2014 Jonathan Bowden Oratory Prize – The Winner Announced!

By Max Musson:

Jonathan Bowden 2At a prestigious central London hotel yesterday, the Jonathan Bowden Oratory Prize sponsored by Western Spring was awarded for the first time at a meeting of the London Forum in front of a large audience of London’s most prominent nationalist activists, speakers, writers and politicians.

Western Spring conceived the idea for this award more than a year ago, as a means developing the skills base of nationalist speakers generally, and also as a means of bringing nationalists together in a shared endeavour.

In my introductory speech, I explained that nationalists are at present divided and that initiatives are needed to bring us together and I asked the audience to show their appreciation for Jez Turner the organizer of the London Forum for his sterling work in regularly bringing a wide range of nationalists together at the functions he organizes.

Having initially conceived the idea, we at Western Spring decided that it would add prestige to our prize and at the same time honour the late Jonathan Bowden, if the award could be made in his name. I told the audience that Jonathon was without doubt the greatest nationalist orator of our generation. I explained that I had met with Jonathan on March 14th 2012, that he had been very enthusiastic about our plans and had agreed to join Western Spring, sadly just 15 days before his tragic death. It is therefore fitting that we should annually honour his memory by awarding a prize in his name.

I announced the names of the seven nominees for the prize this year and the audience showed their appreciation, clapping enthusiastically as the names were read out, and the gathered nationalists listened intently as I reviewed the performances of the nominees.

Peter Rushton 1Peter Rushton had delivered the speech for which he was nominated outdoors, in front of a hostile press, and with the elements and the traffic noise to contend with. Even so, he spoke clearly, at a measured pace and with great authority. He made skilful use of emphasis and modulation, and his speech was delivered with exhortation, passion and power.

Alex Kurtagic 1Alex Kurtagic had spoken approximately a year ago, close to the first anniversary of Jonathan Bowden’s death and he had spoken about Jonathan’s life and the contribution he had made to the nationalist cause. In his speech, Alex had used emphasis and modulation to add impact to what he said, he had used humour, irony and a number of other oratorical devices, such as impersonation to good effect. Most impressively Alex had spoken using vivid description, detailed characterisation and theatrical gestures to emphasis what he had to say.

Kevin Layzell 2Kevin Layzell, the Young BNP Organiser was our third nominee and despite his youth spoke at length and with confidence, with a speech that was thematic and conceptually novel, full of anecdotes and with good use of irony to add humour. Most notably he spoke fluidly, maintaining momentum, with few of the ‘ums’ and ‘ahs’ that tend to blight the speeches of those with as yet little experience of public speaking.

Richard Edmonds 2In terms of public speaking experience, our next nominee, Richard Edmonds, will have few equals and he was nominated for a speech, which he described to me yesterday as “just  a trip down memory lane”, but it had substance, and it was delivered with good use of humour, gesture and emphasis. Richard is a very animated speaker and someone who injects much enthusiasm into his speeches, but the most outstanding quality is the sincerity with which he speaks. No one listening to Richard can doubt his sincerity.

Kev Bryan 1The second National Front speaker nominated was Kevin Bryan, the Front’s current Chairman, and like Peter Rushton, Kevin spoke outdoors in front of a hostile media and with the noise of passing traffic to contend with. Never-the-less, Kevin spoke with the gravitas befitting an occasion such as Remembrance Sunday. He delivered a speech that had political substance in a very forceful way, demonstrating sincerity and passion.

There are several styles of oratory, but when the subject of oratory is raised, people tend to think automatically of the passionate and fiery speeches that are made by speakers who are making an emotional appeal to their audience. Our last two nominees however delivered speeches that required them to convey quite complex concepts to their audiences and this required a different style of speech.

Mike NewlandMike Newland of the British Democrats spoke at length about the economic issues that pertain to our rejection of globalism and his speech was as intended, informative, while also being fluid and delivered with confidence. In reviewing Mike’s speech I commented to our audience at the London Forum, that speakers often fall into the trap of using jargon and grandiloquent language when dealing with complex topics. I pointed out that ‘communication’ does not hinge upon how much we understand of what we say, it hinges upon how much of what we say, that our audience understands and Mike had done well in making complex subject matter simple enough for his audience to easily understand.

