I implore you to watch this video. This is a man who very, very nearly ended up running this country. I’ll avoid discussing what that has to say about the current state of British politics in this blog post, but I will attempt to unpick what Ed Miliband is trying to do in this interview in order to persuade viewers to change their cognition on public sector strikes.
On the 30th of June, 2011, hundreds of thousands of teachers and civil servants went on strike for the day, disrupting an estimated 40% of state schools across England and Wales. In response to the disruption, Labour leader Ed Miliband was asked to give his thoughts on what he thought about the strikes, and after watching the short video, I’m sure you will not find it difficult to pick out which persuasive technique Miliband has opted for.
Adolf Hitler once said ‘the most brilliant propagandist technique will yield no success unless one fundamental principle is borne in mind constantly: it must confine itself to a few points, and repeat them over and over.’ In a two minute and thirty second video, Miliband utters ‘these strikes are wrong’ a staggering five times. That’s one every thirty seconds. In fact, almost every point he makes is repeated, five times. He confines himself to, as Hitler said, a few points, and repeats them over and over again. The juxtaposition of his line of argument and his use of language throughout it is one I find particularly amusing, as he continually advocates the need to ‘put aside the rhetoric’, whilst himself performing the very dictionary definition of rhetoric language: ‘language designed to have a persuasive or impressive effect, but which is often regarded as lacking in sincerity or meaningful content’.
To see whether his style of persuasion worked from a memorable and simplistic standpoint, watch the video just once, and at the end, see if you are able to recount each of his points from memory. There are 5 in total. You may begin.