sad part is that he is absolutely accurately gauging the mood of the UK electorate but his own “Conservative” party will not come out as directly as he has and say this. Despite ZERO coverage of this by the BBC and other news channels in the UK this was the most watched YouTube clip in the UK for several days - enough said.

[quote]CDM wrote:
That was a verbal shredding. One question though, why was Brown just sitting there laughing? [/quote]

Here is one mans theory.

Oh my goodness… what a line:

“It epitomises the contradictory nature of Brown’s personality that he smiles only as a defensive mechanism when he is in trouble or, as during his recent ritual humiliation in the Oval Office, when he is desperately signalling his desire to have Barack Obama’s babies.”

[quote]Varqanir wrote:
Aragorn wrote:
I don’t think anybody in the entire Congress is that articulate on this side of the pond. That makes me sad.

Oh, I think we have at least one. [/quote]

Don’t delude yourself, you will never hear an American who is that articulate. The British are capable of using the English language at a whole other level that Americans just aren’t capable of.

[quote]
What’s really funny is contrasting Hannan’s speaking ability with that of our own President, a man commonly considered to be “articulate” and even “eloquent.” I didn’t hear a single “uh” in Hannan’s whole speech, and he didn’t even use a teleprompter. [/quote]

As bad as Obama is his press secretary is even worse. His press briefings will always include a liberal use of uh, um, uh uh, uh uh um, umm, uh um, uhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. Only in America could someone that inarticulate have such an important job as a spokesman.

[quote]
Anyway, this is the difference between a statesman and a mere politician. I hope that one of our statesmen will someday stand up and say to our President,

"You cannot carry on forever squeezing the productive bit of the economy in order to fund an unprecedented engorgement of the unproductive bit. [/quote]

What he is referring to is what the British call the “client state” or “Quangos”. Where the government creates high paying non job’s in the public sector. The employees are totally dependent upon Labour retaining power to keep their jobs. There are cities and towns in Britain where over half the people in them have one of these client state jobs.

The USA is a well run paradise compared to Britain. The Labour party is more concerned with holding on to power than the best interests of the country. Right now Labour is intensively engaged in a scorched earth policy where they are doing everything they can to destroy the country. Because if Labour can’t be in power they don’t want anyone else to be able to come in and pick up the pieces.

Thanks for that, would not have seen it otherwise - can’t imagine that getting on the news.

I’ve lived in UK for 2 years. It took me 4 weeks to realise something was wrong with this place. It took 6 months to realise something was ~seriously~ wrong. I picked this recession before it happened because it was damned obvious to me the whole country is a house of cards.

And it looks very grim for the future - as the guy said, every child is born with 20,000 pounds of debt. The currency has fallen 30% in what … 6 months? There are baby boomers headed for retirement and what are they going to live on? savings? interest is zero. pension? pension funds lost their money. I could go on for ages but this place is just a mess.

As crap as the government is, part of the problem is the system of government and the system of law … the system of everything here is so old and bogged down, hard to get anything changed for the better.

that speaker was speaking from his beliefs, eloquently. If you watch Obama and the old prime minister Blair, the two of them use the sneaky weasel trick of pausing for emotional effect, and looking down, then continuing, not speaking from the heart, speaking from an autocue with fake patterns to trick people into thinking they care.

Brown hasn’t even managed that, though. His problem is he is quite stupid, but thinks he isn’t. Which is why he will continue hoping everything will be OK. It won’t.

[quote]Sifu wrote:
Don’t delude yourself, you will never hear an American who is that articulate. The British are capable of using the English language at a whole other level that Americans just aren’t capable of.
[/quote]

I think your comment was mainly directed at the politicians in both countries but possibly at the populace as a whole. If it is, I completely disagree. This is based on my own experience in an activity that most may not have heard of. There is an activity called forensics, basically speech and debate that is present at a growing number of high schools colleges. This is not just debating, but rather the rigorous study of rhetoric, language and persuasion. Student’s write, memorize and perform their own speeches in communacative theory, persuasion and a vairety of other topics.

This is not just some club. There are several dozen universities that give serious scholarship money to students and the intercollegiate tournaments are prestigious competitive. While on the college level there is an international invitational very few schools from other countries compete in it. To my knowledge there is nothing like this activity anywhere in the English speaking world. These are some of the most articulate and knowledgeable people I know, some of whom have already made a name for themselves and will continue to as the participation increases. (It has only been in its modern era for about 25 years)

[quote]OneMoreRep wrote:
Sifu wrote:
Don’t delude yourself, you will never hear an American who is that articulate. The British are capable of using the English language at a whole other level that Americans just aren’t capable of.

I think your comment was mainly directed at the politicians in both countries but possibly at the populace as a whole. If it is, I completely disagree. This is based on my own experience in an activity that most may not have heard of. There is an activity called forensics, basically speech and debate that is present at a growing number of high schools colleges. This is not just debating, but rather the rigorous study of rhetoric, language and persuasion. Student’s write, memorize and perform their own speeches in communacative theory, persuasion and a vairety of other topics.

