Friday, January 23, 2009

The Obama effect...

So I was watching 'This Week' on BBC 1 last night, for reasons best know to myself. They started off with the usual 'we're all going to be eating our own knee caps' economy stories. This always amuses me - Michael Portaloo, Dianne Abbott and Andrew Neil - all privately educated and people of great personal wealth trying to convince us all about how worried they are at our approaching doom. Desparately trying to act like they wouldn't be riding down peasants for sport given the opportunity.

Anyway, I digress. After the disingenuous fear mongering came the Obama section..... actually as a side point..... have you noticed how there is only ever 2 pieces of news at any given time? It's nice of the national media to tell us what's important, all of that thinking for myself after objective reporting was making my brain sweat.

Sorry, that's the enws, this is a politics show called 'This Week' so I think we can fairly say that the Obama inauguration should rank fairly highly. So what do they do to talk about this point? They do what every news/opinion/ 2 bit broadcaster int he world did. They got a black guy to tell us how he feels.

The said guy in question is Kwame Kwei-Armah, a particularly talented playwright and half decent actor. I confess, I wasn't expecting much and he did talk utter gibberish for much of the time. I think perhaps he had soemthing when he was discussing role models, but I don't actually know. Unfortunately he focussed most of his attention on how we could follow America's example and elect a Priminister from a similar background to Barack (as he started referring to the leader of the free world). This of course is utter garbage.

Don't get me wrong, it's entirely feasible, one would hope entirely likely that we will one day soon elect a not white person into the office of Priminister. What will not happen is someone of Barack Obama's background getting to that, or any other illustrious position (such as London Mayor which was Kwame's 'first step' suggestion). Why? Because this is Britain and the game we play is Party Politics.

In order to get elected as Priminister, you have to rise in the Party, and this is not done on merit. This is based on who you are, who you know and where you went to school. There are any number of difficulties and vagaries of traversing these ridiculous ropes, and ultimately the guy that comes out the end of the process is a subtle variation on the last one.

So, a privately educated, well spoken, privately wealthy and well connected non-white person could get assimilated into the laservative party and get elected Priminister, but he'll be the same as the white guy he just replaced. It's a crying shame but it's true.

That, non-rant tomorrow I promise!

1 comment:

Olivia said...

True, Britain is still cripplingly classist. How Maggie got in as a greengrocer's daughter, from oop north no less, is beyond me - unless they made that up...

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