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Great Leaders, Great speeches: Jimmy Reid

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glasgow university by Gavin Gilmour via FlickrJimmy Reid: Orator and Visionary

Jimmy Reid will not be known to many people outside the UK.  Nor will he be known to many Gen Yers.   I hard vaguely on the news that he had died but thought little.

Then on Saturday I stumbled over Jimmy Reid’s 1972 speech to Glasgow University which was reprinted in its entirety by The Independent.  I was so excited.  I thought a new leader had burst into UK politics.

I was half way through the speech before the penny dropped.  1972 – 4 decades ago and every bit as relevant a maninfesto today.

As a speech, it may not be quite on the same plain as “I have a dream”.  It doesn’t have the simplicity or the connection to images shared with a huge audience.  It’s too thoughtful.  It might rank up there, though, with Obama’s speech to the Democratic Party in 2004.

Here is a Wordle of the speech (via ManyEyes.)  I am going to do more work with speech.  I’d love your comments and requests.



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