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By Phil Thornton
Now that all the ballyhoo has diminished, the cold harsh reality of what faces ‘The First Black President Of America’ ™ has sunk in. Put simply; the myth of the free market and so-called ‘monetarism’ has been exposed for the con-trick it was and always has been. There’s NEVER been ‘free’ trade and sticking ‘ism’ on the end of money doesn’t make it a science. Obama has a lot of clearing up to do both internally and externally. In that respect the similarities with Blair when he first came to power are apparent. With hindsight it was better that Labour lost the 1992 election as that allowed the Tory regime to really implode and lead to a decade of Labour landslides instead of having to forge coalitions with LibDems and others. OK, in the end the timidity and cowardice of New Labour didn’t amount to anything truly radical (half arsed devolution and a so-low-what’s-the-point minimum wage is their legacy) but atleast they had the OPPORTUNITY if not the conviction.
So the Democrats defeat in 2003 allowed Bush’s Neo-Con fundamentalism to collapse on itself and allowed Obama to sweep Republicans from power in the senate and house of representatives. Let’s hope he learns the lessons of Blair’s dismal first term conservatism and does all the controversial things within the first few years. People’s memories are short and he only has two terms in which to transform America from a despised international bully and bankrupt economic basket case. In the current ‘downturn’ (it’s NOT a recession never mind a ‘depression’ OK?) anything is possible. If that Puritanical prick Brown had any shred of dignity, he’d have re-nationalised everything Thatcher and her cronies privatized during the 80s and 90s but ofcourse, just like Blair, he’s got his eye on lucrative consultancies and board memberships once his tenure as PM is over.
Obama sees the hypocrisy in bailing out failing banks and car manufacturers to the tune of billions whilst millions of his fellow African Americans live in abject poverty. But, don’t believe the hype, because Obama is about as working class as Blair. Both are the product of privileged education and whilst claiming to represent the interests of the common man know only too well that their chums in the boardrooms expect some return on ‘their’ investment.
Will BHO be another JFK? Certainly the sense of optimism and pride amongst Americans mirrors Kennedy’s first flush of office (how would I know I wasn’t even born?) yet just as Jack had everyone from the mafia to the FBI competing for a slice of him, so Obama has to slice himself very thin to please everyone; the first time ghetto voters who’ve invested everything in him, the white middle class voters who’ve been persuaded to ditch their usual prejudices and most importantly the WASP establishment and right wing media who can make or break him. As Blair failed to realize, these people will always be against you no matter how much you try to appease them, so forget all this One Nation Let’s Live Together bullshit and get the nasty stuff done early.
Good luck Barrack, you’re gonna need it.
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