While lots has been done on the debating front to record debates and to have them featured online, mostly in video formats, a new website has cropped up aiming to record Political speeches as opposed to full blown debates. While the American political system has certainly bloomed with youtube videos of gaffes and $0 ads being featured online, the British news and media has been far more behind with only the recent elections resulting in a hung parliament starting to draw comparisons to the US system.
Hopefully with the British Political Speech academic research project, the British Political system will liven up and help to hold British politicians to their own words, especially when heard only by a select few.
http://www.britishpoliticalspeech.org has been created as part of an academic research project, archiving political speeches (at present many are leaders’ speeches to party conference, the oldest from 1895.
The long-term goal of the site is to raise interest in, and understanding of political speech and rhetoric, especially among academics, politicians and political commentators; to promote discussion about what makes a good or a bad speech and what might make British political rhetoric better.
Users can leave comments on the speeches, perhaps recollections of seeing them delivered or critical comment about their form and content.
There is also a facility allowing people to ‘donate’ speeches so that the archive can become a truly comprehensive record of the many modes of British Political Speech.
Please make use of the site and feel free to forward information about it.
Dr. Alan Finlayson