There’s undoubtedly a surfeit of New Year speeches this year. There was a time when we could anticipate a Christmas speech from the Queen, a Christmas message from the Pope and then a New Year speech from a Head of State or two.
Now it seems that everyone’s at it. Prime Ministers, Deputy Prime Ministers, Leaders of the Opposition and local Parliament leaders. The New Year speech has really taken off.
Taken off. But are they any better for it? That’s the big question. Particularly when you consider that most of these New Year speeches aren’t actually given as a speech at all. Posted on websites or released through PRNewswire they are pretty devoid of the human emotion that they seek to inspire with their message. They are anodyne at best.
That’s the case with most of them. One stands out, of course. Stands out for all the wrong reasons. That’s the televised New Year speech of North Korea’s despotic leader Kim Jong-un.
We’ve considered his new year’s speeches before. Yes, he has revived a tradition of New Year speeches in his country. But, not much has changed during the last year. His speech still called for better ties with South Korea.
Only, we believe, that was something his Uncle, Jang Song Thaek, wanted to improve. His reward? Execution. And the execution of his uncle and other family members took up a chunk of this 4,000 word, 25-minute New Year speech. Indeed the family members were described as:
Marvellous. How many other world leaders would describe their family members in such loving terms? There again, how many world leaders would polish off said family members in such a fashion? Beyond noting their demise in some very descriptive language Kim Jong-un also took time to note the real prospect of nuclear catastrophe. As you do with a New Year speech.
So, that was just about it. He covered all the usual themes in this New Year speech: factionalism, re-unification and nuclear catastrophe. Quite a prospect for another New Year on the Korean peninsula.
Happy New Year.
You can always discover other themes for your New Year Leadership Speech with top tips from Time to Market.
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