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Revolution: The Sky’s The Limit

Rupert Murdoch always saw himself as a revolutionary. He blustered onto the scene in the United Kingdom with a singular aim: to take on the entrenched elite – the highly conservative establishment and the liberal elites who went some of the way to keeping the establishment in check – and deprive them of their power. His attack was ruthless, long and, for a time, successful.

But as with all things under his domain, Murdoch singularly failed to see the world change around him when seeing that change wouldn’t suit his vision of himself, and the world. He was all too happy to enjoy the perks of the power he wound up wielding over the UK’s political class – the elite he came to conquer.

But what he failed to recognise was that they weren’t the establishment if they were singing to his tune. He was the establishment. And what goes around comes around.

There comes a time in the reign of any despot when he creates his own worst enemy, and even hands that enemy the weapon needed to beat him. It’s an unavoidable fact. Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely. And when you’re absolutely corrupted by absolute power, arrogance is unavoidable. And arrogance seeped out of every pore of the News Corp operation. From Rupert’s stubborn insistence that Paywalls online will work (When they patently do not – his own efforts at The Times and sunday Times are laughingstock loss-makers) to James Murdoch, the heir apparent, having the audacity to lecture the media on how the BBC is corrupt, News Corp has conducted itself with unmissable swagger over the past few years in particular.

The news colossus had thought itself untouchable because, rightly or wrongly, it was perceived as the opinion maker. Sometimes the appearance of the ability to sway opinion is as powerful as that actual ability. It’s like when someone says “I’m not saying so and so is a murderer, I’m just saying he hasn’t said he’s not”. The status as the opinion maker was enough to allow them to frame the public narrative their way.

This arrogance spread like a cancer. It started at the top, with Murdoch’s diabolical grip on the corridors of power in Whitehall, and spread all the way down. Until finally, it infected some of the journalists, who saw their leaders picking and choosing whose political careers flourished and therefore assumed their publications were untouchable – Murdoch always got his way. And repercussions were dealt out to those who wronged his people.

And that’s when News International signed its own death warrant. And probably that of (At least part of) its global parent, News Corp.

Which brings us to how the deed was done. It was all deliciously simple. People working for News International – under the watch of James Murdoch, Andy Coulson and Rebekah Brooks – used illegal means to get their stories. And they did it a lot. And then they made the ultimate mistake: they let arrogance erode common sense and put themselves on the wrong side of certain public outrage.

When it was just celebrities and politicians believed to be victims of the widespread use of illegal investigative tactics, the sad fact is the vast majority of the public couldn’t bring themselves to care. This is pretty understandable. News International has orchestrated a culture of austerity, which has the masses more concerned with their own lives than the whinging of their oppressors (the politicians) and the better off (celebrities).

When you think about it, that was almost the perfect crime. Murdoch got his neo-conservative austerity programmes implemented and was able to use the atmosphere they created to smokescreen the dirty laundry used to get there. But then there’s that arrogance thing. The journalists responsible were blinded by their perceived invincibility.

They did the same thing to the public. Worse, to murder victims and grieving families. They crossed the moral event horizon.

And even more stupidly, they didn’t do a terrific job covering their tracks. Imagine that: journalists dedicated to finding scandalous scoops didn’t properly cover the tracks of their illegal dealings. What arrogance! Did they think that aside from being invulnerable to government and judicial intervention, the rest of the Fourth Estate was beholden to Murdoch just like the corridors of power? Or did they simply forget their power was not the result of superiority over their colleagues?

Whatever the manner of their hubris, they were undone by journalists doing real journalism.

The Guardian blew the doors off the whole thing over the course of a few years (They wanted to move faster, but judicial processes slowed things down). And once they blew the lid, everyone else seized the opening.

And really, it’s also amazing that News Corp didn’t see that coming too. The sheer arrogance of the operation is frankly incomprehensible. They were either so corrupt they were basically blind or else the outfit was run by a bunch of idiots. More likely, both.

For the truth is, News International and its parent have not done a great job making friends. All their “friends” were the politicians. And even they were never really friends. More brown nosers. Perhaps News Corp’s biggest error of judgment was in making rivals like the BBC, Trinity Mirror, Telegraph Media, Guardian Media and more not simply dislike them, but despise them.

Indeed, the enemies of News International in many ways needed to Kill the King to ensure their own survival. News International was the biggest game in town, and if they got a hold of the rest of BSkyB whilst managing to force the BBC – the only legitimate competitor to News International in terms of size – to cutback, scale down…Well the future was bleak for everybody else. Trinity Mirror, the sole remaining truly Left-Wing voice as it was would have been an especially big concern.

After all, what if The Sun crushed The Mirror, and then there was an election where the Indy and the Guardian endorsed the shamed Lib Dems again? All the papers in the UK endorsing the right wing and their lap dogs? That’s a chilling thought.

Meanwhile, what response could Virgin Media have had to the sudden massive escalation in size and power for its entrenched, larger rival – BSkyB? They already have to be in an uneasy partnership with them because of BSkyB’s borderline anti-competitive stranglehold on content. A combined News International-Sky could have snuffed out Virgin Media in a heartbeat. And all this whilst the BBC was thrown to the wolves by the News International attack dogs – the Conservative-led Coalition of the Losers.

So every player in the game had reason to let loose the dogs of war at the first sign of weakness in the King’s Castle. Worse still for News International, they had made an enemy of an old ally: they duplicitously went back to supporting the Tories after Gordon Brown’s (Initially hugely popular) Labour Party made overtures to going its own way on the back of Brown’s initial success. Call a snap election, win, and then be able to lead without Murdoch’s interference. That was the plan.

George Osborne, thinking himself clever, encouraged the ailing new leader of the washed up Tories to take the opportunity to become the new News International golden boy. Cameron went ahead with it. He hired Coulson, came to think of him and Rebekah Brooks as friends, followed their advice, did as Murdoch instructed. But more on the Tories later.

With the News International attack dogs forcing Labour out of power, the new boy came on scene. Ed Miliband. A politician in a mould so fresh the press kept trying to brush him aside rather than bother trying to comprehend it. The press had gotten lazy. They wanted politicians to be artificial people – puppets controlled by the Andy Coulsons of the world lurching from crisis to crisis with spin and PR. Ed Miliband is a straight-shooter. He talks like a human being. He was one of so-called “saints” of the expenses scandal. Murdoch, the epitome of press arrogance, dismissed Miliband because he didn’t understand him. The News Corp top brass didn’t consider this man a threat.