Sean Gabb 1Our last nominee was Sean Gabb of the Libertarian Alliance who again covered somewhat complex subject matter in an interesting and informative way. He had delivered his speech in a fluid and confident manner, but the most outstanding feature of his speech was the fact that he spoke for around an hour, presenting his arguments cogently and logically, without the need to refer to notes at any point. I explained to our audience that this is an ability that Sean shared with Jonathan Bowden and that the ability to speak at length without notes and without wandering off-topic, demonstrates a mastery of the subject matter being presented and adds great authority to a speech.

Finally came the time to announce the winner of the 2014 Jonathan Bowden Oratory Prize and Mike Woodbridge, who had been Jonathan Bowden’s closest friend and who is the executor of Jonathan’s estate, presented the trophy and our cheque for £250 to a very worthy winner, Alex Kurtagic.

Alex was obviously very flattered to have been awarded the prize and in his acceptance speech he highlighted the unique ability that Jonathan Bowden had to enthuse, inspire and impassion people from across the whole social spectrum through his oratory, and Alex commented that it moved him, to think that others felt his speaking ability in any way merited comparison with Jonathan Bowden’s.

The trophy awarded bears a plaque engraved with Alex’s name and plenty of space for the names of future winners of this annual prize to be added, and so begins the start of our search over the forthcoming year for the next nationalist speaker who will merit this prestigious prize. Anyone wishing to be considered for the 2015 Jonathan Bowden Oratory Prize will need to have delivered a speech somewhere in Britain, in English and for the speech in question to have been videoed and made publicly accessible on the Internet. I wish you all luck!

By Max Musson © 2014

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19 thoughts on “2014 Jonathan Bowden Oratory Prize – The Winner Announced!

  1. I had wondered how the voting was being cast, by whom – and when it would be happening.
    I gave my reasons as to why I would have voted for Mr Kurtagic on the comment forms under his nomination video – and it seems that others have also been impressed with the content which Alex brings to the movement – as well as the oratory style which I had previously described. I was surprised there was so little comment under his video nomination.
    Well done Alex, and well done to the other contestants for being put forward. Also to the London Forum and Western Spring for devising something positive and aspirational for people to work for, including proposals for setting up workshops aiding and encouraging the abilities required for successful public speaking.
    In December last year, the American Renaissance website established a “White Renegade of the Year” award. Upon initially reading the establishment title/theme, I had originally assumed that it would be about the best or most successful person that has brought change for the better to the nationalist cause.
    Unfortunately, I discovered that it was aimed around which White person had done the most damage to the efforts of American whites. It was awarded to Rand Paul for being a sell-out and a turncoat to his own people, as explained in length within the article which accompanied the award.
    I can understand and appreciate the idea behind their award (should they continue with it this year), but I noted/commented at the time that it was an entirely negative thing to be doing.
    So much of our movement is based around how bad things are, who is doing the most damage, who has done this and who has done that – and it is driving nothing but negativity and despair of the kind that makes people want to give up. Many people can dangle on that thread.
    So in an effort to try and promote some positive aspects, I suggested that Amren had a dual award. One for the biggest turncoat to our people and one for somebody (or some group) that has done important, quantifiable or successful work for our cause.
    I am therefore pleased to see that Western Spring has things the right way around when it comes to attitude, by offering something that helps people acquire skills that may be put to good use in explaining what we think and what we have learnt, as well as giving a prize for those who take up those skills and come to shine as the drivers for bettering our place.
    Again, congratulations to Alex Kurtagic. A worthy winner in my opinion!

    1. We had a judging panel to decide the winner. For what its worth Peter Rushton came a close second so well done to him as well!

  2. Certain decisions having to be made by a select few is a fact we all agree with, but the Jonathan Bowden Oratory Prize? A voting page should have been set up so that all nationalists had a chance to influence the outcome. I would have voted for Kevin Bryan. There is nothing too soft or over educated about him, and I feel that he would strike more of a cord with the average Joe Blogs than the other orators.

    Different speakers for different situations… Having the others come ‘close second’ is undeserving for they all have unique styles that would excel in the right environment.

