22 Jan
2009

A critique of President Obama’s Inaugural speech – what we as Greens can learn

President Barack Obama gives his inaugural address at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 20, 2009.  (AP Photo/Ron Edmonds)

President Barack Obama gives his inaugural address at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 20, 2009. (AP Photo/Ron Edmonds)

President Barack Obama’s inauguration speech has much in it for British Greens to be happy about. Not only does it frame climate change, peace and global co-operation as urgent issues for “a new age”, it contains relatively little that is otherwise offputting. Most of all, it provides a sterling example of the kind of speeches that WE as Greens could and should be making, complete with a range of “reframed” strong takes on the climate crisis, and a clear underlying emotional appeal to common values, contextualising him in the story of America’s history.
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06 Nov
2008

Jumping on the Obama band-wagon? Yes please

Personally, and I know Rupert is a little more cautious (see his Rupert’s Read posts here and here), I couldn’t be more pleased for this web forum to be launched at the time of Barack Obama’s victory in the biggest political race of them all. I feel his brand of optimism and cool, calm, collected energy is exactly what the British green movement needs too, and the groundswell that he has created in America has been incredible, overwhelming and a joy to see. As Rupert says quite rightly, we only have to hope now that Obama is kept true to his principles and to his rhetoric by the high expectations of the people who elected him in the first place, especially the first-time voters, the disposssed and the cynical.

Most of the time practically everyone I meet in Britain has been made cynical by our political system and by the disappointments of grey politician after grey politician. It’s great to see that the opposite is happening right now on the other side of the pond and I’m thrilled to see the real genuine hope and faith on people’s faces. It’s good to see it’s still out there. Obama’s hope, optimism and vitality is exactly the kind of bug that I hope comes to infect and energise UK politics, especially our radical and progressive green agenda.