This study guide will help you analyse the Chicken Tikka Masala speech by Robin Cook. We will show you examples of elements in the text that will be relevant for your analysis. In these notes, we will focus on summary, analysis, topic, speaker, audience, language, modes of persuasion, circumstances, and intention.
Presentation of the speech
Title: “Chicken Tikka Masala Speech”
Speaker: Robin Cook
Context: Social Market Foundation in London
Date of speech: April 19, 2001
Robin Cook (1946-2005) was a British politician who served as Member of the Parliament, Foreign Secretary, and Leader of the House of Commons. His mandate as Foreign Secretary was controversial because despite pledging a more ethical approach to foreign relations, the UK made debatable interventions in Kosovo and Sierra Leone. He is best remembered for his resignation speech as Leader of the House of Commons in 2003, when he resigned in protest against the war in Iraq.
The speaker appeals to the audience’s reason to convince them that multiculturalism is beneficial to British identity. To this end, Cook uses logical arguments drawn from history: “The British are not a race, but a gathering of countless different races and communities, the vast majority of which were not indigenous to these islands. In the pre-industrial era, when transport and communications were often easier…” (p. 39, ll. 23-28)
In another example, he uses statistics to convince the audience that London’s success is driven by its multicultural nature: “Today’s London is a perfect hub of the globe. It is home to over 30 ethnic communities of at least 10,000 residents each. In this city tonight, over 300 languages will be spoken…” (p. 40, ll. 11-13)