Preaching to the ‘Feral Beast’: Tony Blair’s Farewell Speech to the Press


  • Lidia De Michelis Università degli Studi di Milano


Parole chiave:

“feral beast”, spin, discourse, “political communication”


This paper, which relies mainly on a cultural studies and critical discourse analytical approach, aims to explore the emotional and discursive space marked out by Tony Blair' Reuters speech on "Public Life" (June 12, 2007) and the heated reaction it received from the British press. Delivered merely a fortnight before the Prime Minister stepped down from office, the speech, which famously  compared the media to "a feral beast" which "hunts in a pack", elaborated on the current crisis of trust affecting both politics and journalism and helped to spark a much needed debate on the ethical and practical challenges facing both 'communities of practice' in order to rekindle civic participation in the political public sphere.


Caricamento metriche ...

Biografia autore

Lidia De Michelis, Università degli Studi di Milano

Lidia De Michelis teaches English Literature, Cultural Studies and Anglophone
Literatures at the University of Milan. She is the author of books on Thom Gunn (1978), Daniel Defoe (1995), contemporary British culture (L'Isola e il Mondo. Intersezioni culturali nella Gran Bretagna d'oggi, 2008), and several essays on 18th-century literature, especially Defoe and writings by women (Haywood, Manley, Lennox).
Among her publications are also translations (Defoe, Manley) and articles on Anita Brookner, Ian McEwan, Rupert Thomson and Andrea Levy. Her current interests include the discursive strategies and cultural politics of New Labour (with a focus on nationhood, identity and multiculturalism), slave narratives and the discourse of slavery, and the way different cultures of risk are mirrored and negotiated in contemporary British fiction. She is one of the editors and a member of the advisory boards of the academic journals Culture and Comunicazione Politica.




Come citare

De Michelis, Lidia. 2010. «Preaching to the ‘Feral Beast’: Tony Blair’s Farewell Speech to the Press». Altre Modernità, n. 3 (aprile):95-111.