    1. Kevin Bryan did have support from within the judging panel, but the award eventually went to Alex Kurtagic because of the range of oratorical devices that he was able to employ to good effect. The speech for which he was nominated is able to be used to illustrate these devices and provide examples of them being used effectively. It is well worth while watching that speech several times over.

    2. Personally I am happy for a Western Spring panel to make the judgement and this seems a sensible option.
      Would you expect non-members of Western Spring to vote Kenny? After all anyone could pretend to be a nationalist if the vote was open to the public at large!

    3. Valhalla Valkyrie

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      Either way it’s a positive initiative which appreciates speakers from across the Nationalist spectrum and gives all those an incentive to develop public speaking skills further so they can then be used to communicate with the public at large. I can foresee such an award being a great way to improve speeches and make the London Forum a great place for Nationalist discussion and unity.

      Intellectual appreciation brings unity and ideological backbone. John Tyndall was an excellent writer and orator but his intellectual leanings never meant he lacked physical courage. A cultured thug, just like Bowden said we should be.

      Kenny is a speaker which whips up the passion but perhaps “they will hang” that he often says maybe is too strong for ones bourgeois tastes!

  3. The title of the best has been awarded by just a handful of people – almost as if the opinion of the rest of us, who I’ll wager the speeches were aimed at, are too thick to have an opinion.

    1. I think you may have misinterpreted the reason for this oratory prize Kenny. This is not ‘Pop Stars’, ‘Britain’s Got Talent’ or ‘The Voice’, the prize was not awarded for the most popular speech, nor the speech made by the most popular person, it was awarded in recognition of the oratorical skill demonstrated by the speaker. Therefore, rather than have the winner decided upon by a large number of people many of whom will have no experience or knowledge of oratorical technique, we assembled a panel of people who can rightfully be regarded as expert in their analysis of a speaker’s skill.
      Furthermore, this is not a mere talent competition, it is intended to form one of the ‘foundations stones’ of a ‘School of Oratory’ that we intend to create in the not too distant future, and the speeches made by our nominees will serve as examples for our students to copy as they hone their skills.

  4. I had been informed shortly after his untimely passing that Jonathan Bowden had fully endorsed Western Spring/Movement of National Salvation. If ever credence was needed for such a new and innovative movement, Western Spring… has, by the weighty approval of such a well-respected figure, clearly achieved this.
    Jonathan Bowden (12 April 1962 – 29 March 2012): Sic transit gloria mundi.

  5. For me the winner could have been any one of half-a-dozen of the nominees, just as long as it wasn’t a certain one of them!

    I suppose that’s another comment of mine that won’t see the light of day. Ah well, I think I’ll survive. After all, when an organisation removes much of what you say, or deletes your comment completely, it generally provides far more useful information about the organisation than any comment would have done.

    1. Aynuk, when we have good reason to, we frequently criticise individuals from across the whole of the political spectrum, but we do not indulge in the gratuitous defamation of our fellow nationalists.
      If you leave comments expressing views and making claims that are gratuitously defamatory towards other nationalists, and especially if they are libellous, those comments will not be published. Control over whether or not your comments get published is therefore to a great extent in your own hands.

  6. ConnalOakesHolt

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    Congratulations Alex. A Well deserved Award.

    Well done also to Peter , Kevin , Richard , Kevin B , Mike and Sean.

  7. You do well to acknowledge and to promote such good speeches.

    For my money, Peter Rushton, campaigning out side the Greek Embassy in central London on behalf of Golden Dawn: the leaders and Members of Parliament arrested and jailed, two of their activists shot down and murdered in the street: Peter spelling out the new ,dreadful turn that Nationalism has now taken, Peter well deserved to be at the top.

  8. Congratulations to all the nominees. I found the Alex Kurtagic speech the most entertaining, but was most impressed by Peter Rushton, for the quality and gravitas of delivery in difficult conditions.

    I think a panel of “wise heads” judging the merits of the nominees speeches is preferable to a popularity contest open to all. Well done Western Spring and the London Forum.

  9. Fantastic choice 🙂

    Is the acceptance speech on film? If so please upload to youtube.

    Congratz Alex!

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