Party Political Speech...

 

This is a wonderful example of how to say damn-all at length. It comes from Peter Seller's LP record 'The Best of Sellers', and sounds like almost every political speech you ever heard. There is a hint of the strangulated Tory grandee about this peroration, heard in a large hall with a good deal of echo and reverberation. It begins with a modest round of applause...

My friends, in the light of present-day developments, let me say right away, that I do not regard existing conditions lightly. On the contrary, I have always regarded them as subjects of the gravest responsibility, and shall ever continue to do so.

Indeed I will even go further and state, quite categorically, that I'm more than sensible of the definition of the precise issues which are, at this very moment, concerning us all.

We must build, but we must build surely!

A smattering of applause and a languid cry of 'Hear hear'.

Let me say just this. If any part of what I am saying is challenged, then I am more than ready to meet such a challenge. For I've no doubt whatsoever, that whatever I may have said in the past, or what I am saying now is, as to the state of the case, the exact, literal and absolute truth.

Another smattering and two or three assorted cries of 'Hear, hear'.

I put it to you that this is not the time for vague promises of better things to come.

A muffled 'yerse' from a member of the audience

For if I were to convey to you a spirit of false optimism, then I should be neither fair to you, nor true to myself.

But does this mean, I hear you cry, that we can no longer look forward to the future that is to come? Certainly not!

A Heckler: What about the workers?

What about the workers indeed — sir. Grasp, I beseech you, with both hands...

A smothered female squawk

(Muttering) I'm so sorry... I beg your pardon... (Aloud) ... ah — the opportunities that are offered. Let us assume a bold front, and go forward together. Let us carry the fight...

Another quiet squawk

... ah — against ignorance to the four corners of the earth, because it is a fight that concerns us all.

And now finally, my friends, in conclusion, let me say just this...