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Better to enable than to intervene A state of the nation speech is always partly about party politics, partly about upcoming elections and a bit about events in the real world. That is true in the US and in SA.
These speeches often include poetry, moving visions, dreams and goals, presented often in fine language. Politicians, sometimes reasonably, see these occasions as opportunities to shore up their power bases and reach out to their voters. They aim to lift confidence and raise hopes. They show understanding of the things ordinary people care about.
In his state of the union address last month, Barack Obama, a left-of-centre US president, said the defining issue …