Oh how very, very wrong.

Miliband was the worst possible man for Cameron to face across the Dispatch Box when News Corp blew up in his face. Ed was on the right side of public outrage. Ed was no News International apologist. He wasn’t paying that game. He didn’t need to hop on the bandwagon, because in the political sphere he was the man driving it. Sincerely. And he was surely in no mood to be cautious. News International deposed his Party and assaulted his leadership.

Fitting then that is Ed Miliband who will probably Kill the King this coming Wednesday, by showing the leadership the Prime Minister lacks and leading the House of Parliament into a vote to block the BSkyB takeover bid which has so infatuated the Murdochs.

Welcome to the rise and rise of The Rt Hon. Ed Miliband, MP – The Leader of Her Majesty’s Most Loyal Opposition and likely The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland’s Seventy-Sixth Prime Minister.

But let’s get back to the Tories, they who were the last ones tied to the News International Pole when the music stopped (And, really, the ones who have mostly been in that position – Murdoch is a dreadful right-wing dinosaur and his family are much the same. That’s part of why they hate Ed Miliband, he comes from the core Centre-Left bedrock of Labour, where the Labour activists mostly lie). You’re probably wondering why I’m now so certain Ed Miliband will ascend to the Premiership when last week it looked like a tough ask (At least according to some analyses).

The Conservative-led Coalition of the Losers is held together by duct tape and the fact Nick Clegg is spineless. Had he not made the Coalition pact, Clegg would have been politically finished. Most Party Leaders would resign for doing far better than Clegg did. Gordon Brown did, for example. Many of us gave the Coalition two years at most before collapsing when it was formed. It turned out, Clegg was even more toothless and spineless than we thought. So we revised our assessments: it was going to run to term. Meanwhile, the presumed dissenting voices in the Lib Dems failed to step up to the plate. Rather than voting “no,” they would abstain like cowards.

So the Coalition, with its politically gerrymandered foundations and supports, looked set to rock on. After all, it was politically impossible for the Lib Dems to leave the Tories, they had all the toxicity. The Tories had somehow escaped. The Lib Dems were finished if they rebelled and the Tories would call a snap election they’d likely win.

But now, the Conservative Party’s leader, the Prime Minister David Cameron, has allowed himself to be seen to be on the wrong side of public outrage, whilst the Honourable Gentleman opposite him was The Public’s Voice in Tough Times. Cameron has had to back down, capitulate to Miliband’s demands. And still he has failed to move from the wrong side of public outrage by failing to apologise for hiring Coulson, by failing to call for Rebekah Brooks to be immediately fired.

And we now know there are more awful things about News International’s actions set to come out. So how can Cameron afford to be seen to be standing by any of the Chipping Norton set? He can’t, not really. The time then is ripe for Clegg to recognise his folly last year and bite the hand which has had him by the collar.

The Lib Dems can whack the Tories mercilessly on this, leap to Labour’s side, the side of public outrage, condemn their partner’s actions. And all the toxicity is flung onto the Tories in one fell swoop. Memories are short. Sure, Clegg will probably still lose his seat if he stands at the next General Election, but if he grows some balls and punishes the Tories for the public, some of his failings will be forgiven and he can be safely deputised to Europe by the inevitable Labour Government.

Have the Lib Dems set a date? No. Ed Miliband has though. This coming Wednesday. This coming Wednesday, the Coalition Government will be rocked by the fact that Ed Miliband commands a Majority in the Commons, however briefly. But once the Lib Dems and the factions within the Tory Party who want Cameron out have rebelled en masse once, what’s the point in stopping? Especially if the situation with News International and Cameron worsens. How long can Cameron reasonably expect to command a Majority?

I give it till no later than the end of October at this rate. Something unforeseen may occur to allow them to cling on, or the Lib Dems might be cowards after all. But barring that, the Government will likely collapse once Coulson et. al. are hauled back into the Old Bill. I could see the Lib Dems publicly trumpeting their future independence at their conference, Miliband preparing his Party to return to power at theirs, and Cameron resigning at theirs. It’s so beautiful in my mind.

Of course, it’s just the dream right now. But this is the moment in time we’re at. Revolution. It’s exhilarating, especially for those of us on the left, the progressives. We live for this. And it’s all the sweeter to turn the cannons on Murdoch, a man who once claimed the mantle of revolutionary, only to out-establishment the establishment.

The trouble, as I see it, is that whilst the downfalls of News International and their attempts to ensnare BSkyB are both inevitable (More on that in Part 2), the downfall of the Tories rests with the Lib Dems and Nick Clegg, a man of no political courage or power at present.

Still, the prospect of News Corp losing its 39% of BSkyB (Never mind failing to get the rest) is plenty exciting. We stand at a fork in the road. Ahead lies a bold new future of media plurality here in the UK. That’s down both paths. But down one, the age of austerity continues.

On the other road, the age of austerity withers and dies. Labour rebuilds this country and we all get back on with fulfilling the British Promise.

Remember this moment in time when we eventually do go to the polls, whenever it may be. 2011, 2012, 2014, whenever. It was Ed Miliband at the forefront of the Revolution. Ed Miliband leading for the people.

Turn Left, Go Forth: Vote Labour. A Future Fair for All, Free from News International’s Influence.

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Christmas Letter 2011

Season’s Greetings Friends, Family & assorted hangers-on!

It’s that time of year once again where many people choose to send each other nice simple Christmas Cards – short, sweet indications that they’re thinking of you at this, the most wonderful time of the year. And, as has become tradition, I am instead wasting your time with this, my annual Christmas Letter, in which I reflect at unnecessary length on the year that was and, of course, the festive season.

So here I am, sitting in the glow of the unnecessarily large Christmas tree in my bedroom with my (infamous, and only partially accurately named) Xmas in Pompey 2 Spotify playlist filling the room with the sounds of Christmas cheer. Which sounds incredibly cheesy, but I’ve always said* it’s not cheesy if you can think of something either as cheesy, or more cheesy, which is also less appropriate for the given situation. And I have:

A Margherita.

Now, with that out of the way, on to the reflecting on the year. And frankly I think nothing this year says more about our modern era than the way that godawful “Friday” song by Rebecca Black infected every facet of our lives over the course of about a month earlier in the year – and it already feels like it’s ancient history.

