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It is very rare these days to find a political leader whose words can become forces in the real world with the capacity to make people think anew and perhaps even to move them to act. In the age of spin, leaders’ words are like processed McNuggets, occasionally achieving an Award for Eloquence with a slogan punchy enough to momentarily penetrate the consciousness of voters, who are judged to have roughly the attention span of a gerbil. Every word is market-researched by polls and focus groups. Desperation would grip any contemporary spin doctor faced with a draft of one of Winston Churchill’s great wartime speeches: “What? You promise them ‘blood, sweat and tears’! Winnie, are you, like, totally nuts? You want to get voted off the island?”

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