Advertisements

Peter Reynolds

The life and times of Peter Reynolds

Posts Tagged ‘broad sunlit uplands

Obama From Britain

with 15 comments

After Bush, to my knowledge, the worst US President ever, I was excited about the prospect of Hilary Clinton in the White House.  The election of Barack Obama was simply stunning.  For me, it rejuvenated the whole idea of America – the noble principles of the  Constitution, the idea that anyone can rise to the very top based on merit alone.  It updated that dream by transcending race, prejudice and history.

Ordinary And Extraordinary

As it happened, I  watched his inauguration with my parents.   I  wept at Obama’s words, at the huge symbolism of his achievement, at Jesse Jackson’s overwhelming moment.  My Mum & Dad said that it was like Kennedy was for their generation – the sense of new hope and optimism.  The same idea that makes me think of Churchill’s “broad sunlit uplands”.

So what’s going on now?  I ‘m sure I don’t understand a lot about American politics.  I can only see it from my perspective.  That means I get most of my news from the BBC.  I balance that with a daily trawl through the blogs and online newspapers on the issues that interest me.

In some ways I think the BBC is more British than Britain.  In fact, I trust the BBC more than I trust any politician.  Its standards and independence preserve our national integrity better than any political leader.

Going online gives me a broader view, often composed of ridiculous extremes as well as mainstream media.  There are so many highly literate, super clever bloggers who are completely deluded and beyond any reason.  Going online provides an overall summary of all different points of view and sources of information.

I think Obama is a fundamentally decent man.  There is a coterie of bloggers who believe he is a Chicago politician just the same as when Al Capone was in town.  I think he is bigger than that.

There is also a sisterhood (men and women) of Democrats, bitter supporters of Hilary, who are determined to undermine him.  Republicans say he is un-American and claim that he won the election through fraud.

I still have faith in the man.   In the horribly murky world of American politics I don’t think he would have risen to the top unless he was very special.  I detect authenticity.

The oil spill has been his greatest challenge. I feel that when he speaks for himself, from his heart, he speaks the truth.  When he is confused and manipulated by those around him he fails.  Many will say I am naive but how can anyone triumph without support?  We need leaders who can inspire, who can make us believe in them.

From the very beginning Obama has “extended the hand of friendship” towards Iran but it becomes clearer every day now that the current regime must be condemned without reservation.   He has stood up against Israel better than his predecessors and in the overall moral balance that was well overdue.  I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt on the attempted kidnapping of Gary Mckinnon  It’s probably not high enough in his priorities to have had his proper consideration yet.

No one was more critical of Gordon Brown and his foolhardy, self-serving government than me but the way that some Americans criticise their leader horrifies me.  Some of the conspiracy theories and charges levelled against Obama are worse than those against Hitler or Mengele.  There are are so many complete nutters in America I really do wonder what they put in the water.

After re-consideration, from my British perspective, I still have faith in this extraordinary man.  I urge him to continue to have the courage of his convictions.  I wish he could put aside short term political considerations.  I think, almost whatever happens,  he will win a second term so he can afford to look at least six years in advance and ignore his critics.  I still believe in him.

Advertisements

Nick Clegg – The Boy’s Own Politician

with 2 comments

"Is it a bird? Is it a plane?"

It’s a film script, a comicbook cartoon, a dazzling adventure story.  It lifts the spirit and refreshes the soul.  It’s a politician you can believe in!  It’s Nick Clegg!

I hope so.  I really, really do.  I hope I am living through a huge moment in history when two bright, inspirational leaders take the helm of HMS Great Britain and steer us through the storm to calm waters and the broad sunlit uplands beyond.

Nick Clegg’s speech today was as inspirational as they come.  If history views him kindly then this speech will rank with Churchill, Disraeli, Martin Luther King, Obama.   He deserves our trust.  If he has got it wrong or can’t deliver there will be plenty of time for recriminations and to return to dull cynicism.

For now,  let us believe.

An Obama Of Change

leave a comment »

What extraordinary times.  An Obama of change.  For my father, myself and my sons, across three generations, British politics has never been through such drama.

Everything now remains to be seen but these are the “broad, sunlit uplands”.  I think it is crucial that we have faith in the good intent of the government.  A spirit of optimism, trust and co-operation has characterised these last few days.  Let’s hope it continues.

Now the work begins.

Written by Peter Reynolds

May 12, 2010 at 11:58 am