I was watching a documentary the other day on BBC2, focussing on the campaigners and behind the scenes activities during Obama's campaign to become, first of all, the Democratic Presidential Candidate and then the President itself. Like many people I am struck by Obama, invigorated by hope and by interest. Whatever you think of his politics it is more than clear that the man is a beacon of inspiration, whether it is, as above, hope, ambition, compassion or even dislike and hatred. The man epitomises hope and inspiration. The images of the long waiting lines at the polling stations, the devotion, fortitude and creativity inspired in his campaigners, and finally the strength of character and rediscovered self-belief amongst the most down-trodden of America's citizens is something to behold indeed. His rhetoric, his message of change and hope coupled with his almost magnetic charisma that reeks of honesty and strength of purpose is a potent combination.
This is a man of conviction who has the personality, the ability and the strength to walk his path. And yes, I believe.
And I despair.
I love Britain. I love the countryside, the cities, the history and the tradition. For the most part I love the people too, although they can be fickle, obstinate, crass and stupid. They can also be hugely compassionate, brave, strong and creative.
We deserve more.
The political parties, ignoring the mire they have got themselves into over expenses, are uniformly bland. Many MPs are hard working, caring, idealistic individuals, in the arena for the right reasons and doing their best. Many are not, seeking political power, self aggrandisement and self worth only. There is no one amongst them, that I have seen, who inspires in the way that Obama does.
The leadership of all parties are dreary caricatures of politicians. They lack purpose, they lack vision, they lack humanity. I don't care about them enough to actively dislike them. I am merely disappointed in them. I am disappointed in party systems that suppresses those who might have something of value to say, that swamps those with ideas and energy and a real concern for the country with a wave of political lines and party rhetoric.
Here is a truth, a fact. I have not voted for the last eight years. I cannot bear to.
I care about my country, about my people, about everything around me. I get angry at the injustices of the world. The political process, and the parties there-in, do not, and cannot, represent me. Not even closely. The system is corrupted by its interminable navel-gazing, stiffened by the malaise of self-interest. I do not believe in parties and the policies of the people who would make themselves our 'servants'.
We are a country, despite all the great and wonderful things achieved and undertaken, that is sliding towards pettiness, towards a small-minded nihilistic meanness of spirit, untrusting of its populace, of its traditions, of itself. We are a country that has lost its passion and its creativity. Not at the grass-roots, but at the highest levels, and it saddens me, because this is not what I see in the people around me, day in, day out. They are, and always have been, something to behold.
There are days I cannot bear to watch the news, to witness how the government has failed, and continues to fail, its people. This government, the last, the future one. They will fail us in so many ways, because they are not brave, they are not audacious, they are not self-confident and they do not trust themselves. They do not trust me. They do not trust you.
I want an Obama. I want someone of his stature to raise the emotion and the self-respect of this nation and its people. I want someone with his conviction to inspire hope and dreams and determination. I want someone of his purpose, to cut through the fog of disillusionment and drag us with him or her.
I want what I cannot have.
I want to believe.