Tag Archives: Queen’s speech

Talking through his hat – if he had one

22 Jan

Every year two events take place, which on the surface bear a passing resemblance to each other.

State of the UnionIn a country that prides itself on it’s no nonsense, get-it-done ethos and professes little time for ritual trappings, pomp and ceremony, a man stands up to deliver a speech outlining his lofty ideals and proposals for the coming legislative year. His soaring rhetoric is broadcast live and analyzed for days or even weeks by various pundits and talking heads. None of the proposals contained in the speech will ever happen.

A few months later, in a country with a whole tourist industry built on the desire of people from the first country to see men in bright red coats and silly furry hats remain totally motionless for hours, an old lady in a silly shiny hat, from whom the first country fought a war to free itself, sits virtually motionless for an hour in a very big chair and reads out a legislative program as if it were a shopping list. Nobody pays it much attention. Virtually all of it will happen in the coming year.

For people in the first country, if they ever become frustrated by how pointless the splendid occasion they are witnessing really is, the answer is simple. To render it less ridiculous, and take a step towards a functioning democracy, make the guy wear a silly hat. After all, the last time their democracy worked, they were all wearing wigs.

Apologies for not providing a photograph of the Queen’s speech to Parliament. I couldn’t find one that was royalty-free.

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