Either the years are getting longer or we’re finding more ways to do stuff in them. Luckily, Mark Zuckerberg has come up with a way to find out in Facebook Timeline, whilst Twitter continues to give us an avenue to voice our every trivial thought (And say bitchy things about the way candidates on The Apprentice choose to dress). And I for one welcome our new Social Media overlords. I’d like to remind them that as a trusted (Ahem) TV personality, I can be helpful in rounding up others to toil in their underground sugar caves.

Speaking of TV, the has been a great year for TV and I can prove it in just ten words:

The Simpsons has been renewed through its twenty-fifth season.

There have of course been some downsides though. The X Factor has unfortunately not been canceled yet, Big Brother was (Unfathomably) brought back and the BBC decided to hand over half their F1 (More on that in a moment) coverage to Sky Sports, which was probably not the best idea considering that they did so right at the same time as the entire country was furious with Rupert Murdoch, News Corp & Sky over the flagrant corruption & use of phone hacking. As own goals go, the BBC pulled off a belter there.

Oh and while I’ve got you, I still say Germany should have won Eurovision again. Yeah, I’m still bitter about that. And what?

Anyway, I said I’d say something about Formula 1. Ignoring the fact Vettel made the whole season rather dull with his overpowered Red Bull car (I really don’t think it’s fair that he gets a car which gives you wings), this was still a cracking year with some all-time classic races, including the 2011 Canadian Grand Prix, the longest race in F1 history (A record it will hold forever as the rules have now been changed to prevent races running as long as that one did).

Also, over the two-year period since Jenson Button joined McLaren, he’s outscored Lewis Hamilton. At the risk of saying I told you so, I TOTALLY FRIGGING TOLD YOU SO.

Ahem…Anywho, I suppose I should say something about some other sports for the sake of balance, but they’re going to have to be eternally true platitudes because I barely pay attention to most of them so er…Manchester United are evil, cricket is dull & tedious, Rugby is vaguely homoerotic etc. etc.

Also if I don’t mention video games, the citizens of Giant Bomb (dot) Com will probably shoot me in the knee with an arrow. I don’t fully get that joke because I never played Skyrim (Too busy playing The Legend of Zelda IN THREE DEE on my 3DS), but they make references to it all the time on Reddit so I guess it must be pretty funny. The biggest thing in games this year for me was probably the return of Pokémon. Oh god how I played a lot of Pokémon.

So then, with that all out of the way, I leave you with this topical reference to both 2011 & 2012 in the form of a brain teaser:

If you ask Siri to schedule “the end of the world” for December 21, 2012, does that make you God if the world does end then**?

Have a
Merry Christmas,
Happy Holidays,
Helluva Hanukkah
Perfect Pancha Ganapti***,
Delectable Dies Natalis Solis Invicti***,
Dignified Quaid-e-Azam’s Day***,
Marvellous Malkh-Festival,
Kwazy Kwanzaa,
And a Happy New Year,

Your Pal,
Paul Douglas.

* Not true. I’ve never said that.
** No, no it doesn’t. That would be stupid.
*** Look it up.

Reach for the Sky: Dissecting the Sky Sports/BBC Sport F1 Partnership

On Friday, the Formula 1 world was rocked by news that UK Television Broadcasts of the sport would be fundamentally changing starting from 2012. The state-supported and industry-leading BBC had originally been expected to hold exclusive rights to Formula 1 through the end of the 2012 season, after securing the rights from rivals ITV, who ditched them as a result of their almost perpetual cash-strapped nature.

More incredible was the new primary rights holder: technically, Sky Sports. This despite the fact it was generally accepted the rights had to be in the hands of a free-to-air broadcaster. How did FOM get around this? The rights actually went to a Sky Sports/BBC Sport Co-Operative deal. A deal which will give the BBC 10 races, or 50% of the season (Though in the event of 21 races, the extra race would be Sky exclusive). The two broadcasters will share commentary and some other resources, but use different presentation packages.

For the 10+ races the BBC is not showing live, they are showing…Well, what exactly? Bernie Ecclestone has apparently led the members of FOTA (Formula One Teams’ Association) to believe that they will be showing the full race on a time delay. The BBC, however, has seemed to play down these reports – they indicate an extended highlights show, clocking in at around 75 minutes. Either way, the show or taped race would air in prime time on Sunday – AKA the least valuable kind of prime time.

Still, the BBC package will air the day of the race, whatever the minutiae are.

This bizarre setup with the BBC acting as some kind of “Sky Sports Preview” is unique. No other sport, Motorsport or otherwise, operates this way, and the BBC agreeing to play second fiddle to Sky has made some observers distinctly uneasy.

Setting aside the practical and TV industry implications for a moment, let’s consider the financial impact of the deal. The Sky Sports/BBC Sport Partnership is paying out a combined £55 Million, up on the £40 Million the BBC had been paying out for the exclusive rights. The teams have been told this will factor out to about £1 Million per season extra paid from FOM to each team.

In F1 terms, £1 Million a season is…Not a huge deal. Even the back markers reportedly blow throw more than £30 Million to just show up and not completely embarrass themselves. For frontrunners McLaren, this is chump change. So one could reasonably wonder why they are going along with this so readily?

Consider also, McLaren (In particular) are majority funded by sponsorship revenue. This means they in particular should be concerned about any potential decrease in viewership. It seems like hubris to claim (As FOM, amongst others, have) that this deal might grow the F1 audience in the UK. The idea seems to be that being in BBC1 Prime TIme will inherently draw more people to the sport.

That…Sounds like a huge assumption. The argument seems to be casual fans will be more interested in a prime time highlights reel than in watching the race at midday (or odd hours for fly-aways). There is some merit to that idea, but it still seems like there is room to question it. We’re talking about a delay of six to, potentially, 12+ hours. It seems…Unlikely – to say the least – casual fans will go out of their way to avoid spoilers, but counterintuitively one could also reasonably question whether they’d bother watching the highlights reel once they knew the result?

Smaller teams also look set to get screwed – hard – by this. They get their best exposure for sponsors during qualifying and the exact kinds of “boring” bits the BBC’s editors are likely to cut for the highlights reel (For example, the leaders putting a lap on them). These losses will not in any way be mitigated by Sky Sports viewerships. Consider…

Sky Sports 1 enjoys a whopping 0.9% Audience share. This is HALF the audience share of BBC Three. It’s barely 0.2 more than the anaemic share held by BBC Four, which this deal is widely believed to have been orchestrated to save. Sky Sports 2, which will share Sky Sports 1’s duties as F1 broadcaster, has an eye-watering-ly small 0.4% share.

