Wednesday, September 07, 2016

Préparation agrégation anglais civilisation britannique 15

Le Royaume-Uni à l'épreuve de la crise 1970-1979

Perhaps the most remembered event about Britain in the 1970s is the election of Margaret Thatcher as Conservative Prime Minister in 1979. This video is a long interview with her two years earlier, when she was leader of the opposition.  Political interviews are often less exciting in form than documentaries, but it is important to watch a few. 
Everyone will have their own opinion on Thatcherism of course. Nevertheless I think it is fair to say that most people would recognize a few characteristics of Thatche’rs performance in this interview. Firstly, she is obviously extremely well-prepared and well-informed, and also skilful. Secondly, since she has not yet been elected, she is tempted to concentrate on « values »  rather than on specific policy intentions, which remain perhaps surprisingly vague. Values can raise people’s enthusiasm, whereas specific policies might provoke arguments. When she speaks of controversial subjects (such as trade union laws and comprehensive education) there is little sign of the policies she is going to follow, policies which will break quite sharply with those of previous Conservative governments. Thirdly, she uses a very large number of rhetorical devices which I am hoping you will understand. For example, why do you think she says « Winston » and not « Winston  Churchill » ? Or note the frequent use of rhetorical expressions such as « we must face reality » - which have little political content, since the whole debate is about different views of reality. See what you make of the interview:

If like me you have a lot to do, use an online tool like clipconverter to make the videos into MP3 files you can listen to while going fishing.

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