Sep 5, 2013

Tom Switzer on political ventriloquism and the pace of speechwriting

Tony Abbott is good off-the-cuff but his stump speeches are dispiriting, according to former Liberal Party adviser Tom Switzer. He talks to Crikey about the art of political speechwriting.

Bethanie Blanchard

Writer, critic and Liticism blogger

“I think one of the worst features with all sides is that they are so inarticulate, they’re rhetorically challenged,” says Tom Switzer.

When Crikey spoke with the conservative-minded editor of The Spectator Australia about the use of political language in this election, the Liberal Party’s campaign launch had occurred a few days before. Though he is critical of the use of speechwriting by both sides, he is particularly frustrated with Abbott’s address. “That was not him, I could just tell, it was a laundry list of policies that some second-rate speechwriter has just complied. It lacked the philosophical heft that Abbott is capable of producing,” he says.

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3 thoughts on “Tom Switzer on political ventriloquism and the pace of speechwriting

  1. Gavin Moodie

    All speeches should state their authorship, eg, ‘My campaign launch. As told to A Scribe’.

  2. Patrick Brosnan

    Switzer is a lightweight, you only have to look at his list of employers.The American Enterprise Institute? A ten year old could write the sort of rubbish they come up with.

  3. klewso

    Maybe he’s got an excuse? I wonder if you make more mistakes, writing, when you’ve only got the one (Right) eye?

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