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FREE TO READ | Like Queen Elizabeth’s speech down the road on the same day, the president merely invited cynicism

Columnist

On Monday in London – at separate venues – two heads of state were in action delivering speeches to different audiences in the same city, but their rhetoric was joined by a common incredulity, even cynicism, on whether hard deeds will follow fine words.

The speech that grabbed the headlines, helped by the majestic backdrop and the appropriate flummery and pomp and circumstance which accompanies her, was Queen Elizabeth’s speech to the opening of the British parliament. Of course, it is not “her” speech, in the sense that the titular head of the British state does not write, or even necessarily believe, a single word of the text that the nonagenarian monarch reads out. It is written for her by Her Majesty’s Government, in this instance the hard-charging regime headed by Boris Johnson.

The kindest words on her performance on Monday came from the press pillar of her establishment, The Times, which encased its admiration for the messenger with deep cynicism for the contents of the message...

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