Hallandale Beach Blog -A common sense public policy overview offering a critical perspective on the current events, politics, govt., public policy, sports scene and pop culture of the U.S., South Florida and Europe, especially the UK and Sweden. In particular, Broward & Miami-Dade County, and the cities of Hallandale Beach, Hollywood & Aventura. Trust me when I tell you, this part of Florida is NOT the Land of Lincoln. Pictured in upper-left is Hallandale Beach's iconic beachball-colored Water Tower on State Road A1A; September 2008 photo by me, South Beach Hoosier. © 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved.

Monday, August 2, 2010

British Labour leadership debate on BBC Radio's 5 live with Victoria Derbyshire was ab fab -everything U.S. debates aren't: illuminating & humorous

In my Friday post I referenced having gotten up very early Thursday in order to do something. That something was getting-up in time to listen to the BBC's 5 live broadcast of the British Labour party leadership debate from Stevenage, north of London, in Hertfordshire. The Wikipedia entry for Stevenage says among other things:
In 1861 Dickens commented "The village street was like most other village streets: wide for its height, silent for its size, and drowsy in the dullest degree. The quietest little dwellings with the largest of window-shutters to shut up nothing as if it were the Mint or the Bank of England."
Not unlike most of you, so many times in the past, I've gotten up early for things that have proved quite underwhelming and disappointing personally, and I wondered the night before if this was going to just be the latest such incident.

For instance, in my own case, in the mid-'80's, when I lived in Evanston and Wilmette, just north of Chicago, right off Lake Michigan, I once caught the first "El" train of the morning to meet a friend of mine at O'Hare who was on lay-over for a few hours for her flight to Europe, but she was so tired from her late-night flight from the West Coast that she was barely awake while we had the Tartan Tray restaurant at O'Hare pretty much to ourselves, almost like it was a VIP suite.

(I used to know the layout of O'Hare like the back of my hand for it was easier to navigate than my own neighborhood, since once you knew the basic parameters, it was easy to get around, even logical, a far cry from MIA when I was using that so often in the '70's and '80's. I especially loved the Tartan Tray restaurant because they were always friendly, delicious and safe after midnight, with very reasonable prices for an airport vendor. Plus, the radio reception there was among the best in the entire airport, even if you weren't near a window.)

So getting back to Thursday morning, not surprisingly, given how closely I follow what's going on in Great Britain, I've been closely following all the press stories and leaks surrounding the five candidates vying to succeed Gordon Brown as leader of the Labour Party, even as they fight for a job where they don't know exactly when Prime Minister David Cameron might call for a new general election and they will have to show their mettle during a 4-6 week window of a campaign:
Andy Burnham, former Foreign Secretary David Miliband, his brother Ed Miliband, Ed Balls and Diane Abbott.

Just as is often true in team sports, sometimes it's better to not be the guy who follows a certain head coach or manager but rather to be the one after that, where the legacy, good or bad, has dissipated enough so that you can be judged on your own relative merits.
See Vince Lombardi, Earl Weaver and Ara Parseghian

Gordon Brown
was the person who had the unenviable task of succeeding someone who had fundamentally changed the public perception of the British Labour Party, Tony Blair without ever having been voted in as PM himself, and he suffered greatly for it, not unlike Gerald Ford's presidential campaign in 1976.

Since Cameron's election, something I openly hoped for on this blog, I've read with great interest the stories in the British press, especially in The Times and The Telegraph, as well as those on BBC Radio 5 live and TV4 News, the various heartfelt and exasperating interviews with former Labour leadership personnel about how the longstanding personality clashes between the Blair and Brown wings of the party had caused continual friction and heartburn for many caught in-between in ways that had never been publicly known 'til recently.

There were always lots of rumors, but it turns out that where there was smoke there WAS, in fact, fire.
And at this debate, you'll hear plenty of very specific criticisms for how that party cleavage affected morale and political decisions during the last campaign.

This cleavage between the two wings was particularly problematic when it came time to have an agenda (manifesto) that could win in non-Labour strongholds.

Like the most liberal Democrats here in the Northeast U.S. and on the Left Coast, many Labour MPs have very safe constituencies that allow them to travel around the country stumping on behalf of the party and other candidates, with very little concern that they'll lose their own election because of all the natural institutional advantages they have, which have little, if anything, to do with them personally.
The best example of this in Florida is the dreaded Debbie Wasseman-Schultz for instance.

It's all very well and good for her to spout very liberal, reflexively pro-Obama nostrums since she doesn't run from an evenly remotely competitive district, but for those Dems who come from evenly divided congressional districts, or even Republican-leaning districts, like many of the DLC candidates I've mentioned here previously, it's not such an easy thing to simply vote with blinders on.

