Tuesday, January 20, 2009


Well, Obama's in. His inauguration speech wasn't bad at all. He painted a fairly bleak but realistic picture of where the USA currently stands. I suspect the economic picture is worse than any of us feared. In the UK they are projecting 3.4 million unemployed by 2010 - even arch socialist Thatcher couldn't manage that, though I'm sure she tried.

Highlight for me? Yo Yo Ma playing the cello.

I met Yo Yo back in about 1979, on a train from Littlehampton to Chichester. I'd never heard of him, and didn't at the time have much truck with anything other than Joy Division, but at his invitation I did pop along to Chichester cathedral (yes, you read that right! I used to be far less anti-christian) and listened to him play. He was excellent!

What does the new presidency mean? Well, he touched on energy in his speech, and a lot of other things. He certainly didn't proclaim, even in code, that the American Way of Life was not up for Negotiation, quite the opposite. He didn't mention 'growth' once, but he did touch on many non-economic aspects of life. I think this is what we need to hear.

I love business and money, to me the market is king and no better system than capitalism has been, or will ever be, devised. But there's far more to life than making money (which is dead easy) - family, friends, relationships, community, health, culture (not so easy).

We now hear that all 50 states in the US have Transition groups. This is fantastic news, though shouldn't be a surprise. That's part of the process of creating a new USA, a USA that wll lead the world on Climate Change, social justice and energy security, that will send socialism running to the caves of Pakistan, the conservative clubs of middle England and the ghettoes of Gaza.

More than anything Barack is a symbol that racism is finally dead, that you can emerge from any background to high office, and that the world really has changed. Now let's gid rid of Brown - what a joke he now seems!
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1 comment:

Asha said...

"making money (which is dead easy)"

How's that? I wish I knew what you know!