Friday, October 03, 2008

Sarah Palin murders the English language

There are two theories here.

One is that she isn't verbally articulate in that her command of vocabulary and expression (fluent use of English constructions) and can't construct moderately complex sentences 'on the hoof'. She just isn't good at speaking.

The other theory is that she can't express herself because she hasn't gained the content to talk fluently about.

She has been a good debater in past campaigns in Alaska - she just hasn't grappled with the complexities of policy.

The reason can be seen in videos of her church. She's a born again Christian with certainty and faith. She doesn't need to know about things because she prays and reads the Bible and has God behind her.

So I think her extreme lack of fluency is because she's having to come to terms with policy issues she's never thought about before, while trying consciously to make sure that she doesn't contradict McCain (she probably doesn't known the full suite of his policy positions and their evolution and context).

The upshpot is she isn't ready and that her extreme faith based politics are a significant hurdle to learning.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Party Conferences

I didn't pick up much from the LibDems, though Vince Cable gave a great speech. I didn't rate Nick Clegg much though.

I was at the Labour Conference as delegate for LGBT Labour as an affiliated socialist society, mainly to move a rules debate to add gender identity to the rule book.

The mood of the Conference was best described as 'grisly'. I think that, with some remove, it did its job of stabilising the government (inspite of the bizarre story about Ruth Kelly leaving the government being 'released' at 3am after Gordon Brown's speech).

Brown is much safer in his job now. First because he gave a good and well received speech and also because David Miliband got photographed holding a banana. So things are much calmer - no doubt there'll be trouble ahead, but for now things are a bit more stable.

Not the least of my worries was to work out the procedural rules of moving a rule change. This was not as straightforward as one might think if you're not a Party Conference afficianado. Anyway the rule change was all but unanimously passed, making Labour the only one of the three main political parties to explicitly include gender identity.

In addition the National Policy Forum Report contained several important areas of commitment to LGBT equality (health, education, international issues) and commitment to progress the Equality Bill.

The Tories' Conference is now well underway. I cannot believe how insubstantial and shallow Conservative responses to the current dificutlies that is making Gordon Brown look competent and effective by comparison - though I am biased.

Back to blogging .....

After a prolonged summer break (according to my view summer really ends after the close of the Labour Party Conference) I thought I'd get back to blogging.

Not much has happened in the intervening period - Western capitalism has been teetering on the edge of collapse, Gordon Brown has faced a rebellion in the Parliamentary Party (if by no more than a handful of MP's), the American Conventions happened (the highlight for me was the wonderful moment of the roll call at the Democratic Convention - especially the moment that the Massachusetts delegation profiled their commitment as the first State to allow same sex marriage), McCain unleashed the phenomena that is Sarah Pailin upon the world (a persona surely beyond parody), Russia invaded Georgia, more banks failing or getting nationalised (so much for Thatcherite free markets), South Africa lost its President while Zimbabwe has gained the beginnings of a power share deal.

So, not much has happened.

In one sense the world has speeded up so that events are happening too fast for blogging and in another we're slowing down - revisiting the hubris of past decades.

Now some of the dust is settling around us we can start to work out what kind of world we're living in.