Obama’s State of the Union speech, Inequality Report and Independents are growing rapidly.

Obama’s speech
Did you listen to President Obama’s State of the Union speech? He is such an inspiring guy and clearly devoted to doing the right thing, even if it means climbing through politically thorny patches. Not a dime raised in extra taxes on his watch and huge renewable energy and rail projects in the pipeline too. Tax breaks for business, increased exports planned and the continuing healthcare debate – sounds like the right recipe to me.
One of the more consistent messages he sends is the desire for a bipartisan approach to issues – most recently a proposal to have a bipartisan budgetary oversight committee. This is a man looking for long term, stable solutions and consensus. What a sharp contrast to the Republican stance of unrelentingly oppositional troublemaking.
Over the next few decades it is going to be interesting to see how America adapts to its ‘end of Empire’ times. Which party will be more successful in this setting? I have a suspicion that the future relative positions, vis a vis economic, diplomatic and military power, between the USA and China has not yet registered on the consciousness of a large part of the American electorate.
Exuberant heart-on-the-sleeve patriotism seems particularly marked amongst Americans, though they express it in different ways. The Republican ‘red neck’ bloc is especially vehement in this respect and the least tolerant of dissent or change. Unfortunately some sections of American liberal society are apt to view the red necks as dim or even stupid. I take another view. By contrast, I think that they are actually, principally, ϋber patriotic and that one day they will figure out what the Republicans have being doing to them all these years.
This epiphany will be worth having a ring side seat for and God help America when it happens because the red necks are all armed to the teeth and will be stotting with anger at the deception that has been practised upon them for decades.

Inequality Report
A report (An Anatomy of Economic Inequality in the UK, The National Equality Panel) commissioned by Harriet Harman has just crystallised, in documentary form, what most people had know for some time. The UK is the seventh most unequal country in the developed world (for income), with the highest rate of poverty in Western Europe. England is worse than the other nations in the Union and the situation is deteriorating.
Essentially, being born poor and into a socially disadvantaged situation confers a lifelong blight on prospects for the individual and subsequent generations.
The top 10% of the population has 100 times more wealth (£853,000) than the poorest 10% (£8,800). The top 1% of the population possesses £2.6 million of household wealth each – or more.
Aside from the material differences, poverty confers ill health, shortened life expectancy, lower educational attainment, poorer job prospects and many other unfavourable consequences.
The biggest inequalities opened up under Thatcher in the 80’s but Labour administrations have overseen continued decline – even if at a slightly reduced rate. This suggests to me that both parties lack the ideas and motivation to decisively alter this dismal picture. The Conservative plans to reduce public spending will hit the north disproportionately and this can only worsen the picture here.

Independents
‘You have sat too long for any good you have been doing lately … Depart, I say; and let us have done with you. In the name of God, go!’

The only problem with this stirring Cromwellian exhortation to Members of Parliament is that it presaged regicide and a dictatorship. Other currently circulating phrases expressing similar sentiments include: ‘a very British revolution’ and a ’21st century peasant’s revolt’. The impulse behind these phrases will, nonetheless, be understood by many.

The scale of the change in this election is striking. There are more Independent candidates and more and better organisation than at any previous election.
Take a look at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Independent_Network
South Shields and Stockton are getting particularly strong Independent candidates and many others are declaring themselves in the northern region.
It’s a very British Revolution indeed!

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