Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Obama's oratory

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Loved Obama's re-election speech and am really pleased that he won (and very relieved that Mitt Romney didn't!). My favourite part is this, from about nineteen minutes in, as he is coming towards the end...

'...I believe we can keep the promise of our founders, the idea that if you're willing to work hard, it doesn't matter who you are or where you come from or what you look like or where you love. It doesn't matter whether you're black or white or Hispanic or Asian or Native American or young or old or rich or poor, able, disabled, gay or straight, you can make it here in America if you're willing to try.

I believe we can seize this future together because we are not as divided as our politics suggests. We're not as cynical as the pundits believe. We are greater than the sum of our individual ambitions, and we remain more than a collection of red states and blue states...' 

Tony for tribalism?

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Now that we are to have a Mayor I agree with actor Tony Robinson’s description of who/what is required, with its emphasis on personality, vision, skills, focus and understanding. He said,

‘...It needs one person with personality and vision to be able to push through the kind of things we have seen fall by the wayside time and time intensely complex job to be the elected mayor which needs someone with a high level of skills...they will be hacking through the jungle with a machete rather than walking a well-worn path – that means they will need an enormous amount of focus and understanding ...’ (more here)
Where he is completely wrong is in thinking that a tribal party political person - such as his favoured candidate Labour’s Marvin Rees or for that matter the Conservative or Lib Dem candidate - is suitable to do the job. So, “Baldrick, you wouldn't see a subtle plan if it painted itself purple and danced naked on top of a harpsichord, singing "Subtle plans are here again!" (Blackadder, '88)

For me what Tony says is a great arguement for open, inclusive, more independent-minded candidates for Mayor, such as the Greens Daniella Radice (currently running ahead of the Lib Dems in fourth place on first preferences and first place on second preferences, see here) and Bristol1st George Ferguson (currently in second place on first preferences but who can win by gathering sufficient second preferences).

Reality vs Rogers

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Bristol Lib Dem mayoral election spin (some might say lying) says 'Dr Jon Rogers is quickly emerging as the only serious challenger to Labour' in their latest leaflet, rather deceptively presented in a newspaper style entitled 'City News: Community News for Bristolians'. The spin goes on, saying 'Dr Rogers odds to be Mayor have rocketed reaching a high of 3/1 and second favourite to Labour'. It says that the Conservatives are out of the race and refers to a 'Jon Rogers surge..' describing how many Conservative voters are turning to the Lib Dems. It says the independent vote is split and many voters may turn away from Bristol 1st's  George Ferguson.

The reality is completely opposite to the spin, as the latest survey of voter intentions shows. Jon Rogers is still saying (here'any of the next 4 candidates could still overtake him [Rees] on a combination of first and second preferences' but the Lib Dem is not even in third place let alone second place on first preference votes! There are many undecided but even so this report says 'Labour's Marvin Rees...clear favourite, with 21 per cent. But this is nowhere near the 50 per cent required to prevent the election race going to a second round.The second and third favourites on first choice votes were George Ferguson (Bristol 1st) with nine per cent and Geoff Gollop (Conservative) with seven per cent'. The Greens Daniella Radice is in joint fourth and may be set to beat the Lib Dems in the way that Green Jenny Jones did in the last London mayoral elections.