A lot was made on Twitter of Helen Watley’s appearance on Sky TV this morning. The claim by some distractors was that Whatley was saying that the government could blame scientists for mistakes made in the COVID-19 policy. Within ten… Continue Reading →
In spoken discourse, we can usually predict when our conversational partner is about to finish a turn by listening to their intonation. This is not always successful, however, as demonstrated by the following clip in which a TV host assumes… Continue Reading →
Hesitation, Equivocation and Pausing Unveiling the micro-world of political rhetoric and spin £2.99 (eBook) /£10 (paperback) on Amazon Every day we are bombarded with political rhetoric in the form of interviews, debates and statements from our political leaders and commentators,… Continue Reading →
Political interviewers like to pretend that they are are asking genuine questions to their political guests. But sometimes it is revealed all too clearly that their questions are really designed to try and steer the guest towards a particular answer.
Andrew Neil interviewed Jeremy Corbyn on BBC television tonight. Neil is a forensic interviewer who usually pins his interviewees down to exact words and syllables. But Corbyn is know for his own brand of stubbornness, and there was one wonderful… Continue Reading →
Politicians often get accused of not answering questions but sometimes they fight back as Andy McDonald did on Friday.
Brexit has not only changed the political landscape but has also given rise to a number of new species in the Homo genus according to scientists. Here is a quick run through some of the newcomers.
Interruptions at PMQs (Prime Minister’s Questions) are recorded in Hansard in a limited way, usually through the insertion of the word ‘[Interruption.]’ and are often followed by the Speaker’s call to order. The house however is collective body and background… Continue Reading →
In a previous post I have argued that the house is a multi-faceted chamber with comments and background noise from members of the chamber combining with the current speaker to create a multi-modal discourse act. This is particularly important during Prime Minister’s… Continue Reading →
John Bercow, the Speaker of the House of Commons, likes to pick up on members who ‘chunter from a sedentary position’ – a slightly politer, and perhaps archaic, way of saying ‘shut up and stop muttering’.
Certain words in the House of Commons are normally taboo but sometimes it is possible to get away with using them by quoting someone and asking for ‘leave’ from The Speaker.
Political commentators and journalists all have their own idiosyncratic styles when interviewing politicians. Emily Maitlis, the BBC Newsnight commentator, often shows exasperation and incredulity in her voice through sweeping intonation falls and facial expressions. Here is a brief analysis to… Continue Reading →
Michael Gove, Conservative MP, serves up some curious hand gestures while speaking including teacup gestures and steeple Vulcans. Here are some of the more interesting examples from his interview on the Andrew Marr show on Sunday.
Editor: The BBC’s Question Time programme on Thursday nights seems to court controversy these days as we hold it to ever more stringent impartiality standards. In this blog, Elena Ioannidou dissects the discourse that this programme produces from a CA perspective…. Continue Reading →
Editor: This is part 2 of the blog on the BBC Question Time programme. Part 1 is here.
Conversation can sometimes be like a game of poker, raising and doubling stakes, as the Andrew Marr Show demonstrated on Sunday.
Richard Madeley knows when to shut down an interview. On ITV’s Good Morning Britain, he abruptly brought his interview with Gavin Williamson, the Defence Secretary, to an end when Williamson refused to answer his question after four strikes.
Prime Minister’s question time (PMQs) is known for lengthy questions and answers from Prime Ministers and backbenchers so it was interesting to observe a brief bit of brevity from the Prime Minister in two of her answers on Wednesday.
Interviewers don’t always get what they ask for but when they do, it can often cause difficulties for the interview.
Claire Perry, Conservative MP, seemed to enjoy asking questions on the Daily Politics today, so much so that Andrew Neil feared she was angling for his job.
Andrew Neil was on fine form as he returned to hosting the Daily Politics on BBC1 on Wednesday. After chewing up Labour’s Andrew Gwynne, he turned his attention to Steve Baker, the Conservative Member of Parliament for Wycombe.
TV presenters in a political interview have the privilege of asking the questions, but what do you do when your interviewee refuses to answer outright and brushes up against the Cooperative Principle? This is what Kay Burley, Sky News presenter,… Continue Reading →
Jessica Bott continues her series on ‘equivocation’: When a politician is equivocating there are multiple ways they can avoid answering a question. Often a politician will have a preferred way to equivocate and avoid using some of Bull’s categories. In… Continue Reading →
Jessica Bott continues her series on ‘equivocation’: When a politician is equivocating there are multiple ways they can avoid answering a question. In Bull and Mayer’s study of Thatcher and Kinnock interviews in 1993 they categorised these into eleven super-ordinate… Continue Reading →
When discussing equivocation it is worth first considering the concepts of face-management and self-presentation. Face management originated with Erving Goffman who described it as “an image of self-delineated in terms of approved social attributes” (Goffman 1967:5). This concept has been… Continue Reading →
Andrew Neil interviewed the Prime Minister, Theresa May, on Monday. Neil held back from his typical ‘bull-dog’ style attack that is a regular feature of his Daily and Sunday Politics programmes. Politicians often leave with visible ‘bite marks’ from these… Continue Reading →
Hesitation in delivery is a normal part of spoken discourse, especially in stressful speaking situations, and is normally discarded by listeners. In the House of Commons however, just before a demanding election campaign and when a manifesto is being prepared,… Continue Reading →
Can a politician cue their own ‘revealing ah’? Theresa May appeared to do this at Prime Minister’s questions on Wednesday in the House.
Andrew Davies seems to have infected others with his ‘Brexit is breakfast’ slip of the tongue. Here is Andrew Neil, the BBC presenter, producing a similar slip of the tongue on the Daily Politics programme while interviewing Gavin Barwell.
A slip of the tongue from Jeremy Corbyn during PMQs.
We have been tracking the use of the slogan ‘Brexit means Brexit’ at neutralfooting. At Prime Minister’s Questions (PMQs) on Wednesday we learnt a little more about its use though the Prime Minister who originally coined this soundbite.
Politeness in the House of Commons takes on many forms but is often exhibited through off-record, negative and positive politeness. Here is an excellent example of how the Speaker of the House, John Bercow, avoids direct face-threatening language as he… Continue Reading →
Just as the new football season gets underway with the same old tricks and moves, so the new political seasons kicks off this week. Andrew Neil (Daily Politics interviewer) went up against David Gauke (Conservative MP) in the first penalty… Continue Reading →
Theresa May delivered her first Prime Minister’s questions in the House of Commons on Wednesday afternoon and came through the event relatively unscathed with a touch of “Thatcher” to her performance as some commentators noted. Her former boss, David Cameron, developed… Continue Reading →
David Cameron will take part in his last PMQs as Prime Minister on Wednesday. Cameron has been at the dispatch box answering questions most Wednesday afternoons since he became PM in 2010, although he spent several years asking questions as Leader… Continue Reading →
Before undertaking our research, we looked at a previous study relating to the investigation into the accuracy and representation of Hansard as a political database. Mollin (2007) looked at the suitability of Hansard transcripts as a corpus resource whereby she… Continue Reading →