This is not just some club. There are several dozen universities that give serious scholarship money to students and the intercollegiate tournaments are prestigious competitive. While on the college level there is an international invitational very few schools from other countries compete in it. To my knowledge there is nothing like this activity anywhere in the English speaking world. These are some of the most articulate and knowledgeable people I know, some of whom have already made a name for themselves and will continue to as the participation increases. (It has only been in its modern era for about 25 years) [/quote]

In order to use the English language in the manner that Daniel Hannan does, you have to grow up hearing it used in that manner, from the time you are a toddler. Americans don’t talk like that so American kids don’t grow up talking like that.

If you listen to Hannan there are reasons why he sounds so articulate. One of the techniques the British use is called enunciation. If you listen to Hannan he clearly enunciates each and every word. Each word is a precise individual, with a slight pause, in between each and every word.

American on the other hand is spoken differently to English. Instead of enunciation Americans use what the British refer to as mumbling. Then Americans compound the mumbling by running all their words together in a continuous stream, like Desi Arnez used to do when he would break into Spanish on I love Lucy. Then Americans tend to drop off the consonants at the end of words in order to string them together faster.

This is also why Americans like Obama will just sit there saying uhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh, if they are trying to think of what to say next. Because their ear can’t stand to hear silence in between words, it just doesn’t sound right to the American ear. So instead they say uhhhhhhh to keep the stream of sound going so they have something to run into the next word.

I think/hope/know there are Americans who know how to enunciate. I also don’t think I love Lucy is really reflective of anything in current American culture.

My main point, like I said is one that I’m sure most people have never heard of. It’s just to point out that there are a growing number of young Americans and a growing number of high schools and universities that are taking the study of rhetoric and the English language very seriously. The results are some astounding speakers and it has made speech and debate for some schools almost an extension of their D1 athletic programs. This type of commitment to communication is to my knowledge unrivaled by any other English speaking country.

The point is that if the “average American” or the “average American politician” is not as eloquent as their British counterparts (I put in quotations because those are some pretty broad generalizations to begin with) I hope that the gap is and will continue to decrease.

[quote]OneMoreRep wrote:

I think/hope/know there are Americans who know how to enunciate. I also don’t think I love Lucy is really reflective of anything in current American culture. [/quote]

You need to reread what I wrote because the reference to I love Lucy was in regards to how Desi Arnez would speak Spanish. Spanish is spoken in a flurry and that is what Americans do to English. They speak it in a flurry with words running into one another.

If you listen to Hannan speak there is a brief moment of silence at the end of each and every word.

[quote]
My main point, like I said is one that I’m sure most people have never heard of. It’s just to point out that there are a growing number of young Americans and a growing number of high schools and universities that are taking the study of rhetoric and the English language very seriously. The results are some astounding speakers and it has made speech and debate for some schools almost an extension of their D1 athletic programs. This type of commitment to communication is to my knowledge unrivaled by any other English speaking country.

The point is that if the “average American” or the “average American politician” is not as eloquent as their British counterparts (I put in quotations because those are some pretty broad generalizations to begin with) I hope that the gap is and will continue to decrease. [/quote]

What you will find is happening in Britain is the Labour government has through the BBC, deliberately been working to dumb down the usage of the English language in Britain.

Under the Labour government the BBC has become a vulgar, profane, classless, national embarrassment. After listening Hannans toungue lashing of Brown you can see why. People who are able to articulate their ideas well can be dangerous.

If you cannot physically silence people by putting them in Gulags the next best thing is to render them unable to express themselves in an articulate manner. In Britain the BBC is trying to get everyone talking with an awful Cockney accent. In America this is accomplished through ebonics and hip hop.

[quote]Sifu wrote:

If you cannot physically silence people by putting them in Gulags the next best thing is to render them unable to express themselves in an articulate manner. In Britain the BBC is trying to get everyone talking with an awful Cockney accent. In America this is accomplished through ebonics and hip hop. [/quote]

I’m not in Britain so I don’t know if that is entirely true, but even if it is partially true (I’ll take your word for it) that is a sad state of affairs. In America hip hop is not controlled or proliferated by the governemnt so its impact is different (not neccisarily less than but different) than the BBC’s. I’d also like to think we can still have an educational sytem (in both countries) that fosters the creation of an articulate populace despite any social or political influences.

There is a lot to hip hop so I’m nottrying to attack it.
However I agree that ebonics is attrocious and unacceptable.

[quote]Sifu wrote:
OneMoreRep wrote:
Sifu wrote:
Don’t delude yourself, you will never hear an American who is that articulate. The British are capable of using the English language at a whole other level that Americans just aren’t capable of.

