Tuesday, 4 November 2008

Missive from Miami

So… not sure I even mentioned on here that I was off to Miami. But that is indeed where I am. I’m in a hotel room, it’s 11pm on November 3rd – but this won’t be posted till tomorrow morning because I’m borrowing someone’s laptop and don’t know how to do the wireless connection thing.

Arrived late-ish on Saturday, so only really had two days here so far. I’m with a group of 24, maybe 25, people who are active in UK politics in some way: mostly Labour, a few Tories and a token Lib Dem. I’m paying for myself. And we made a point today of walking to the beach and back again just so we could say we’d seen the ocean, but we’re here for the politics not the sunshine.

Just as well really, as it absolutely poured down on Sunday. So much for the Sunshine State! Some of us (OK, a couple of the Tories) went out on the McCain battle bus, but the rest of us were in Little Haiti with the Obama campaign. The idea is to see what lessons we can learn, but it’s so different to UK elections…


Mike said...

Obama is being touted by as kind of progressive figure but he will be in thrall to the same military/industrial complex as the Republicans. Thats because big business runs the show and have helped bankroll him. Obama is an establishment candidate who has already surrounded himself with neo cons and corporate interests.
He supports the gun lobby and has moved to support offshore drilling which will threaten endangered species and eco systems.
The Republicrats are like New Labour, in the pockets of big business and the abusers of the planet.
If you were true to the vegan philosophy you would not be backing what the two party dictatorship in the US and stands for, you would be out on the stump for the US Greens, Ralph Nader or the Ecology Party.
But of course, we dont expect principles from New Labour...

Kerry said...

I thought the vegan philosophy was just about not eating or abusing animals... is for me. I'm a socialist first and foremost, not a vegan.

And what on earth would be the point of campaigning for one of the no-hopers? What's that going to do for the people in Little Haiti?

truthnotwar said...

"a socialist first and foremost"

Careerist New Labour MP and 'socialist' is an oxymoron if ever there was one...

"And what on earth would be the point of campaigning for one of the no-hopers? "

Good job others in history did not think like you. It has always been, and very much so in US, third parties and independents who have fought for social change and made the running, not the establishment you are so in with.

Glenn Vowles said...

What kind of socialist is it that uses phrases like 'what on earth would be the point of campaigning for one of the no-hopers'?

Was Labour always in the position it's in now? What might people have said to those beginning the Labour Movement and Labour Party over a century ago?

Address the substance of what people like the Greens and others stand for Kerry instead of taking your usual labelling and name-calling easy way out. It does you no credit at all.

Kerry said...

When people in the USA are dying simply because they don't have health insurance, I think it's incredibly self-indulgent for anyone on the left to have voted for anyone other than Obama. A vote for anyone other than the Democrat or Republican was a wasted vote. That's a fact. Another fact - Obama was head and shoulders above any of the other candidates anyway.

All that Ralph Nader achieved in 2000 was to hand the election to Bush, thus denying Al Gore the chance to implement any of his environmental policies. But I'm not going to get into yet another debate about green issues. If you want to start a debate about why people should have supported one of the minority candidates, you can do that on your own blog.

Kerry said...

And before you come back on the Ralph Nader point, as you no doubt will, have a look at Tom Harris' site:


Glenn Vowles said...

Kerry, I'd have voted for Obama if I'd had a vote, despite significant policy differences!(See my recent blog entry on Obama). You miss my point entirely. I know how vote-focussed you are but my point was not about voting at all. My point was about your often highly dismissive tone and frequent failure to genuinely engage with very sound green arguments. Do you feel threatened by the prospect of such engagement and by the rise of new movements? It often looks that way. What sort of socialist attempts to slash the hopes of grassroots campaigners?

Glenn Vowles said...

Oh, and I'd have voted for Gore not Nader by the way.

Kerry said...

I have spent hours and hours engaging with green activists on this blog! Not to mention sending out hundreds of letters to constituents.

Your comment was in response to my comment re "campaigning for the no-hopers", which was in turn a response to Mike's telling me that if I was "true to the vegan philosophy" (whatever that means) I "would be out on the stump for the US Greens, Ralph Nader or the Ecology Party." In other words, it was about voting in the US presidential election.

Glenn Vowles said...

The logical end of your argument is always to back the already powerful Kerry - in which case no new movements or parties arise!

Clearly you incorrectly assumed I was concerned about voting intention, as well as being wrong about how I'd have voted (you should check my blog). Do you think you've pigeonholed me somewhat?

Actually what apalled me most about what you said was the 'no-hopers' bit. During the 'hours and hours of engagement with green activists' I dont think you have been that genuine Kerry. That's honestly how you have come across to me.

In debates with me (and some others I've seen) you all too often end up simply dismissing Greens and alternatives or pointing out the the 'practicalities' of compromise. I recall you've used the phrase 'preaching from the sidelines' to me as well as attempting to label me/others as unrealistic or hippy in attitude or belittling Greens as a small party. Clear examples are here on your blog, unless you've removed them.

Your attitude in this posting instance is consistent with what I'm arguing. There is a pattern in your behaviour towards greens. You've not engaged genuinely with the substance of the two other commenters and end up using the term 'no-hopers'. You should withdraw it in my view.

Hope is a key concept for socialists. I regard myself as a socialist.You've not said anything in response to my point about the history of the Labour Movement. There are 'small' socialist movements around the world - should they just give up and support whatever is established that is least objectionable to them?