For comparison, the BBC’s F1 audience has averaged 4-5 million viewers, with peaks in excess of 6 Million – which is 10% of the UK Population, never mind UK TV Audience. And there is very little demographic overlap between existing F1 fans and Sky Sports subscribers – who are typically more interested in ball games like Association Football and Cricket.

So then, there is a strong argument that this deal will massively reduce the audience for Formula 1 in the UK. And it raises big questions about the financial impact of the deal on teams. There is one other area this deal could potentially have a massive impact, as suggested by Ewan Marshall at GP Focus: the prestige of the Championships.

By making only ten races live on free-to-air television, this deal implicitly adds prestige to the already prestigious Monaco and British Grands Prix. It will possibly have a similar effect on other events (Potentially including, regrettably, poor Grands Prix like the Singapore Night Race if they are included amongst the ten). What can’t be known at this stage is what impact this shift in emphasis to fewer, “marquee” races will have on the public’s perception of the Championships.

In American Motorsport, there are several Championships in various categories. What’s interesting, though, is that unlike in Europe (Where even casual fans tend to idolise championship winners like Jenson Button or Fernando Alonso), a lot of casual fans are more interested in which drivers win certain marquee events – like the Indy 500. Is it possible that, at least amongst casual British fans, this deal will decrease the importance of championships?

Are we looking at a future where casual viewership for most of the Grands Prix (Even most of the free-to-air Grands Prix) decreases because winning the big-name events like Monaco and Silverstone are seen as more important than winning the championship? Such a shift would take us back to the pre-fifties era of rand Prix racing, before the inception of the World Drivers’ Championship.

It’s a big if, but do we really want to go back there?

So there’s just a few points of interest from the Sky Sports/BBC Sport Joint F1 Broadcast deal. The crazy thing is, this is such uncharted territory, we have little to no way of knowing what the potential ramifications are. It could affect things we’ve not even considered.

New Generation not New Labour

I’m not gonna lie to you, I am incredibly happy about Ed Miliband’s recent election as the new Leader of the Labour Party. If you follow me on Twitter (@TVPaulD), you’ve probably seen me Tweeting in support over the past months as the Leadership Election has unfolded. And Ed’s speech on the result being announced touched strongly on the reason I feel I connected so readily with his campaign.

In David Miliband, and Ed Balls, I saw two (Very, very good) politicians. But they were just that, politicians. And what’s more, politicians of an era which I feel has had its time. When the Conservative Party was ejected in 1997, they spent the next 8 years or so pushing essentially the same old Tory orthodoxy.

Then they elected David Cameron, and much as I dislike his politics and generally disagree with him, you can’t argue that he was not a transformative figure for the Conservatives. He remade them into a modern Conservative Party that was much more in tune with what (certain sectors of) the population were feeling. Labour had done the same thing with Tony Blair – much later than they should have.

The risk with putting David Miliband or Ed Balls in as leader was that they would be seen as continuing the old New Labour era (Clumsy a phrase as that is) past its sell-by date. Tony Blair has been bleating that we should not move past New Labour. He’s very attached to it, it’s his legacy.

But Tony is as wrong now as he was when he began to mistake what New Labour stood for to most people around the time of the Iraq War. Ed Miliband characterises it as becoming the establishment, and that’s true. New Labour ceased, partway into Tony’s second term, to be radical or reformative.

This stagnation continued under Gordon Brown, but let’s be clear: the rot started on Tony’s watch. And we lost more voters on his watch than we did on Gordon’s. Gordon is a great man, and he was a great, but (like Tony) flawed Prime Minister.

Ed Miliband is younger than the other Leadership contenders. He’s younger than the Coalition Leaders. It may only be about half a decade, but it’s enough. Enough to signal a sea change. Tony Blair, Peter Mandelson and to a less overt extent David Miliband (Their heir apparent) wanted to continue the New Labour project because they feared going back to the old Labour orthodoxies.

In taking this stance, they forgot the fundamental reason the Labour Party turned to the New Labour project: staying the same is not Labour, will not get you elected and is, in fact, the very definition of conservatism.

Ed Miliband has built a credible case for a new generation. I hate to evoke the Obama cliché, but it applies somewhat here. Under Ed’s new generation of the Labour Party, Labour can be a transformative entity again, we can regain radicalism, we can return to progressivism. Making real changes, bit-by-bit, for the betterment of all Britons, as a collective.

It’s a younger, more vibrant Labour Party, a Labour Party which has turned a page, and shorn itself of the stagnation which got us ejected from power.

It’s what the people wanted, Labour back as the champions of The March of Progress.

And at the head of this New Generation of the Labour movement, we have Ed Miliband. An MP, the Leader of Her Majesty’s Opposition, yes. But, crucially, a man who is clearly a human being. The mantra of “Ed talks Human” rings true. Just as Obama captured my personal imagination because he is a stunning orator, Ed captures people’s imaginations and affections (including my own) because he comes across as someone who not only fundamentally gets it, but gets us.

The Conservatives are underestimating the importance of Ed’s human quality, and of the transformation of Labour, over night, into a generationally different movement. They are, wrongly, elated.

My advice to you Mr. Cameron, is this:

Run and hide. Run. And hide.

Turn Left, Go Forth

In the run up to the 2008 Presidential Election, I outlined why it was that I, an out-of-country observer, felt that it was so important that Barack Obama be elected to the highest office in America. Now, it is time for the United Kingdom’s General Election. And once again, I want to get my thoughts down in writing.

My politics are best summarised in the phrase “March of Progress Socialism”. I am unashamedly Left Wing, because I believe that the existence of The State is right, and necessary. People simply cannot be expected to do everything for themselves all the time. It’s not right. It’s not fair. It doesn’t work. We all need a helping hand from time to time. And whether it’s as small as a little extra money to pay for our children’s wellbeing or as large as our time in Education, it’s all important.

Right is Wrong

The right wing would have us believe that all The State does is meddle in our affairs and give out handouts to scum. They are wrong. They’re fundamental politics are wrong. They have lost sight of the bigger picture.

It’s not always their fault. Many of them turned to the right for good reasons. Perhaps because of some injustice that was done to them, perhaps because they have been misled by the press into blaming the left or a left-wing government for something that has happened in the world.

But the fact is, the right wing simply doesn’t represent the views and needs of the many. In fact, in a lot of cases (See the Tea Party Activists in the United States for an example), the right wing isn’t even a good deal for the people who support it. It’s built on ideas which sound great, in theory, but which really don’t add up in the real world.

