Thursday, 6 May 2010
Mr Cameron, you are no Barack Obama
The Sun newspaper defaced Barack Obama's Hope poster in today's edition by replacing the man whose campaign and image reflected the true meaning of the word with the image of the far from inspiring toffee-nosed Mr Cameron. Their melodramatic headline went 'Cameron is our only hope :http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/election2010/article2961073.ece
The very idea of me having to pin my hopes on the constantly airbrushed, disingenious David Cameron is enough to make me pack my bags and return to Africa sharpish.
The sad thing is that because British journalists are so lacking in imagination, they get on a bandwagon and hold on to it for dear life, regardless of whether it smacks of contradictions or not. Mr Cameron could not be more different from Barack Obama in style, politics and vision if he tried.
Aside from there having two very polarized upbringings, David Cameron was born into a privileged English family, went to private schools all his life including a preparatory school attended by the Princes of Wales and York and the prestigious Eton. All this was rounded off nicely by a noble degree at none other than Oxford University.
Barack Obama on the other hand was born to a Kenyan father and American mother who divorced when he was very young, had a very modest childhood, attending local schools in Indonesia and finally moving back to the US to live with his grandparents, hard working Americans who were by no means wealthy.
Fast forward to their political and ideological ideas and I still fail to see the likeness, Mr Cameron is the leader of Conservative party which by definition has always favoured the 'haves' at the expense of the 'have nots'. They believe that, like the Republicans in the USA that everyone should do for themselves, this is partly reflected in their policies to fix what they refer to as 'broken britain' including rewarding married couples because we should aspire to marriage and those who are irresponsible enough to find themselves as single parents should just go and hide in shame. Likewise they would like to encourage people to create their own schools when the state ones are failing. This is all very well for the highly educated overzealous mummies who move about in their 4x4s and are fortunate enough to not have to work. The majority of us who rely on the government providing good schools for our kids will end up being left out in the cold. Although the Tory party (as the Conservatives are also known) now claim the NHS as the best thing to happen to Britain, something they wish to protect, once upon a time would have quite happily cut spending on the service that affords the majority of Britons free healthcare.
The democrats and President Barack Obama on the other hand believe that government has a responsibility to ensure fairness for all. Obama has, against all odds been able to push through a healthcare bill which will ensure that all Americans regardless of their financial means have access to affordable healthcare.
The Conservative party and Mr Cameron's approach towards everyone taking responsibility wouldn't be so objectionable if we all started on an equal footing. Instead we have a world where there is no level playing field and yet you expect me to pull myself up when you've been given a significant head start and advantage? It would be like telling women to stop moaning and work hard so they can become CEOs and Directors of companies and earn the same salaries as men; all good and well, if you would be so kind as to take away the social and professional advantages afforded to these men.
The Times newspaper had a front page photo of the Camerons in what I would call a cringe-worthy pose - SamCam (as Mrs Samantha Cameron is fondly referred to) stretched out lovingly on her husband's lap. http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/blog/2010/may/04/david-samantha-cameron-caption-competition I didn't have to go through my old copies of Newsweek and Time magazines which covered the US election campaign to recall the likeness of many of the photos we saw of the Obamas on the road, campaigning from one US State to another. The difference was that unlike this extremely staged pose, theirs seemed very real and did not scream PR stunt to the discerning public. Perhaps it's the Brit mentality but I cant help but be cynical by Mr Cameron and his heavily airbrushed images and massively staged photo ops. I would perhaps find it all a bit forgiving if it were original but for either the media or Mr Cameron himself to try and position him as Britain's answer to Barack Obama is insulting for those who know what the two leaders and their parties stand for.
Gordon Brown may be awkward and not a people's person, wrinkles, gaffes and all but atleast he is who is he is, warts and all. I would much rather have a leader who is dull and real than one who is so bent on selling us the perfect image, that he deliberately misleads the public into thinking that he is something that he is not. The people's leader you are not and will never be Mr Cameron, win or lose this election so rather than spending mounds of cash which I appreciate you and your wealthy party can more than afford, you should focus on the substance. Have the balls to say what you stand for and to reflect this in everything you put out to the public. That way atleast those who do end up voting for you will be fully aware of what they are letting themselves in for.
And please do us all a favour and jump off the hope bandwagon!