No, I've not been in Stockholm all this time. Back home on 25 August, but to bad news. My nana was dying. So, it's been a sad time and I haven't really felt like blogging.
Plus, I had 5 submissions to write for the consultation on the proposed closure of Post Offices across Cumbernauld, Kilsyth and Kirkintilloch East. (Got them up on my campaign website for anyone who is interested.) Hopefully those in charge of this process will see the value of these Post Offices to the communities they serve, and give them a reprieve. We can but try.
I've also been trying to follow political events in the US. I watched the Barack Obama speech, and I was impressed to an extent. He is evidently a very intelligent and considered man, and charismatic with it. His speech, while very polished and principled, did lack a lot of substance. He is also nowhere near as radical as he needs to be to solve the endemic problems, particularly of the poor, in America. But then, how can he be? He is so constrained by the political culture in which he operates - a political system dominated by the cult of personality, money and religion.
There are so many vested interests that he has to pay cognisance of too. While it is painfully obvious (to me at least) that the US needs an NHS, how can any politician in that country get away with abolishing the current system entirely? The insurance companies have their ways of protecting their position.
Another problem with the US political system (crikey, I'm on a roll today), is the concept of the 'American dream'. The idea that everyone has the chance to 'rise up', to 'make it'. Yes, social mobility is fantastic. Opportunity is fantastic. But the problem with that idea, that system, is that not everyone can 'make it'. Under the capitalist system, there will always be some people at the top of the tree - with the flash careers and wads of cash - and others who are required to do the low paid work that is the foundation of the 'success' of others. Literally, people are being sold a dream. But that means that, even if the system is working perfectly according to supporters of the 'American dream' system, there will always be those who are left struggling. Surely, it makes more sense to be aspiring to a society where everyone can be successful, and no one feels like a second-class citizen?
But this is not Barack Obama's fault, and I think he represents the best hope for the future of the US. For surely incremental change is better than none at all?