Monday, November 10, 2008

Obama and the John Lennon generation

Contrary to what you might think, I'm not a huge fan of Maggie Thatcher. Yes, she did some very good things for conservatism, but she also did some typically liberal progressive things. Most of all, though, she blew the best opportunity we had to reverse the liberal progressive agenda which would have seen Britain back by now as a much more powerful, independent and unified nation than the subservient EU satellite it actually is.

What I did like about Thatcher was her ability to mix popular rhetoric with hard-nosed reality. You rarely heard Thatcher resorting to jargon. She had an ability to connect to the public in ways they could understand - particularly the common housewife who appreciated Thatcher's common sense approach to economics (despite what they'd have you believe - it ain't rocket science) - but that ability to use popular rhetoric was tempered with a cold understanding of the political realities and hardened by her fundamental belief in the core principles of conservatism.

That was also something which your average man in the street could appreciate, because they too understood that actions have consequences. That generation - the generation of my father - realised only too well that it was not enough to subscribe to vague Utopian fantasies - grand ideas and rhetoric had to be backed up with policies of genuine substance that delivered real tangible results. They were a generation of cynics brought up on a world of war, shortages and genuine hardship.

That generation has gradually faded away from holding the balance of power and has been replaced by the John Lennon generation - my generation. This is the generation who have swallowed all the airy fairy Utopian tripe spouted by the likes of Lennon in the sixties. It was Lennon who implored us all to "imagine no possessions" while making bloody sure that he wasn't including himself in all that. Even while the Beatles told us that "all you need is love" and asked us to "give peace a chance" they dissolved in acrimonious wrangling which continued for years (and continues even today by proxy).

Even so, some people actually believed all this crap and hold Lennon in high esteem, even though he was demonstrably a world class hypocrite, simply because of his genuine talent for rhetorical lyricism. That's the trouble with my generation - even though their Utopian vision has been repeatedly demonstrated to be a mirage, they still cling on to the forlorn hope that it can be realised.

This is something which Blair exploited and Obama has now tapped into. They talk like John Lennon sang. You can almost hear Obama saying this in one of his speeches " .... John McCain says I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one. I hope someday you'll join us - Democrats and Republicans together - and America will live as one ......"

Bleaaghhhh! Pass the bucket.

Eventually, though, people are going to start getting cynical again. Cold hard reality will bite soon enough and then they will stop believing the vacuous rhetoric of the John Lennon generation and start demanding real answers and real results.

You might say I'm a dreamer - but I don't give a fuck.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't say you're a dreamer, I'd say you're bang on the money . . . as always. I've never understood this obsession with John Lennon. And Obama is mimicking Martin Luther King like Cameron mimics Blair. Copycat hypocrites the lot of them.