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.