Thursday 4 March 2010

America... Wake Up and Listen to Warren

It seems if you want to polarise America, get people talking about reforming the healthcare system.

Now one of the richest and most succesful men in America, Warren Buffet has waded in.

He has compared the runaway cost of heathcare to an economic tapeworm and pointed out that America spends 17% of its GDP on healthcare wheras other countries with more centralised healthcare systems only spend 9%

Tricky one for the Republicans / Right wingers / Tea party folk who've been using term socalised medicine to imply its socalism via the backdoor.

When someone such as Warren Buffet who is:

1) Very successful investor and businessman
2) Clearly not a socialist

Says something needs to be done, it'll be interesting to see how the right counters this

RIP Michael Foot

Growing up in the 1980's in one of the most conservative parts of the country made me a bit of a Tory boy, luckily a stage I quickly grew out of it.

Back in the early 80's Michael Foot was seen as a bit of a dangerous leftie who would leave us at the mercy of the Soviet Red Army tanks ready to invade.

While I still disagree with some of his views, the more I read about him, the more time and respect I had for a man who clearly stood by his views and principles even if meant time in the political wilderness

While most people thought of him as a pacifist for his views on unilateral nucelar disarmament, they didn't know that he was equally vocal on the use of force when he felt it was right.

For example;
  • In 1940, his booklet denouncing appeasement sold over 250,000 copies
  • He was vocal supporter of Nato involvement to stop aggression in Yugoslavia
A few more politicans such as him who are prepared to stand up and not worry about what others think should surely raise the publics respect for politicans.

Today's obituary in the Guardian sums up his life pretty well

Would A Hung Parliament Be Such A Bad Thing?

With a general election now only a couple of months ago, it is possible that we may end up with a hung parliament for the first time since WW2

While the joint wisdom (and I use that term very lighly) of the Daily Mail and currency traders don't seem to think so, would be be such a bad thing?

Timothy Garton Ash in todays Guardian points out a couple of very salient facts

1) World War 2 was won with a coalition parliament

2) Germany who has the strongest economy in Europe has known nothing but coalition governments

His conclusion is that it would strengthen parliament and take back powers from what has become an overstrong executive

The full article is here: Don't be afraid of a hung parliament