Reader YY forwarded a fiery speech by Julia Gillard, the Australian Prime Minister, attacking opposition leader Tony Abbot for his hypocrisy in attacking a member of her party over sexist text messages.
I’m featuring what might seem to be a topic of narrow interest as an object lesson in political discourse and skill levels overseas versus in the US. Look how Gilliard speaks effectively and energetically, referring to notes only when she needs to read quotations, for fifteen minutes. As YY indicates, the context is clear enough that you don’t need the backstory to infer what happened.
Do we have a single politician in the US who could command attention for that long and deliver a blistering attack with so little in the way of props? I suspect this is one of the by products of the Commonwealth tradition of “question time,” in which government ministers have to deal with the cut and thrust of Parliamentary debates, while in the US, we have far more staging and far less real controversy in our political discourse.