T he mythology of political history insists that politicians’ speeches are important. A lifetime in political journalism tells me different.
Political speeches have got to be made, and some politicians are good at them – Michael Heseltine, the best I have ever heard – but most speeches are events of the moment.
They are decorative, not determinative. Most do not matter much and are rightly forgotten, even the good ones.There are, though, occasional exceptions.
Rachel Reeves’ speech to the Peterson Institute in Washington DC on Wednesday has a claim to be one of those with a longer shelf life.Read more on theguardian.com