Speechwriting Hides Message in Bahrain King’s Speech

By Andrew Ivey

Jan 23

The Kingdom of Bahrain is most definitely in the international spotlight right now. Like many other countries in the region it has experienced significant unrest since this time last year. Yet unlike other countries its governance remains pretty much the same. So the Bahrain King’s speech last week was a chance to hear from His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa how it’s done.

Bahrain King's speech

Speech Writing Hides Message In 2012 Bahrain King’s Speech

Allowing for matters of translation can be a problem. But there’s no disguising the Bahrain King’s speech was a very dry, plodding affair.

Long Words And Sentences Characterise Bahrain King’s Speech

Characterised by long words and long sentences the speech was nearly impenetrable. By the time the King reached the end of some of his sentences in the speech you wondered how the sentence had begun.

Our loyal people have demonstrated that their will, despite all events, is devoted to continuing the reform project, to preserving the achievements of the Charter and the Constitution, and to accelerating progress and momentum through constitutional institutions.

Your position as the Head of State in the Middle East is no small order right now. And you will notice just how he peppers his speech with mentions of the constitution, institutions, legislative and executive branches of government. Perhaps you might expect that after all the recent unrest.

But buried in the arcane language we also heard:

We cannot fail at this point to emphasize that democracy is not just literature, or constitutional and legislative provisions. Democracy is a culture and practice, commitment to the rule of law, respect for the international principles of human rights, coupled with serious national political action that represents all spectrums of society without exclusion or quotas.

Bahrain King’s Speech Points To A Reformed Future…Perhaps

The Bahrain King’s speech appears to point to a reformed future. But you might, of course, be mistaken because of the quality of the speech writing. So, the suspicion has to be that clarity might be more important in Bahrain than obfuscation. We’ll see.

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About the Author

The Principal Trainer at training business Time to Market. Based in Oxford, I run presentation and public speaking training courses, coaching sessions and seminars throughout the UK.

  • […] miss them. We did get the meaning of the words, however. That wasn’t the case with the Bahrain King’s speech. On that occasion he obscured his message with his […]

  • […] Ahem. These are the sort of words prepared by a palace flunkey. It’s the speech writing you’d expect of someone who could very soon be looking for a new job. And so it’s reminiscent of the Bahrain King’s speech-writing. […]

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