Morocco’s King Mohammed VI knows that he is not immune to the waves of protest sweeping through the Arab world right now. Some three months ago he instituted a series of reform investigations–seeking to ward off more popular uprisings.
The protest movement had its reservations about the reform process; particularly as not all interested parties were involved in the 3-month consultation.
But yesterday, despite the reservations, the King announced a set of new constitutional developments in a major speech to his country.
Without wanting to comment on the originality or usefulness of the King’s proposals, his language left much to be desired.
Kings should command respect for their words and deeds. But these words were turgid. The introductory sentence to the King’s speech comprised:
I am addressing you today to renew our joint commitment through a new Constitution, which represents a watershed event in the process of completing the construction of a State based on the rule of law and on democratic institutions, and to firmly establish the principles and mechanisms of good governance, provide for dignified citizenship and ensure social justice.
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.
To be fair, the King used some good repetition in his speech. “My Loyal Subjects”, was a popular phrase!
And he used some good structure signals to emphasise the ten main points he had to make about the constitutional changes.
It’s possible that his speech doesn’t translate well into English. That’s always a possibility. But that apart, I sense that he’s going to need to become a more persuasive, energetic and powerful speaker if he is to remain a constitutional Monarch after the country’s referendum on 1st July.
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. Andrew Ivey on Google+