Lend me your ears





Saipan — The CNMI’s new Legislature will be sworn in this month, and, as usual, each of the lawmakers will deliver their inaugural speeches, all of which will be heartfelt. Not a lot of us remember previous inaugural speeches so it is likely that only a few will realize that many of the speeches, then and now, are practically one and the same in terms of “theme” and even content.


Because, come on! What else is there to say if you’re a newly elected or re-elected official? Happily, in politics, there are so many ways to say everything and nothing.

Here’s how Sir Humphrey, a fictional government official on the British TV comedy “Yes Minister, reply to a question about where a particular government committee stands regarding a controversial policy proposal:


“It’s clear that the committee has agreed that your new policy is a really excellent plan but in view of some of the doubts being expressed, may I propose that I recall that after careful consideration, the considered view of the committee was that while they considered that the proposal met with broad approval in principle, that some of the principles were sufficiently fundamental in principle and some of the considerations so complex and finely balanced in practice, that, in principle, it was proposed that the sensible and prudent practice would be to submit the proposal for more detailed consideration, laying stress on the essential continuity of the new proposal with existing principles, and the principle of the principal arguments which the proposal proposes and propounds for their approval in principle.”


As for the local lawmakers’ inaugural speeches, they will, of course, include expressions of profound gratitude and/or of grave concerns. Promises will be made and/or reiterated. We will hear paeans to family, community, local culture, resiliency, transparency, clean government, democratic ideals, “The People” and “The Children,” including and especially “The Children’s Children.” Everyone will vow to work for the betterment of the community and “The People.”


As I’ve said, we will, more or less, hear the same speeches again on future Inauguration Days, but, again, who’s keeping track?