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Swine Magazine on the Campaign Trail (in search of the British Obama)
By Mike Cotgreave
Like many political junkies I've been hooked on the US presidential elections. For a start it's much more interesting and entertaining than the uninspiring, dull-as-ditchwater chirade that passes for the politics in this country.
Before the race to the White House began, a face-off between Hillary Clinton and Rudi Giuliani looked like a foregone conclusion. What we ended up with is the Vietnam war hero versus the black son of a Kenyan goat farmer with one of the least American sounding names in US politics - and the best bit is: it looks like Barack Hussein Obama is going to win.
Obamania is everywhere. Recent global polls have shown overwhelming support outside the USA for him as the next leader of the Free World. Even the Conservative Party has jumped on the 'Hope' and 'Change' bandwagons, deploying Obama-esque rhetoric at their annual conference.
In the future, when his links to the Nation of Islam or the Black Panther Party have been revealed, we might look back on our enthusiasm with a hint of regret. Until that time, however, Obama appears to be the perfect antidote to the fear, greed, insanity and necropolitics that have characterised the reign of George Walker Bush.
As Bob Dylan has said, Obama is "redefining politics from the ground up".
There's an old saying that if America sneezes, the rest of the world catches a cold. Let's hope, if Obama wins on November 4th, the reverse is true and we Brits begin to assess the health of our own democracy and stop allowing vacuous dullards to dominate our political life.
So, who is our Obama? In no particular order...
Lembit Opik - Stargazing Lib Dem MP, mad as a bag of frogs whilst also being one of the sanest people in politics. Regularly puts in decent performances of BBC1's Question Time and once dumped TV weather presenter Sian Lloyd for a Cheeky Girl. 6/10
Adrian Chiles - He's no Ray Stubbs, but the presenter of Match of the Day 2 and the One Show has got the common touch, although his support for West Brom raises serious questions about his judgement. He also recently lost about 15 stone in weight. Well done, Adrian. 5/10
Caroline Lucas - MEP and leader of the Green Party. Caroline regularly wins awards for political excellence. A few decades ago the Green Party's ideas were considered radical and on the fringe. Maybe if we'd listened to them back then we might not be forking out a fortune to the energy companies and looking at a realistic prospect of an ecological apocalypse. 8/10
Steve Coogan - His recent stint at the Echo Arena was garbage, but his comic creation Alan Partridge still talks more sense than anyone else in the contemporary political sphere. "Smell my cheese!". 7/10
Harold Wilson - Former Labour prime minister. Pros: A political contemporary of John F Kennedy. Cons: Dead. 6.5/10
Cheryl Cole - Forget Cowell, Cheryl is the keystone of the X Factor, which regularly attracts more young voters than your average general election. She's down to earth and has more sex appeal than Sarah Palin (and probably more foreign policy experience as well). 8/10
Margaret Thatcher - Britain's most controversial and only female PM. OK, so she stopped schoolkids getting free milk, put three million people on the dole, destroyed British manufacturing, introduced the poll tax and was the most unpopular prime minister in history until the Falklands War came along. But let's face it, she had more balls than any of the current party leaders. 9/10
Lesbian Elvis - Leader of the Church of the Militant Elvis Party (aka the Miltant Elvis Anti-Tesco Popular Front). The party's manifesto in the recent Haltemprice and Howden by-election included a pledge to "stop Ayatollah Brown terrorising Magna Carta, single mothers and the disabled". Check them out at lordbiro.wordpress.com 8.5/10
Brian Reade - The acerbic, left-wing Daily Mirror columnist has his finger on the pulse of the nation and features Swine Magazine on his radio show - top man. Past appearances on Points of View demonstrate he can articulate the most pressing issues of our time. He's also no crypto-Labour stooge like many of his colleagues at the Mirror. 8/10
Muhammed Al Fayed - Since the death/murder of his son Dodi and Princess Di, Egyptian millionaire Al Fayed has carved a niche for himself as an eccentric, conspiracy theorist loon. However, you can't knock his conviction, and his performance on the Ali G show is still one of the best moments in British TV history. 7/10
David Icke - David believes the world is run by totalitarian lizard creatures from the constellation Draco. Enough said. 3/10
Jamie Oliver - You heard the man. Stop stuffing your face with chips and pies, fatty! 4/10
Morrissey - A true English genius, although nobody's quite sure how ironic National Front Disco was actually meant to be. 7/10
Adam Rickitt - Former Coronation Street actor, singer and model. Adam has previously been touted as a potential Conservative parliamentary candidate, but couldn't find a seat to stand in and proved to be out of his depth during an appearance on Question Time. Since then, he's pursued his acting career in New Zealand and has been arrested for stealing a block of cheese and a bottle of HP sauce. 0/10
Rusty Lee - Larger than life, constantly laughing TV chef. Rusty stood as a candidate for UKIP in 2005. She received 1,074 votes and can also do a lovely casserole. 7/10
And the winner is...Margaret Hilda Thatcher! (pictured below with weird Israeli spoon-bender Uri Geller).
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