Manchester City Council

Hope !!!

Bonfire night and the American electorate has just made a massive bonfire of one of its biggest historical prejudices by electing its first African-American President and I want to add my congratulations to Barack Obama on his amazing achievement.

Most of us in this country will have woken up this morning already thinking better of America and that the election of Barack Obama has in itself already made the world a better place. We probably also feel more than a little relief given the alternative McCain/Palin ticket. It remains to be seen how successful President Obama will be in office. I confess to expecting middle-of-the-road competence rather than the fireworks of the election campaign but that would be enough to seal the transformational change that has been wrought in the past twenty four hours. For all of us who are working to make our little bit of the world, i.e. Manchester, a better place, the American election gives us both hope and confidence and I'm certain that in our own ballot in three weeks time President Obama would be definitely on the side of the Yes campaign, the side of getting things done.

Later on today I have my regular meeting looking at how the economic crisis is affecting Manchester and what we can do about it so I'll need all the hope I can get for that. Later still I will be at Lower Crumpsall TRA working with residents and Council officers to make Lower Crumpsall an (even) better place to live. Witnessing the enthusiasm and determination of residents to improve their own neighbourhoods is one of the many things in this city that justifies having hope for our future.

There are 11 responses to “Hope !!!”

  1. bicolouredpythonrocksnake Says:

    I don't believe this. While residents of Manchester have become used to Councillor Leese presuming to speak for all of us on all issues on which we might have opinions of our own, I imagine Senator Obama might be somewhat surprised to find a local politician from another country making pronouncements on his behalf. On what possible grounds can the Leader suppose what the senator might think about the congestion charge? And on what grounds does he presume to damn the 44th president of the United States with faint praise before he has even been sworn in?! In my view, these comments are outrageous; what other Mancunians think I leave for them to decide.



  3. Ralph Says:

    JANE. I'm sure your comment is well meaning, but is rather naive. This is a hugely significant moment in history. Yes his policies have won the presidency, but many Americans could never have believed, 40 years ago, that there would ever be a black President, whatever their policies. And I'm sure I've heard the odd mention when other (white) Presidents have been elected.
    By the way, CAPS LOCK is on the left of your keyboard.
    bicolouredpythonrocksnake - I doubt Obama reads this blog.

  4. Richard Leese Says:

    How do I know President Obama would vote Yes ? Because his transport policy commits hin to improving public transport particularly for people on low incomes and to tackling congestion in metropolitan areas, and by the way, middle-of-the-road competence would be a great leap forward after eight years of Bush.

  5. M Spanner Says:

    Obama is unikely to support a measure that doesn't include any improvements to the road infrastructure.

    Obama said in a speech in Pittsburgh during his campaign

    "This can be the moment when we make a generational commitment to rebuild our infrastructure"
    "Years from now, we could drive on new roads, depend on safe bridges and stronger levees, and connect our cities with high speed rail"

    Please note he does not say. Lets build a new rail infrastructure, spend nothing on the roads and the tax the motorists extra for the privilege of driving to work. So I really doubt that he would have said yes to TIF.

    I am getting very bored of Labour politcians trying to reflect themselves in Obamas victory. His was a victory for change and a victory for the people. Not petty politicians building white elephants.

  6. Polly styrene Says:

    Well actually I was intending to vote yes to the congestion charge. But after this shameless bit of nonsensical bandwagon jumping (helpfully highlighted in the Guardian) I'll be voting no.

    Well done Councillor Leese.

  7. Peter Roberts Says:

    It is very arrogant to consider you know what Mr. Obama would vote in the congestion charge referendum.

    As you have never met him or spoken to him it is wrong of you to try and associate yourself and your hated congestion tax with a newly elected president.

    This speaks volumes about Richard Leese not President Elect Obama

  8. Future Transport Says:

    For those of you below who doubt the new American President would support our proposal take a look at the front page of todays MEN (11/11/08)

  9. Gareth Quinn Says:

    Mr Lees why are Manchester Tax Payers paying for this political Partisan blog? Plus the arogance of you speaking for President elect Obama bewilders me.

  10. M Spanner Says:

    Well Done Future Transport. You have taken the bold step of a consultant claiming to be helping on an enquiry from a campaign team and coverted that into general acceptance that Obama supports TIF.

    The lies never end.

    I once met the Archbishop of Canterbury but I am not head of the Anglican Church

  11. Richard Leese Says:

    Why this blog? Hopefully to give Manchester's citizens an insight into what I do as Leader of the Council on their behalf, to give them an opportunity to comment, and in this digital age add to democratic accountability. Given that the Transport Innovation Fund [ TIF ]proposals are by some way the biggest issue I am dealing with at the moment it would be very odd indeed if it wasn't heavily featured in the blog. As for bias, if anything more space has been given to " No " campaigners than to my own point of view and their comments are very revealing, particularly their alomost total failure to address the facts around TIF and a complete failure to suggest any alternative.



The blog of the leader of Manchester City Council, Councillor Richard Leese.

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