World leaders have just completed their annual tradition of addressing their countries, and the global community.
As whenever politicians and leaders do any sort of speech, it can sometimes be difficult to figure out exactly what they’re saying. We’ve cut through the double-speak for you, and translated the true meaning behind their festive words.
Vladimir Putin: Keep in touch
Russian President Vladimir Putin sent messages to dozens of countries, affirming friendship or at least confidence in maintaining good relations.
In a “congratulatory message” to US President Donald Trump, Mr Putin confirmed that Russia is open to dialogue with the United States “on the widest possible agenda” despite Trump crankily cancelling a planned meeting in November.
Mr Putin added: “Of course, now power in the Congress is changing and I’m sure that there will be more attacks on the President. Whether or not he will be able to have direct dialogue with Russia as a result of that, I don’t know.”
This roughly translates as: “I’m the best friend you ever had, you putnik, so pick up the phone while you still can.”
Queen Elizabeth II: A time for peace
Queen Elizabeth II, awake to the world’s many fractures, said: “Even in the most deeply held differences, treating the other person with respect and as a fellow human being is always a good first step towards greater understanding.”
She said the message of Christ had something for everybody, noting the Christmas story’s message of goodwill and peace on Earth was “needed as much as ever…”
“Even the power of faith, which frequently inspires great generosity and self-sacrifice,” she opined, “can fall victim to tribalism”.
It was widely interpreted as a commentary on Brexit, Trump’s America, the gender wars, identity politics and, most importantly, the gossip that her grand-daughters-in-law Kate and Meghan are on the verge of a catfight.
Donald Trump: I just want my wall
US President Donald Trump dropped a lump of coal in the stockings of about 800,000 public servants affected by the partial government shutdown. Half of those hold essential positions and have continued working without pay over Christmas and New Year.
Mr Trump and his wife stood side by side on Christmas morning and told the nation: “This wonderful season brings out the best in the American spirit, and we see neighbours helping neighbours and communities lifting up those who need a helping hand.”
This roughly translates as: “Because they’re not going to get a Christmas cracker out of me until I get my damned wall. And by the way, when I talk about Americans I don’t mean Mexicans and those other s–tholes south of the border.”
Scott Morrison: Time out
Prime Minister Scott Morrison, one line at a time: “There really is something special about this time of year. It renews us all … For a time, the cares of the world slip away. It’s precious and we remind ourselves, and are reminded, just what life is really all about. It’s about being connected to each other: To our family, to our friends, those sometimes we don’t even know … It’s also about hope.”
This roughly translates as: “Oh man, I can lie back in the Prime Ministerial deckchair in the Prime Ministerial backyard with no Prime Ministerial worries about the cannibals at the office or that I may not be Prime Minister for much longer. That’s my private hope, sweet Jesus.”
Emmanuel Macron: Welcome! Sort of
French President Emmanuel Macron, in his New Year’s address, reminded his countrymen of the necessity of moral righteousness and generosity to asylum seekers: “We must welcome the men and women who are fleeing countries where they are threatened because of their origins, their religion or their political convictions.”
“This ‘right of asylum’ is a moral political right and I will not acquiesce in this regard … We will continue to welcome these men and women because France is their homeland.”
This translates as: “Because they can take the place of all these yellow-vest protesters banging on about fuel tax and the cost of living and calling for my head.”