What made listening to this debate -and watching it via streaming- so fantastic was that the host, Victoria Derbyshire, was like a combination of the best of Ted Koppell and Charlie Rose, plus those rare great old moments on NBC's "The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson," where politically astute pols of the late '60's and early '70's would eagerly
answer questions from Johnny that were either personally revealing or sometimes fraught with political danger, especially if you bombed and came across poorly, knowing
the whole nation was watching.

Just like all young comics appearing on Carson for the first time, you desperately wanted Johnny's approval!

Meanwhile, thirty years ago this week...
Johnny Carson, Rolling Stone 287, March 22, 1979,
Photo by Annie Leibovitz

I only read this article about 50 times when it first came out!

Derbyshire was masterful going from one candidate to another to elicit some intensely personal insight or political reflection to some often very difficult questions of a sort that you rarely if ever see on American TV, due to American pols reluctance to appear and 'let it all hang out' as it were. And she even got some of the candidates to personally call each other out in a way that you never see here publicly.

If you consider yourself even slightly a political activist or Anglophile or both and watch this video -
available for viewing until Wednesday night U.K. time- you will get a first-class education into how to conduct a proper political debate that is both informative and lively, and something we should very much like to see more of on this side of the Atlantic.



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#HOLLYWOODFL based photographer and entrepreneur Esther Chuang with Hollywood Mayor-elect Josh Levy

Thumbs up! What a night! #HOLLYWOODFL based photographer and entrepreneur Esther Chuang with a very elated Hollywood Mayor-elect Josh Levy at his Victory Party, held at Leo Anato's Atelier3/AT3 on Harrison Street & S. 19th Avenue, Hollywood. AT3's great environment and the amazing variety of food prepared by chef Kevin Dreifuss, former owner/chef of ENDS MEAT restaurant, was SUPERB! November 8, 2016

Esther Chuang, Morro Dois Irmãos, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 2015

Above, perhaps my most-favorite photo ever of Esther, which is really saying something considering the THOUSANDS that I've actually seen of her, from all over the world. But despite the fact that you can't actually see it here, trust me, her amazing smile and inner and external beauty are there. This photo is an even more amazing achievement when you know the backstory of what it took for Esther to get to the top of the mountain, since it's NOT for the faint of heart. Next time you see her, ask her about that! Morro Dois Irmãos, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on her birthday, July 10, 2015. That's the Christ The Redeemer statue way out in the horizon on the top of another mountain, to the left of her head. �� In case you forgot what the Christ the Redeemer statue looks like, up close, here's another Brazilian beauty to connect-the-dots for you: Gisele Bündchen, aka @Gisele.

Abençoado por Deus e bonito por natureza!✨ ������

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View of Rio De Janeiro from my room.

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"Faith is taking the first step even when you don't see the whole staircase." - Martin Luther King, Sept. 1962. #MLK I was a young kid living in #Memphis with my family that April night in 1968 when we returned home from a trip to #McDonalds and like so many nights before, I raced to the TV set in the living room to beat my two younger sisters to be the one who turned on the TV. As my parents walked in and settled down on the family couch, to see what was on TV, literally, within one minute, came the Breaking News that Dr. King had been shot elsewhere in the city. And the news only got worse as the night went on as news soon confirmed that Dr. King had died as a result of the assassination attempt, and soon there was widespread looting and violence in Memphis, the very things he had adamantly opposed. Eventually came the news that the city was under curfew, and sometime before midnight, because my family lived in a new-ish apt. complex that was on the same road as the nearby Armory, my parents and I and many of our neighbors watched in silence from the sidewalk/curb as tanks driven by members of the mobilized National Guard drove towards downtown Memphis, because the city's powers-that-be had decided that this would show the people who was boss. As my mother tells the story, one of my neighbors remarked on the irony of U.S. Army tanks being used to try to stop violence by Americans who were upset about the murder of a great man who had won the #NobelPeacePrize. It was the first time I remember ever hearing this strange word: #irony.

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When you leave but bring the spare key because it is yours to keep.

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2 0 1 7. I made new mistakes and old ones again. I learned things I didn't know and I things I had already learned the hard way but needed to repeat either way. I fell in love again and again, with the same man, and realized that is the way to do it. I stopped thinking life happened to me and started enjoying taking control of what tomorrow would entail. I wrote even when it hurt and I apologized even when they didn't. I almost gave up but woke up and stood up and spoke up and didn't budge and moved on and forgave myself for not always knowing what to do. I decided the most important thing is to be proud of who I become and to make sure she is someone to be proud of. All I truly have is the opportunity to be whoever I want to be, and knowing that is everything.

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I'm not the only poet in this relationship ❥

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The boyfriend of Mikaela -Malin and Jennifer's sister- wrote above: "Honey, you are my everything, my dream, my imagination, my reality, my future. Sounds like something that I would write to someone special -and have!
FYI: There are 10 photos below, including a rare one of yours truly!