Tuesday, 18 November 2008

Politics - I Wish It Were Really All Over

First of all I would like to congratulate Barack Obama for winning the U.S. Presidential election and I would also like to congratulate the American people for doing the right thing this time.

Now, finally, it is all over and there is nobody in the world happier than I am. I was in Hong Kong when the result was announced and it was all over every single TV channel out there. Barack Obama’s face was plastered over every newspaper, every single TV screen and there were even pictures of him in the street. Why should any Hong Kong residents care?

At least now I can now settle in front of the TV and watch news that doesn’t include the media circus that has surrounded this election for the past year. I will never see the face of Joe the Plumber again. I don’t even care who the man is. I will no longer have to hear Barack Obama and John McCain telling me that America is the greatest country on the planet. I was at the point where I was going to throw my bowl of cereal at the TV if I heard the phrase “God Bless America” again.

Of course, we all have to have elections. There is one due in the UK in 2010. The difference is that we will only have to endure the endless and relentless canvassing for a month or so. We will know who the candidates will be and we will have to endure lie after lie from each of them as they try to worm their way into Number 10. I will hate it and I will be sick of it by the end. But you can guarantee that there will be no rallies and no Hollywood style razzamatazz (can you imagine Gordon Brown trying to be a messiah to a sceptical UK audience?). We will not hear David Cameron, Gordon Brown or Nick Clegg refer to Britain as the best country on earth or that God should somehow single out our islands in preference to any other country. In fact, if one of the leaders finished off his rousing speech with “Britain is the greatest country on earth. God bless Great Britain”, it would almost certainly result in most of us voting for one of the other two guys.

I will hate our election in 2010. I will almost certainly write vitriolic posts about how awful the candidates are. I rant about them now. I yell “liar” at the TV whenever they appear. I scream “Just answer the bloody question, you arse” when an interviewer asks a question and they evade the point like an eel covered in oil. Below is an example of a politician, in this case Michael Howard, not answering the simple question - "Did you threaten to overrule him?":

A simple “yes” or “no” would have sufficed. And how about this from Boris Johnson (don’t get me started on this buffoon), the current Mayor of London?

It makes me wonder why we vote for any of these people.

So, the US election is all over and we have around a year or so to wait until it’s our turn. I have read numerous blogs from Americans supporting one candidate or the other and now, hopefully, many of the authors of those blogs will settle down and write posts about something else. it may take a while - those bloggers who love Obama are gloating while those who hate him are crying on their keyboards. I'm not a fan of posts or blogs that dwell on politics but I love to read posts about political gaffes so I will continue to pursue such nuggets of satire relentlessly. There is nothing better than a politician, of any party or nationality, that makes a huge and hilarious mistake.

I will finish with more from our very own Boris Johnson, a man who is lampooned mercilessly by satirists here in the UK. Americans have George W Bush, we have Boris Johnson, the Conservative mayor of London and touted, by some crazy people, as a future Prime Minister - I swear I will leave the UK if that ever happens.

Here are some of his quotes:

(On using a mobile phone while driving) - "I don't believe that is necessarily any more dangerous than the many other risky things that people do with their free hands while driving - nose-picking, reading the paper, studying the A-Z, beating the children, and so on."

(On ever becoming Prime Minister) - "My chances of being PM are about as good as the chances of finding Elvis on Mars, or my being reincarnated as an olive."

(On being sacked) - "My friends, as I have discovered myself, there are no disasters, only opportunities. And, indeed, opportunities for fresh disasters."

(On voting Conservative – his party) - "Voting Tory will cause your wife to have bigger breasts and increase your chances of owning a BMW M3."

(On drugs) - "I think I was once given cocaine but I sneezed so it didn't go up my nose. In fact, it may have been icing sugar."

(More on drugs) - “I can't remember what my line on drugs is. What's my line on drugs?”

(On Portsmouth) - "Too full of drugs, obesity, underachievement and Labour MPs."

“Look, the point is ... er, what is the point? It is a tough job but somebody has got to do it.”

And finally, here is what the Governer of California, Arnold Schwarzenegger - the Terminator himself - thinks of bumbling Boris.

I’m sure he was elected Mayor of London as a joke. If the population of London can elect this idiot as mayor then there is no hope. Thank heavens I live in Manchester.

That’s why I despair when it comes to politics. I really do wish that we didn't have to endure this nonsense. I will not post on politics again until 2010 – unless George W Bush, Sarah Palin or Boris Johnson make any other gaffes of course, in which case I shall enjoy telling the world.


Pia K said...

I contemplated leaving a brilliant and insightful comment here, I've decided to settle with this - hear, hear!

Plastic Mancunian said...

Thanks Pia.

I'm glad I'm not alone.




Anonymous said...

I'm guessing that our elections are aired over there because whoever wins has an effect on the world? Don't you have any other stations in Britain that broadcast other TV programs other than the US election?

In any event, Americans got it right in 2000 as well because it was Al Gore who won the popular vote. We have an electoral system in the US. We are not a democracy, but a constitutional republic. Actually, Russia has a more direct voting system than we do.

Another reason why I think the American elections are so long and drawn out is because we have a more direct system compared to say Canada and Britain. Over where you live, you choose the MPs that choose the PMs. In effect, you pretty much don't have much control.

Americans have more power, but not the amount of power that the BBC would lead untold Europeans to believe.

Every US candidate must cater to both the Right and the Left. They cater to the Right with all that nationalist crap and then this year they catered to the Left by keeping Bush completely out of the scene or let's just say, McCain did not want to be connected to Bush in any way, shape or form. The McCain campaign was basically all about, "I am not another Bush - I promise!"

In my opinion, I feel that America is one of the most self-critical nations around. If you are interested, you may want to read this.

It is quite interesting as your media shows ONLY our jingoistic side, but our media bashes us mercilessly on a daily basis on a multitude of networks.

I was speaking to a British friend of mine on Facebook the other day and I was surprised that he wasn't aware that American comics and TV didn't bash our own people, stars, and political figures. So much of what happens in the states doesn't reach your end of the pond, sadly. But hey, bad news sells... It does over here too. Only difference is that the bad news we watch over here is about OURSELVES.

Plastic Mancunian said...

Thanks for your fascinating comment, Virgomonkey.

Our TV stations covered the US election but not all the time - owever it was on all of the news programmes. Whenever I wanted to see what was happening in the world, on the BBC, ITV or any other news coverage, it was high on the agenda a lot of the time.

And you are probably right - we only see the jingoistic side.

All very interesting stuff.

Thanks again