Have I mentioned how cool it is to have a US President who feels like one of us? IT literate, a bit geeky, smart, likes a good debate, enjoys being challenged on ideas, etc. It's cool, isn't it? Thing is? He's just another political leader. Who am I talking about here:
Relatively obscure politician with a legal background, went to an expensive school and a top university, came out of nowhere while in opposition, good line in rhetoric and appealing to a broad church, very capable and intelligent wife, young family, wins on a landslide with the wishes of the nation having mobilised a massive national effort seeing record membership for his party. Promising change.

Yup, you're right. It's Tony Blair. And Barack Obama. Worse? Watch this ((via):
Comedy Central's The Daily Show video with Jon Stewart covering the inauguration )
Scary, innit? Reminded me of something though. From a few years back, while Blair was still in office, while Cameron was still trying to build his 'brand'. I know, I know, he's still trying to build his brand, but still:
YouTube video of Armando Ianucci's Time Trumpet comparing Blair to Cameron )
President Obama sir? I really hope I'm wrong on this one. Please don't turn into another Tony Blair.
I'm awake, honest. I've had enough coffee to get me going again anyway. Doing some tidying up to my LJ, renaming tags, etc. This seems like a good enough reason to rename one of them, plus 2008 has ended so it's time to start a new 'life' tag for this year.

Appears I've posted less about what's been going on in my life this year than any other calender year that I've had the LJ. I guess being happy gives me less to write about, right? Completely skint, but there y'go, can't have everything.

I don't do new years resolutions, and, well, predictions are a bit of a mugs game, but, well, might as well.

UK: politics will dominate, likely election, bit of history explaining why )

Obama's honeymoon, potential pitfalls, hope he holds it together )

Europe, Referenda, Libertas and elections )

Meh, 7pm. Time to go pick the Shrub up from her Dad's.
I always like reading Mr Steel--I don't always agree with him (y'know, trot and all) but he is damn funny. In an article about Obama's triangulation exercise:
when Obama meets Gordon Brown next week it's going to make Brown feel even worse. Maybe Obama will advise him "Gordon, you need to come up with a snappy three-word slogan that sums up your demeanour, the way I did with 'Yes we can'." And as a result the Labour Party's slogan for the next election will be "Where am I?"
Sounds about right for the moment. Or in the aftermath, regarding their MPs--"where'd they go?"...
Odds are good if you're reading my journal you're at least paying a little bit of attention to the US election campaigns currently still going. Not least because at the end of it all, the person elected gets control of enough nukes to blow up the world a few times, which is rarely the case in a foreign election. It's, um, a bit of a mess, n'est ce pas?

For those that don't normally pay much attention, the US candidate selection Primary system is usually over by now. Usually. Normally both sides have got a clear front runner and the others pull out in the name of "party unity". This year? No chance, both parties remain too close to call. The drawback of personality politics and directly elected executives, you can't just elect a local MP, you need a candidate your party is happy with. And if you have a country the size of a continent and 6 times more people than Britain, that takes just a little bit more time. So, y'know, I thought it was time to
  1. put on my psephologists head and
  2. laugh at the stupidity of the BBC pundits who're getting so much wrong.
So, the US has two parties. The Republicans are best described as a bit like the Cornerstone Tory "faith flag and family" brigade, only with more money and less sense. The Democrats are best described as Ken Clarke style one-nation Tories, with a little bit of New Labour dressing. Note the lack of British-style liberalism (US liberalism is, for the most part, not liberalism by any sane definition of the word) and complete absence of any sort of real social democrat. In other words, two lots of corporatist, money grabbing loons, with one side slightly less bad. Of course, those generalisations are based around those they elect—A lot of Democrat activists are nearly as liberal as me, and there are some sane republicans, including a fair few non-loonies. So, well, let's start with the Republicans.
The Republican nomination race )
The Democrat nomination race )

Summary

In the Republican race, the Christian/conservative vote was split, giving McCain a false lead, now that Romney has withdrawn they might just select a lunatic with no chance, which would be good. In the Democratic race, it's too close to call, and while Hillary may be a perfectly good Democrat, she's not my type of democrat, and she could lose to the non-lunatic that the Republicans may still elect. Obama is ahead, and gaining momentum, but the situation could change. Can we hope it won't?

Yes, we can...
Things that make Mat happy part mcmxvii. Via just about everyone (including an email), HBO, the US TV channel that made The Sopranos, Sex and the City, Six Feet Under, Oz, Carnivàle, The Larry Sanders Show, Deadwood, Band of Brothers, Rome... (and snipping out shows I didn't like/haven't seen still leaves an impressive list there) have announced that they will be making [livejournal.com profile] grrm's A Song of Ice and Fire into a very long TV show. It gets better:
The author will co-exec produce the series
and each book will be an entire season, so while they'll need to cut out some detail, they won't need to cut out all the detail. In a different article on the same story I also found:
This comes on the heels of HBO announcing they would do a series based on Preacher
Lemme hear you say an amen. Game of Thrones and Preacher? Yowsers.

And, in US news, Senator Barack Obama:
I'll be filing papers today to create a presidential exploratory committee. For the next several weeks, I am going to talk with people from around the country, listening and learning more about the challenges we face as a nation, the opportunities that lie before us, and the role that a presidential campaign might play in bringing our country together.
I first heard about this guy when Evan linked to a video of his address to the DNC at the time Kerry/Edwards won the nomination, and I was actually impressed. It's not often these days that public speaking and speeches impress me, but this guy did. I've only heard good things since. I'm thinking he won't win the nomination, but will make a great VP candidate behind either Edwards or Clinton.

Right, I'm off into town for the protest I mentioned, see you all on the flip side...
matgb: Artwork of 19th century upper class anarchist, text: MatGB (Default)

British Liberal, house husband, school play leader and stepdad. Campaigner, atheistic feminist, amateur baker. Male.

Known to post items of interest on occasions. More likely to link to interesting stuff. Sometimes talks about stuff he's done. Occasionally posts recipes for good food. Planning to get married, at some point. Enjoying life in Yorkshire.

Likes comments. Especially likes links. Loves to know where people came from and what they were looking for. Mostly posts everything publicly. Sometimes doesn't. Hi.

Mat Bowles

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October 2015

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Stuff and nonsense

I'm the Chair of the Brighouse branch of the Liberal Democrats & the membership secretary for Calderdale Lib Dems and run the web campaign for the local candidates. I have a job, a stepdaughter and a life.

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