25 January 2009

On Seeing A White Tie With A Dinner Jacket

Simon Heffer reacted in the Telegraph to the photo of President Obama wearing a white tie with a dinner jacket by saying that he looked a bit of a cad. I think it's a clear sign that the United States is about to get a taste of we have had since we voted for Blair in 1997 (and saying you voted for his opponents is as useless in the American case as in the British).

President Obama signalled what he thinks about tradition: that it means whatever he wants it to mean. There was something vaguely heroic about Gordon Brown's refusal to wear white tie at all at Livery dinners: he would wear a business suit as that was the "smart dress" of what he liked to pretend was his class; "these are smart clothes even if they aren't the smart clothes you expect me to wear". But the belief that he alone is the arbiter of what is or isn't smart for him to wear at a ball, puts the President into a different class. And that class is Nulabour's, and, dear American friends, you are about to go through what we have endured for ten and a half years. The Leader becomes the Dear Leader through the effort of his spin doctors who know how right he is because they believe in (well, want) the same things he does.

Wait for the construction of a narrative: "for too long the country has suffered under a fairly well meaning but weak leader who, like his party, was in thrall to non-elected outside interests such as big business. The country has voted not only for generational change, but for a decisive change in the sources of authority for the way we live". Blair 1997 or Obama 2009?

Wait for the opinion polls which proclaim that "religious America" is no more (based on a questionable interpretation of an opinion poll which is deliberately ambiguous); wait for a reiteration of the definitiveness of Obama's complete wipe-out of McCain; wait for a new statement that the Freedom Of Choice Act isn't extreme, but just a statement of where the American people are at.

Challenge all of this wherever and whenever it shows its face. Challenge the narrative! Challenge the creators of the narrative! Challenge the fact that "the narrative" is, in fact a euphemism: "the narrative" is "the lie".

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