"To dismiss or denigrate rhetoric is to ignore the fact that its structures and devices provide an infinitely adaptable tool-kit for packaging messages in a simple and striking way that audiences can grasp immediately. Without it, persuasive discourse and debate become much more difficult, probably to the point of impossibility. To complain about it is to complain about the way the spoken language works, and about language forms that have been with us since before the invention of writing. And the claim that people who have learnt to use it are somehow less genuine than the naturally gifted is like complaining that anyone without perfect pitch, or an ability to play a musical instrument by ear, is not a genuine musician."

Max Atkinson, from Great Liberal Speeches (2001)