David Cameron’s Conservative Party is the embodiment of this disconnect. David claims to stand for “The Great Ignored”. He claims he understands our problems, he says we need change to Fix Our Broken Society. All three of these insinuations are completely false. Cameron the Chameleon is nothing but a spin doctor working for the interests of his corporate paymasters like Lord Ashcroft. This is a man who claims Nelson Mandela as a personal hero – but who was only too happy to be wined and dined by the leaders of Apartheid South Africa whilst the great man was still imprisoned for daring to question Apartheid.

Who are the Great Ignored? Cameron pretends the majority of Britain’s Middle and Working Class folks are. That’s not true. They’re not conservative at all. In fact, “The Great Ignored” just means the rich and privileged, the bigots & the posh, the dying breeds of a forgotten era. The fact is, Cameron and his supporters are a minority. We have a relatively Democratic system. Those people are not ignored, but their collective will is less than that of the rest of the population – who are Left and Centre-Left.

And Cameron knows it. And he hates it. David and his cronies know that with a truly democratic system, such as the alternative vote system, their kind would never again control this great land. And so they oppose it. They don’t want us to exert the full extent of our collective will, because they can only win under the First Past The Post system we currently have. So, unique of the three main parties – and despite pledging to “Fix Our Broken Politics” – they oppose the Alternative Vote System

The right wing is selfishness personified. The actions of the Tory Party show nothing but self-interest. They have no compassion. They want to give massive tax cuts to the rich, whilst they pull vital financial support from needy families and cut spending in our state schools.

In essence, they want to create a New Age of Privilege. David calls it “The Big Society”. I call it abhorrent.

And I won’t be a part of it. This is not the time for Cameron and his Short Change. Progress must go on.

Turn Left, Go Forth.

I support The Labour Party for Government.

Labour’s agenda isn’t based on self-interest or pie-in-the-sky idealism, but on offering real help and support to people who really need it. A Future Fair For All is the only future which will help the March of Progress. We cannot afford to turn back now because mistakes have been made. The way to win is to learn from the mistakes, correct the strategy, and plow on ahead.

Labour will not Tax the poor to offer a break to the rich. Labour will have the rich pay their fair share to help provide vital services, as well as help for those who need it most. Labour is not going to cut teachers from our schools or nurses from our hospitals.

The Tories would plunge us back into a Thatcherite Dark Age. Labour would lead us further on the path to prosperity.

The March of Progress is so important. The March of Progress creates equality – it’s what killed slavery and is helping to kill racism and sexism in the world. Only through working together can we achieve it though. David Cameron says that’s what The Big Society’s about. It’s not. What he’s not telling you is when he says “People need to work together” in The Big Society, he’s missing the word “you”. As in “You People need to work together”. Because David isn’t one of us, and he doesn’t care about what we need. The Big Society doesn’t require David and his Privileged friends to do their part. They get an Inheritance Tax Cut, an Income Tax Cut and their Businesses can go on making massive profits even at our collective expense.

The Great in Great Britain

I love this country. This wonderful country with its diverse people and its hard work and its sense of humour and its beautiful land. I am a proud patriot. And as a patriot, the Conservative campaign offends me at least as much as it offends me as a March of Progress Socialist. David tells us we need to fix this country, that it’s full of scroungers and immigrants and scofflaw youths. And it’s all Labour’s fault.

This, he says, is Broken Britain.

And he can fix it.

Britain isn’t Broken, David. And if it ain’t broke, we don’t need you to fix it.

I don’t look around and see a broken society. I see a wonderful nation full of wonderful, hard-working people. I see families going out of their way to give their children a chance at University and a better life, I see a diverse range of people coming together in a country world-renowned as a cultural boiling pot. I see the young campaigning and fighting for equality, justice and the greater good. I see them all laughing and joking and drinking together.

And it’s good.

But times are tough, we all know. And that’s why now, more than ever, the way forward is left.

A vote for Labour is a vote to take away some of the burden weighing on all these wonderful people’s shoulders. These are the real Britons. Not billionaires like Ashcroft who don’t live here or work here or contribute to our society.

If the Tories win, we lose, not Labour and not the Lib Dems.

Vote for Labour, A Future Fair For All.

Christmas Letter 2009

It’s that time again folks.

Yes, it’s the time of the year when, in lieu of sending Christmas cards (Because sitting and writing someone’s name then my name then someone’s name then my name over and over and over is the kind of thing which will eventually drive me over the edge and thus cause me to go on the psychopathic rampage which the majority of you are still expecting of me), I write out a long, winding look at the year that was and what lies ahead, with characteristic sarcasm and comical faux-hipness. Because I’m “like” “with it”. Er…”dawg”!

So then…To business!

Ah what a year it has been. For me, terrific. Wonderful things have happened over and over again (Green Day – the best band in the world seriously don’t even argue, turning 18, the computer I’m writing this on, Disneyland which is like heaven for me and of course a certain Mr. Jenson Button winning the World Championship).

But as with any year, 2009 has had it’s fair share of flaws. Yes, for every Barack Obama becoming President, there has been an unfortunate but inescapable Twilight Saga release. In the future, they will look back on years like this as the beginning of the zombie apocalypse which is still speeding on its way to destroying our world as we know it, presumably within the next 5 years.

For those of you about my age over here in the UK, this year has also probably begun your association with the most unspeakably horrific torture device known to man. Yes, I speak of UCAS, which dominates your life for months at a time stressing you out about filling in a form, getting Personal Statements & References written and all this as soon as humanly possible rush rush rush. Then it immediately turns into the most insufferable waiting game ever devised – it’s like an ironic punishment in hell, it taunts you for your previous desire to slow things down by going to the other extreme.

Cruel and unusual.

If you’re like me (To those very few of you, you have my sympathy) you mostly measure a year’s worth on the quality of the entertainment put out that year. On that front, New Moon aside, 2009 is a standout success. We’ve had brilliant movies like The Hangover, Role Models & Zombieland as well as amazing TV shows making their debuts (Such as FlashForward) or re-launching (The fantastic Scrubs Season 9 (Med School)).

In more good entertainment news, word reached us this year that Channel 4 will not be buying any more seasons of Big Brother, ending its run on the channel in 2010. Every reasonable person in the country is delighted by this news. In less welcome news, ITV (Continuing its downward spiral into being the most vulgar unappealingly cheap and tacky network on Television) has ordered more seasons of The X-Factor. Which means 2010 will be another year in which the Christmas Number 1 will go largely un-contested…

Eff you ITV. You ruin everything.

