Friday, November 07, 2008

Yo Glenrothes!

Fantastic news of the Labour Party winning a by election (singular). Majority of 6,700!

This (alongside some council election gains) is phenomenal and denotes renewed confidence in the Labour government (as opposed to the dire abject despair).

We are going into a very deep recession and we desperately need the government to cushion the fall at a time when the unfettered free market has failed us.

Whatever the beauty contest of politics between the parties we need, desperately need, a government that supports the economy rather than plunge us head on into deep, deep wasting recession.

Never have wild unfettered get rich quick markets been so out of failure and the message of moderate social democrats (Keynes and all) been more needed. Only the Labour party can deliver.

Joy on Obama; sadness on Prop 8

Obama wins big in the all important electoral college - picking the so called lock of the Republican's "Southern Strategy". Dems have struggled hard in all elections for the presidency since the passage of civil rights sparked all the politics of resentment that have coralled a Southern erstwhile Democratic stronghold for the Republicans.

Noticably the thinking has been the need for the Dems to do something to attract the South - Carter from Georgia, Clinton Governor of Arkansas, Gore Senator from Tennesee, Edwards from North Carolina....

Not anymore. Obama a left leaning liberal, black lawyer from Chicago as well as a Veep from Delaware carrying North Carolina, Virginia, Missouri being split (SPLIT!), Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico and Floriday.

I am sure Obama is the right person for the job at this point and at some deep level the US and the world needed this renewal even though on one level not much is going to change - but we'll see.

Just the fact of how far we have come when we have gone from the Civil Rights fights (to vote, not have to sit on a separate part of a bus, segregation in both church and state) to a black person being elected as President. Just to see tears in so many faces - including Jesse Jackson.

On the other hand, sadness that Proposition 8 was carried by a small majority.

Many have speculated on the reasons for this failure.

I think the No campaign had serious shortcomings with poor ads. And our own community has probably been prone to some hubris - if we celebrate our victory loudly enough no-one will be so cruel as to reverse it.

Well they can. And did.

Having schoolchildren attend their school teacher's same sex wedding when school teaching, children and religion were at the core of the Yes on 8 campaign.

Gavin Newsom triumphally stating that you're going to get same sex marriage whether you like it or not; that there's no way of turning back. Voters thought otherwise.

So it was a sad day but great to see there was an opposition of 48% with so much support from trade unions, young voters, church groups. These networks should be built on and nurtured as a way of building up support for LGBT people.

I think that same sex marriage will proceed in its own way in many states of the US as well as other countries in the world (the latest being the statement that Sweden's centre right government is likely to introduce same sex marriage legislation by 2009).

All is not so negative. Connecticut having recently commenced same sex marriage in a similar court ruling and voted against calling a Constitutional Convention and the Dems got majorities in many state legislatures.

Progress marches on, though sometimes via a winding road.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Obama's grief

From Andrew Sullivan.....

Madelyn Payne Dunham RIP

Obama was so right to make sure he spent time with her before she passed on. But what an emotional blow on election eve for the candidate from Illinois. He has survived this campaign with remarkable emotional maturity and self-control. I just wish this didn't have to add to it. None of his parents will witness tomorrow. But somewhere my faith teaches me: they know already. Maybe Toot couldn't wait for the actual results. Maybe she's now a few steps ahead even of Chuck Todd. May she rest in peace. She did good.

The US election

Apart from a clear ideological preference for the Democrats, Obama is quite clearly the better candidate - calm, cool, not a hothead or erratic, a strategist rather than a tactician and a powerful orator.

He is quite clearly what the US and the world needs from this election.

He would also be (so far as I can tell) the first country in the developed world to elect a leader from a minority ethnic grouping, which given the US' troubled history with slavery, segregation and discrimination is important - again not just for the US but for the world.

It appears there has been some tightening in some states such as Pensylvania but if Obama doesn't win it will be the most incredible electoral upset (either that or the 'voting machines' are churning out Republican voting surpluses).

Either way, not long to wait now.

An early election result

Ahead of tomorrow's excitement....

Congratulations to UNISON and Louise in getting elected to the ILGA Europe board. It has only 10 members and covers the whole of Europe not just the EU, so getting elected at the first attempt is a real achievement.