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Thursday, August 28, 2008

Glass ceilings and halls of mirrors

On the news last night I saw a film of Barack Obama sitting in somebody's living room. He was watching TV. From time to time he applauded what he saw. What he saw was Chelsea Clinton introduce "her hero", who turned out to be her mother. Then we saw her father applauding as her mother was featured in a film with her own mother. Then Hillary Clinton, who is not running for anything this time, made a speech about glass ceilings and pledged her wholehearted support of Barack. Everybody applauded even though they know she doesn't mean it because she wants him to lose so that she can have a shot in 2012. And what's even stranger is there are signs that none of this pantomime actually changes the mind of the people who will decide this election, regular people worried about their mortgages.

Meanwhile, in other news, Russia is invading a troublesome neighbour in order to defend the rights of an allegedly oppressed minority. Anyone watching "The World At War" this weekend on BBC History can be forgiven for pricking up their ears at that one, which was the favourite fig leaf of both Stalin and Hitler. When I was a kid they used to run a show called "All Our Yesterdays" which was just old newsreel introduced by a brilliantly jaded old hack called Brian Inglis. I think they should bring it back. Just two minutes at the end of a weekly news bulletin would be enough to point up the difference between government's accounts of the world and the world as it actually is.