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February 17, 2013

Achieve Ye This Goal

"Whoever’s writing Obama’s speeches these days either has a tin ear — you don’t 'issue' goals, you set them — or he has a very refined sense of the ersatz nature of contemporary political discourse. Old-school monarchs issued 'edicts.' One thinks of King Charles the Bald in his Edict of Pistres in a.d. 864, announcing among other things that henceforth selling a horse to a Viking would be punishable by death. No doubt the odd equine transaction slipped through the regulatory net, but historians seem to agree that the sale of mounts to Norsemen certainly diminished. And more to the point his courtiers would have thought Charles the Bald was an even bigger schmuck than they already did if, instead of an edict, he was issuing a new goal to reduce the sale of horses to Vikings by 50 percent by the year 884."

Backgrounder: Per tradition, Black Rod has the door of the House of Commons slammed in his face. Featuring the more recent traditional heckling by Bolsover MP Dennis Skinner.

Posted by Ghost of a flea at February 17, 2013 08:43 AM