Like Stephen Fry, I have to say of course that the US election is really none of my business, even if Matt Johnson's rant on the 51st state is ringing in my ears. Mr Fry however has the advantage on me in having met Romney. I suppose that's one of the benefits of being a celebrity: getting to meet other famous people. Anyway, what I'm coming around to is that this piece is intended to persuade anyone who does have the vote in the Land of the Free to put their X next to the name of the incumbent. If just one undecided person (though how anyone could even consider voting for Romney/Ryan is actually incomprehensible to me) reads this and makes up their mind to vote Obama then I suppose I will be happy. Ish.
It didn't feel like a Barry McGuire sort of day when I struggled out of bed this morning, but in many ways it is. I realise that Mr Obama is far from perfect - the constant references to the 'middle class' (whatever that means to an American. It certainly is not the same thing we refer to in this country. Can you imagine trades unions being allied with the middle class here?) are particularly grating; the horrendous record of killing, whether by drone or Navy SEAL, is hard to stomach; the shocking fact that not only have the living standards of black Americans declined since he came to power, but also that the poverty gap between white and black people has actually increased. And yet... unbelievably there is a worse option. Mitt Romney emerging from his cave (don't be fooled by the smart suits) with his club swinging will take the world even further and even more quickly down the road to hell. Perhaps he's comfortable with that, believing as he does in the Mormon faith, undoubtedly also 'sealed' with his family, coming from the upper echelons of Joseph Smith's particular happy band, and so does not feel the need to worry about this earthly pile. I think (N.B., that is not 'I believe') that - in the words of Bob Marley - 'if you knew what life was worth, you would look for yours on earth'.
I faced a similar dilemma during the recent mayoral and local elections, when the presence of Boris encouraged me to vote for Ken Livingstone. A fat lot of good it did in the end, but I felt that it had to be done. Again, come the next general election in this country, though I know that Miliband and Labour will not really offer anything much better, I will once more go out and vote against the Tory/Lib Dem monsters. These are small strips of land we are fighting over in modern politics, and though it hurts, though it feels like a monumentally impotent and idiotic thing to do, we have to do something. Don't we?
The exit polls in the USA will be getting the Jon Snow treatment when City face Ajax tomorrow night, and the omens - though still in the balance for Barack and Mitt - are not good for us. Watching (some of) the West Ham match on Saturday, I really felt for Carlos. He ran his heart out, did everything he possibly could, and yet still could not buy a goal. Nasri had one of those games where he actually looked like he gave a shit and if only Mario had been a little less Mario... Ah, what's the point? A 0-0 draw is often more disappointing than a loss, and that's how Saturday felt, despite the fact that we (at least for large parts of the match) dominated play and West Ham were clearly intent (that early 'offside' escape notwithstanding) only on shutting us out, with the predictable massive boots upfield to the waiting Andy Carroll. Big Sam's grand slam comes to town again. A travesty at the Academy, and all that jazz.
Ajax were surprisingly good when we played them at the Amsterdam Arena, and we can only hope that our formidable home record, along with (please, please please!) the return of Silva will make the difference. However, even Thursday night football is now hanging by a thread for us, and the fucking Rags are sitting on top of the league. Fuck. Shit. Wanker. Good night.