In the world of video games, Killzone 2 released this year and overshadowed all other First Person Shooters. Honestly can’t think of a single other significant one. None at all. Nope. Modern What 2? Never heard of it. It’s the biggest entertainment release of all time? Oh that Modern Warfare 2. Why didn’t you say so?

In more interesting video game news, The Beatles: Rock Band released this year, broadening the appeal of Rock Band-like games as well as of The Beatles’ superb music. As if Harmonix, makers of Rock Band, hadn’t done enough to make me love them, they recently announced that next year they will release another game. Green Day: Rock Band. Thereby immortalising my two favourite bands in their own games.

Less fortunate this year were those Activision guys. Tony Hawk: Ride is the punchline to every video game joke made from now until Project Natal releases.

On a more universal note, the economy has started to recover! That’s good!

But VAT in the UK is going back up. That’s bad.

But it’s not going up to 20%! That’s good!

But the Tories will probably put it up to 21% (That’s bad) as soon as they get in (That’s bad).

Potentially far worse news from the land of politics is that the BNP got into the European Parliament. Which is both a disgrace and nonsensical. How can a party who think anything and everyone from outside the UK is sub-human represent us in Europe? It’s a logical absurdity!

And on that note, we come to “Climategate”. I’m going to put this to rest once and for all: The world is getting warmer. We’re at least partly to blame through CO2 emissions. Get over it and help us start fixing it.

Jeez, is it that hard to stop burning things left and right?

So then, what lies ahead, in (As weirdos call it) The Year of Our Lord Two Thousand and Ten (Or as the hipsters call it “Twenty-Ten”)? Well how the hell should I know, I’m not psychic. I do however have some predictions for your amusement:

1) The Tories will win the General Election and ruin the country, but idiots will still claim things have improved.
2) A celebrity will die and the whole world will overreact.
3) Someone, somewhere, will have sex with somebody else. This will piss off a third party who will throw a hissy fit about it and/or go to the press.
4) A man will discover the Meaning of Life and start trying to tell people it. Nobody will listen.
5) Britain’s Got Talent will still suck.
6) The X-Factor will suck even more.
7) Twilight Saga: Eclipse will suck even more than James Cameron’s Avatar clearly does. Dan Berry will not notice due to his guy crush on Robert Pattinson/Taylor Lautner/Dan, seriously what the hell.
8) Kanye West will continue to be a douchebag.
9) Sarah Palin will, on at least 4 separate occasions in each case, fail to spell her own name or even the word “a” correctly.
10) I will write another Christmas letter.

Now, let’s see how my predictions form last year did:

1) Sky will stay blue (Correct!)
2) Music will continue to dominate culture (Correct!)
3) Economy will finally begin to rebound (Correct!)
4) Summer will be hot (Correct!)
5) Spring will suck just as much as ever (Correct!)
6) Someone, somewhere, will be inappropriately offended by something they know was not meant in that way – they will proceed to destroy someone’s career over it despite being aware they meant and caused no actual harm (At least half-correct!)

Wow! Maybe I am psychic! On that bombshell, I’m off to make a killing gambling on sporting events!

I hope you all have a Merry Christmas and of course a Happy New Year!

Yours,
Paul “Jensonb” Douglas

Estate of Emergency

CBC has a show called The Fifth Estate (Or, in their world, “the fifth estate”). It’s ostensibly an investigative show, roughly in the vein of the UK’s Dispatches or Panorama. Recently, the show aired this monstrosity. It is the single worst piece of journalism I have seen in quite some time. It is a textbook example of where media is evil.

As someone who loves to make and consume media of all types, it pains me when I see it being used for ill-deeds. To some, that sentence would conjure up images of government propaganda, to others it would connote “corrupting our nation’s youth with the values of people with more open minds than us”.

Few though would recognise a very real misuse of the media which occurs, to varying degrees, every day. I call it casual sensationalism. Casual sensationalism is a very special kind of lying, a unique way of mis-leading people which is impossible without the media.

Traditional sensationalism involves what is sometimes referred to as “superliminal” messages (A reference to an episode of The Simpsons). That is, very, very open statements of opinion proclaimed with an urgency of conviction and provocative rhetoric designed to encourage the audience to agree with the general message. Newspapers such as The Sun and The Daily Mail do this all the time, as does Fox News in the US when they run exposés.

Casual sensationalism is far more insidious and is in use across all outlets in all media. In casual sensationalism, the outlet does not make it obvious they have an agenda – often proclaiming the opposite (Fox News does this with much of its output). This is the biggest moral problem with casual sensationalism. This lack of honesty is used to fool untrained audiences into believing what they are seeing is news and not opinion.

But how is it done and how does it relate to Top Gun?

The most common trick is the “expert”. Media outlets often bring out an “expert” to back up a claim. This talking head then says a piece which reflects the editorial opinion, and then the conversation is done. The interviewer/moderator does not call this person out or question them – maybe only presenting the alternative viewpoint in order to allow the “expert” to dismiss it.

By bringing up the alternative viewpoint at all, the outlet makes itself appear unbiased. But pay attention to the framing of the questions. Compare it to the interview with the dissenting voice. These interviews are almost always later, and are tonally more aggressive than those withe “expert”. most would never notice this discrepancy.

Why? Because the outlet inserts sufficient screen time or column inches between hearing from the “expert” to enforce their claim as truth in the audience, so that by the time the dissenting voice is heard from, unsuspecting viewers are already being told he or she is wrong, no matter what they say.

In panel discussions, the gap between hearing from the two is not there. But rest assured, you always hear from the one the outlet agrees with first, and questions directed at the dissent are usually “response” questions – designed to make the dissenting opinion appear weak, on the defensive.

Then of course, there is the selective use of quotes, where only material which helps the outlet’s point is used. I think it’s pretty obvious what that does.

The Fifth Estate’s “Top Gun” does all of this and more. The presenter acts as if she is a concerned citizen, only looking out for our interests. But she never gives the people who are in favour of gaming a fair shot.

Whenever they cite a positive, or a flaw in her argument, she immediately puts them on the defensive, or is aggressive in her attempts to force the into proving her point (In one section, she badgers the interviewees, trying to force them to give a quote which supports her apparent belief that video games are immoral rot).

Not once does she question the parade of psychologists, therapists and concerned friends or family about their belief that games are at fault. She fires off questions which allow them to make their case, and spoke to them first. It’s classic “expert” interviewing – softball “make my point for me, you’re right” questions.

