Sunday, 20 January 2008

Things can only get worse!

I'm quite envious when I watch the election process under way in America. It's not that I would want the saturation coverage that it must be getting because that is really a nightmare but there is an enthusiasm and a real feeling of change that I haven't known in England since 1997. After seven years of George W Bush, the hangover that just wouldn't go away, it doesn't really seem to matter (to an extent) who wins the election as things can only be an improvement. By 1997 we'd had 18 years of Conservative rule under the truly evil Maggie Thatcher and then the rather absurd grey little man John Major and people had had enough of political scandal and the mistreatment and underinvestment in public services; the desire for change was palpable and we had an anthem:

Looking back now it looks so cheesy but at the time it expressed what everyone felt, the Labour Party offered so much hope and after what had passed things could really only get better; this is where America is today. A general election wont happen in England until next year at the earliest and there are only two realistic results; 1) by some miracle Gordon Brown reverses his slump in the polls, develops a personality and wins. Would I celebrate? Even as a lifelong Labour supported, no I don't think I would. The last 11 years of Labour government have probably left me the most disillusioned with politics as I've ever been and that's not just about Iraq, I feel betrayed on many domestic fronts too. Option 2 is just as bad, the Tories get back in power under the cappuccino leadership of David Cameron (all froth and no coffee). He might try and put a smiley face on the Conservative Party but they are the same people as before, nothing has changed and if we see them in power expect tax cuts benefiting the rich and cuts in vital public services to pay for it as they go on to prove that they really are the party of vested interests.

America will have change, it's just a matter of seeing what form that takes but it makes for exciting times. In England change or none our prospects are bleak and getting worse and my only prediction for the next election is a low turnout.

This pessimism has been brought to you courtesy of insomnia.


bookladyjkd said...


I can only, sadly, agree. The U.S. has fallen into a pit that we never could have forseen 8 years ago!

As a NH resident, the rest of the US primaries and caucuses are interesting theater. We have to make up our minds here early. I would have voted for Dodd, but he dropped out. I voted for Obama, as he seems to at least be able to get people excited enough to actually *do* something. DH voted for Edwards, for other reasons.

Can you tell me the name of the book or piece you quoted in my birthday comment? The entry is gone, and I hadn't printed the thread out, although I meant to!

I wish you well --


Paolo said...

Thanks Judith. The passage was taken from Sophie's World by Jostein Gaarder:

I'm sure I can find the passage again if you'd like me to look it up but the book is worth reading too.

I find Obama an fascinating case. Seeing people who want to vote for him it is interesting that people cannot tell you what he's for just how he makes them feel. That just tells me he's charismatic but I'm as equally wary of him as I am excited by the way he fires the imagination of young voters. A politician in opposition is very different to a politician in power too, there is much to wait and see about.


jkd said...

I agree!

But I think right now one thing this country desperately needs is someone to lead, someone who CAN lead. Clinton is HATED by people for God only knows what reason. I might agree with pieces of things from Paul and Kucinick [sic] but know pragmatically that most of what they talk about is unlikely to happen.

Edwards was all about the poor, and what's dying here in America is the middle class, although we are reapidly becoming the poor, we're still not quite there, yet.

And, I really think that America needs someone they can believe in, so they can believe in themselves and the country again. After the total moral dismemberment of our constitution and foreign policy, I think we really need someone who will take the high moral ground rather than using the supposed high moral ground they stand on as a license to do whatever they want.

Do I know what he believes in? No. At this point what I want is a leader I feel I can trust to not sell my country to an oil company so his dad and their buddies can make yet more money.

And I don't think the Republicans will let Hillary do anything at all or McCain, for that matter. I think, in the words of Chuck Colson, they "Have them by the short hairs" so "their minds and their hearts will follow." and I just don't think they have Obama sewn up like the other two, yet.