I think your comment was mainly directed at the politicians in both countries but possibly at the populace as a whole. If it is, I completely disagree. This is based on my own experience in an activity that most may not have heard of. There is an activity called forensics, basically speech and debate that is present at a growing number of high schools colleges. This is not just debating, but rather the rigorous study of rhetoric, language and persuasion. Student’s write, memorize and perform their own speeches in communacative theory, persuasion and a vairety of other topics.

This is not just some club. There are several dozen universities that give serious scholarship money to students and the intercollegiate tournaments are prestigious competitive. While on the college level there is an international invitational very few schools from other countries compete in it. To my knowledge there is nothing like this activity anywhere in the English speaking world. These are some of the most articulate and knowledgeable people I know, some of whom have already made a name for themselves and will continue to as the participation increases. (It has only been in its modern era for about 25 years)

In order to use the English language in the manner that Daniel Hannan does, you have to grow up hearing it used in that manner, from the time you are a toddler. Americans don’t talk like that so American kids don’t grow up talking like that.

If you listen to Hannan there are reasons why he sounds so articulate. One of the techniques the British use is called enunciation. If you listen to Hannan he clearly enunciates each and every word. Each word is a precise individual, with a slight pause, in between each and every word.

American on the other hand is spoken differently to English. Instead of enunciation Americans use what the British refer to as mumbling. Then Americans compound the mumbling by running all their words together in a continuous stream, like Desi Arnez used to do when he would break into Spanish on I love Lucy. Then Americans tend to drop off the consonants at the end of words in order to string them together faster.

This is also why Americans like Obama will just sit there saying uhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh, if they are trying to think of what to say next. Because their ear can’t stand to hear silence in between words, it just doesn’t sound right to the American ear. So instead they say uhhhhhhh to keep the stream of sound going so they have something to run into the next word.
[/quote]

The only problem is that sadly, it is a dying art in the UK as well.

[quote]Sifu wrote:
OneMoreRep wrote:

I think/hope/know there are Americans who know how to enunciate. I also don’t think I love Lucy is really reflective of anything in current American culture.

You need to reread what I wrote because the reference to I love Lucy was in regards to how Desi Arnez would speak Spanish. Spanish is spoken in a flurry and that is what Americans do to English. They speak it in a flurry with words running into one another.

If you listen to Hannan speak there is a brief moment of silence at the end of each and every word.

My main point, like I said is one that I’m sure most people have never heard of. It’s just to point out that there are a growing number of young Americans and a growing number of high schools and universities that are taking the study of rhetoric and the English language very seriously. The results are some astounding speakers and it has made speech and debate for some schools almost an extension of their D1 athletic programs. This type of commitment to communication is to my knowledge unrivaled by any other English speaking country.

The point is that if the “average American” or the “average American politician” is not as eloquent as their British counterparts (I put in quotations because those are some pretty broad generalizations to begin with) I hope that the gap is and will continue to decrease.

What you will find is happening in Britain is the Labour government has through the BBC, deliberately been working to dumb down the usage of the English language in Britain.

Under the Labour government the BBC has become a vulgar, profane, classless, national embarrassment. After listening Hannans toungue lashing of Brown you can see why. People who are able to articulate their ideas well can be dangerous.

If you cannot physically silence people by putting them in Gulags the next best thing is to render them unable to express themselves in an articulate manner. In Britain the BBC is trying to get everyone talking with an awful Cockney accent. In America this is accomplished through ebonics and hip hop. [/quote]

Actually the Cockney accent is old and is not an issue. The problem is the Estuary accent. If you need an example, google Jonathon Ross.

For the record, I don’t have a Cockney or even a Mockney accent. I am very home counties.

[quote]OneMoreRep wrote:
Sifu wrote:

If you cannot physically silence people by putting them in Gulags the next best thing is to render them unable to express themselves in an articulate manner. In Britain the BBC is trying to get everyone talking with an awful Cockney accent. In America this is accomplished through ebonics and hip hop.

I’m not in Britain so I don’t know if that is entirely true, but even if it is partially true (I’ll take your word for it) that is a sad state of affairs. In America hip hop is not controlled or proliferated by the governemnt so its impact is different (not neccisarily less than but different) than the BBC’s. I’d also like to think we can still have an educational sytem (in both countries) that fosters the creation of an articulate populace despite any social or political influences.

There is a lot to hip hop so I’m nottrying to attack it.
However I agree that ebonics is attrocious and unacceptable. [/quote]

I realize that the music industry isn’t a government body. However the record companies are run by The Man. The Man is empowered by dumbing down the rest of us.

I did not say that ebonics is atrocious or unacceptable. My point is that when you talk like that you sound like an uneducated idiot. Which automatically devalues anything that you have to say.

This is why in Britain a big component of their the class system involves accent. One either has an upper class accent or a lower class accent. Accent is one of the barriers to upward mobility. In Britain one can become extremely wealthy but still be considered lower class because of their accent.