The dissenting voices? They are left to be under siege by aggressive “you’re wrong because of this, that and the other thing, how dare you think what you do” questions.

The impression an uninformed viewer would get is that:

A)All gamers have addictive personalities
B)Brandon Crisp’s death was more to do with video games than personal problems
C)The video game industry should be doing parents’ jobs for them
D)A majority of gamers are immoral and aggressive, and those who are not fall prey to the evil machinations of this multi-billion dollar brain-rotting empire
E)The report must be accurate because the kid’s family and game-playing friend seemed to be agreeing with it
F)Major League Gaming is irresponsible
G)This was not an isolated incident

None of these things are true. And yet, without prior knowledge of the events, the gaming community, games as a medium and media tricks in general, I might not have known this.

And therein lies the concern for me. This is not a show watched by people who are involved heavily in the gaming community. Rather, it is watched by the same kinds of people as are likely to allow it to create a moral panic.

It is dangerously irresponsible for a show with such an audience to be allowed to present such blatant falsehoods as fact for the purposes of spewing editorial drivel, without any dissenting opinion being given adequate coverage.

Top Gun is an utter disgrace. It is a disgrace to CBC (Who should not have allowed it to be paid for). It is a disgrace to Canada (Which is more open-minded and left-wing than this corrupt drivel reflects). It is a disgrace to television (Which gets a bad name every time rubbish like this is aired).

The show’s producers, directors and writer/presenter should be ashamed. But they probably aren’t and here’s the worst bit:

Neither are the thousands upon thousands of other producers, directors, writers and presenters guilty of this kind of thing the world over.

Christmas Letter 2008

Oh, I guess it’s that time of year again.

You probably think I mean Christmas, but in fact you are but half-correct, half I say! I am referring to the (As of this year) annual custom where I waste the time of my friends and family with a pointlessly and arguably too-long letter reflecting on the past year, which this year means we have a lot to cover, and with any luck we’ll get some hilarious snarky comments in along the way.

Huzzah!

Ah, but what is it about this year that is most memorable? After all, so much has hap…Yeah, alright, the economy went down the proverbial crapper, nay the literary crapper. And that’s kind of a bummer. Money’s, like, useful. It can be exchanged for goods and services. And I don’t know about you, but I for one like goods and services. They’re great! But you know…Whatever. There’s more than one way to have a party!

Ignoring the fact that I had no idea where I was going with that metaphor when I wrote it, I shall move onto some good news. Bush is gone in a month. Obama is in in a month. For us Brits, that means we can finally stop hating the country which gives us such wonderful gifts as The Simpsons, Heroes, The Killers and Katy Perry.

Oh hey, speaking of music, Axl Rose (We get it Axl, it’s an anagram of an impure act. It’s not funny any more dude, get a real name) finally got around to releasing his album “Chinese Democracy”, the most expensive and also inappropriately attributed album ever recorded. I mean, honestly, “Guns ‘n’ Roses”? There’s more members of Guns ‘n’ Roses in Velvet Revolver! Perhaps Mr. Rose has difficulty moving on. So while your enjoying your wonderful Christmas, shed a tear for a washed-up old rock star whose latest record is rubbish and who can’t seem to move on I mean seriously what the hell get over it.

Ahem. Got a bit carried away there. Anywho, in other entertainment news, The Dark Knight came out, meaning we have been given something unheard of since before Tim Burton got kicked off the project: A good Batman sequel. If you don’t know what I’m getting at, go watch Batman & Robin, a movie so bad its star will personally reimburse you the cost of admission on request.

So I guess, actually, don’t watch it.

Now then, let us not forget that we almost did not get to see this Christmas. It seems a group of friendly nutcases near Geneva decided to build and activate the first Halo ri…I mean, the Large Hadron Collider. A device with potentially catastrophic consequences. Yes, our friends in Switzerland chose to risk sucking us all into a Black Hole. But the risk of being condensed to a singularity isn’t even the worst bit. We’d have had to die in Switzerland…That’s so boring! They’re neutrals! It’s neither a hateable place or one you’d love! Never mind though, because we seem to have escaped the worst of it.

Huzzah!

In fact, some people are trying to save the world to make up for it! That and, you know, white liberal guilt. Yes, Bill Gates has decided to dedicate himself to philanthropy. Damn does that man want a Nobel or what? Well whatever, good luck to him. Lot these days makes you think the world’s headed downhill, good work should be applauded. So, uh, yeah. Woo for the world’s charity even in what’s tastefully not being called a Depression.

But it is.

But we don’t call it that.

Cos it seems less dramatic if we call it a “Crunch”.

Or a “downturn”.

It’s like how we don’t call it Global Warming or the Melting of the Polar Ice Caps, we call it “Climate Change”.

But I digress. Man has it been a fast year or what? I swear it was only a matter of weeks ago I was gearing up for GCSE exams, and yet it was many months ago. I’ve long since passed and joined the madhouse that is Sixth Form and yet, it still seems like no time has passed at all. Nevertheless, so much has happened it’s hard to remember most of it.

Hmm…Oh, I got a Mac. Which is nice…Let’s see…Important things we haven’t covered yet…Um…I hear Canadia has had its government shut down by their Prime Minister. Something about protecting his job and right-wing policies from the left-wing will of the people. So, uh, sucks to be them I s’pose…Oh, speaking of Governance, Mr. Brown saw fit to drop our VAT! Yes, I know it’s only till the end of 2009, still nice though. Bloody Tories inflated it so much. Honestly. Anywho, props to Mr. Brown for that. He is good godammit. Stop reading the Red Tops! These are the same journalists who tell you which public figure is involved in which sex scandal!

I mean, what the heck kind of political knowledge can they have if that is what became of their lives.

Oh, hang on though, speaking of sex scandals, Screws of the World totally got Max Mosley. Couldn’t have happened to a nicer bloke.

Hmm, I was just looking over the list of Christmas Number One contenders…I mean…Wow. It’s like actual musicians don’t even I want to beat X Factor phonies any more. Where are the proper Christmas-themed songs? I mean, there’s a few there, but they’re mostly covers and/or likely to be the same dreary pseudo-joyous “Christmas” junk we’ve had to make do with for nearly two decades now!

Someone release a new Merry Xmas Everybody, please! A proper, 21st Century Christmas rocker.

And while we’re at it, let’s get rid of the X Factor. The era of manufactured music must end! Open your ey…EARS people!

