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JOHN CHUCKMAN
 
POSTED RESPONSE TO A COLUMN IN THE LONDON DAILY TELEGRAPH

Well, just imagine the alternative, which is, of course, where head of state and head of government are the same person.

This is the situation in America.

I doubt anyone has even calculated the immense cost of the President doing ceremonial and official state functions, but it is enormous.

After all, armored limos are shipped by jet for even the most insignificant appearance. The entire Praetorian Guard with high-tech weapons shows up. And all kinds of idiotic emergency people hover around while he dedicates a church cornerstone in Iowa. In some cases, even missiles are brought in and tucked away.

Not only that, but how would you like someone like George Bush embodying the state for everyone?

It really is unpleasant having to cheer for someone like that as representative of your country when you know perfectly well he is a lying, low-life politician.

Restrictions at gatherings where George Bush is to be are ugly – because he is so unpopular and so tyrannical in temperament – that even people with certain sayings on t-shirts or bumper stickers on cars are removed. Some freedom.

Imagine the lamentable Tony Blair having the role of state? It is enough to make you ill.

So, appreciate what you have. The situation cannot be glibly summed up by an annual amount.

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