Thursday, 25 October 2007

The current lot make Carter seem a collusus ...

It says something for the current desperate political climate that I can be inspired by reading an interview with Jimmy Carter.. .

I’m just about old enough to remember him as president.

My only memories from that time was that he was ridiculed as a hick buffoon and that the fiasco of the bungled attempt to free US hostages in Iran was the final nail in his coffin before Reagan’s Republican landslide in 1980.

I'm fully aware that the born-again Christian peanut farmer from the Deep South is sure as hell no socialist or working-class hero.

But his record both as president and as ‘former president’ do put him head and shoulders above those that have since followed him. You could say that this just shows quite how far to the right the political consensus has shifted since the Reagan / Thatcher new order.

Just a few random things that put him in my good books:

• Early opposition to segregation in Georgia led to his family business being boycotted by local whites.

• Outspoken opposition to the death penalty

• Opposition to the war in Iraq

• Calls to shut down the Guantanamo Bay facility

• A description of Israel’s policies in Palestine as ‘apartheid’

And less conspicuous but equally endearing:

• Legalising home brewing in the US – thereby pissing off big business and sparking a movement for real ales and micro breweries

• Reporting his personal sighting of a UFO to the FBI (before the X Files hit the screens)

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