In a television interview during the 1992 general election, Sir Robin Day quizzed John Major about his apparently faltering campaign and asked: ‘What has happened to the soapbox you used to speak from in your younger days in Brixton? Couldn’t you bring that into play somehow?’2 It must have struck Major as a good question, because two days later he stood on a packing crate in Luton and shouted at a surprised crowd of Saturday shoppers through a loudhailer. In the campaign until then the prime minister had spoken in the contrasting environment of carefully planned, high-tech settings to ticket-only gatherings of the party faithful. But from that time the ‘soapbox’ became his electioneering trademark.


Political Communication Press Conference Television Interview News Bulletin Contrasting Environment 
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© Martin Rosenbaum 1997

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