Erm, excuse me. Got a bit carried away there. So, what will the new year bring us? Well, if I knew that, I would be aiming to make a killing at the Bookies and on the Stock Market (They’re having their 35 Years-ly Blowout Sale by the way!). So since I have no idea, I can but guess…Let’s see…Predictions and aims for the new year…2009…Two Thousand and Nine…Hmmm…

Sky will stay blue; music will continue to dominate culture; the economy will finally begin to rebound; summer will be hot; spring will suck just as much as ever and someone, somewhere, will be inappropriately offended by something they know was not meant in that way – they will proceed to destroy someone’s career over it despite being aware they meant and caused no actual harm.

Yeah, I guess most of those are cop outs, the summer one’s just wishful thinking. Yes, you read that right. So then, aims…

Hmm…Seems like I should be more decisive and also stop, you know, thinking in text…I mean, it’s text. If I need to think of something why don’t I just stop writing until I have? I mean, the way I’m doing it’s just weird, right? Well, anyway, those and probably something about expressing love. That sort of thing always goes down well. So, yeah. Hmm, actually that reminds me of something…

Yes, I’ve checked. Mistletoe’s white things are, indeed, berries. Also it’s a poisonous parasite.

We humans chose some odd symbols for love.

Anyway, I’ve kept you long enough. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year everyone!

Yours,
Paul “Jensonb” Douglas

PS: I just noticed this letter’s almost twice as long as the first one.

PPS: I want to make it clear, that I think that is all the way awesome.

PPPS: So there.

Out Of Many, One

On November the 4th, the United States of America will be electing a new President. They will be deciding who controls the House of Representatives and who controls the Senate. All of these are important decisions, but the former is even more important as it is not just important for the American people, but for the world.

For 8 years, America has been ruled by George W. Bush. And for 8 years, the world has grown steadily more out of love with the USA. From the heady days of Clinton, still the most popular President amongst non-Americans, to the single least popular President (At home or abroad) in history, it’s quite a come down.

Non-Americans never liked Bush. Europeans dislike him because he’s too right wing for instance. The man didn’t even win the election fair and square, it’s very likely Al Gore (Who was certainly the more qualified candidate) had enough votes to win. But life’s not simple, so he went home a loser (Before bouncing back as an environmental icon unlike any other in history).

He swept through the 2004 election on a Magic Carpet of American prejudice (Colourfully called “values”) and War on Terror-themed propaganda, shamelessly attacking his (Admittedly) weak opponent John Kerry. Kerry may have been a weak Democrat, but he would have been twice the President Bush has been and the cheek a draft-dodger like Bush has questioning Mr. Kerry’s political record is simply indescribable.

2 years ago, the Democrats got back in the game. They swept to power in the House and the Senate on a tidal wave of anti-Bush backlash. And who can blame the Americans for regretting their choice of leader? Bush has spent 4 years killing the economy, eroding civil liberties and ignoring national crises. He’s embarrassed the entire country, reducing what should be the greatest democracy in the world to an international punch-line.

Well, on November 4th, the American people have a final decision to make. They have a choice between two things. One the one hand, they can finish what they started 2 years ago, fix their problems at home and restore their standing on the world stage. On the other hand, they can finish President Bush’s hack-job.

The first choice, the only choice, is Barack Obama. Mr. Obama represents all that America pertains to stand for. He is inclusionary, smart & likable, he lived the “American Dream”. His popularity on the world stage rivals Clinton, rivals Kennedy. He gets it. Mr. Obama has shown he knows what’s ailing the US at home, and he’s shown he knows what must be done to restore America’s popularity in the world.

The bottom of the Democratic ticket too is a strong, good choice. Joe Biden is truly in tune with the “working man” of America. He’s a nice guy and he knows his stuff. More importantly, he is fit to lead should the unthinkable happen. Joe Biden is one of the smartest VP picks in a long time.

The second choice? Not a choice at all. A dangerous and damaging option, is Republican ticket McCain/Palin. John McCain has betrayed everything he has ever stood for. He used to be a passably acceptable moderate Republican, but has sold his soul to become…Another Bush.

The Republican party may wish to continue on the dark path set up by Reagan all those years ago, but Reagan was of his time. Things have changed, and we do not need another Bush. McCain has demonstrated he will continue the failed social and economic policies of George Bush. he has demonstrated he will use the same foreign policy as George W. Bush. he has pent 2 years distancing himself from George W. Bush. But throughout that time, he has shown he is now a veritable Bush clone.

And the kicker? He agreed with Bush more than 90% of the time, including on all the issues that really matter.

Perhaps worse, is Sarah Palin. Palin is a fool. She is, in fact, worse than that. She has every capacity to be incredibly intelligent. She simply chooses not to be. She represents Bushism at its worst. She is a divisive, arrogant liar and unfit to lead a dance recital.

Why is a Governor of Alaska who has supported the treasonous secessionism rampant in that state being allowed to run for Vice President of the United States? The RNC has decided their slogans are “Country First” and “The Change you deserve”.

Palin is married to a former member of the Alaskan Secessionist Party. Palin warmly welcomed that party to their conference this year. Their slogan is “Alaska First, Alaska Always”. Which is it Sarah? America or Alaska? VP or Secessionist?

Palin and McCain are Bush and Cheney warmed over. Apparently the RNC thinks it’s funny. “The Change America Deserves” is, apparently, no change at all. Once again, the Republicans have anointed themselves America’s only valid opinion and decided to try and convince everyone else it’s their opinion too.

Well I sense the Change we Need. Hope.

Barack Obama represents and embodies the ideals and aspirations of so many people like nobody has in a long time.

E pluribus unum. Out of Many, One.

I love America. I love what it stands for and I love much of what it produces. I love the way its government is structured, even the way its road signs look. It’s not that I dislike the UK, and more that the US represents so many of my beliefs. Like in true freedom. The American Dream. And so much more.

It’s been painful to watch what became of the country under Bush. And I confess, he had me fooled too. At first. But as I watched, the more I realised he was wrong. His is not an America I can get behind.

And then, from nowhere, Blessing. Barack. Obama represents the kind of aspirational leader I feared I would never live to see. He appeals to me in the same way Kennedy does. And his policies, his attitude, his ideals…He represents all that I love about America.

And so whilst it may seem to you like I have no stake in this election, you’re wrong. And in case you hadn’t guessed…

No way. No how. No McCain.
I support Barack Obama for President.