It’s the England/US game – who should I cheer for? It’s a good question. My US passport says I should cheer for the US. It nags me about national loyalty, hot dogs, baseball, the stars and stripes, individualism, capitalism, freedom and the American way. Right……. I think I’ll shut it up by smothering it under my 85 page UK visa application.
Call me a conscientious dissenter from the American way. I came to the UK at the end of the Bush years and have been jumping through hoops ever since for permission to stay. It was heartening to see Obama elected – if McCain and Palin had entered office I swore I was never returning- but for all its own difficulties the UK is still doing a lot more right than at home.
National pride aside, as I don’t really have any, why would I cheer for the good ‘ol US of A? A maternal mortality rate of 17 per 100,000 births is appalling, that’s a higher rate than South Korea, Greece, Italy, Serbia, the list goes on. We emit 10.8 tons more carbon emissions per person than the UK, and spend a stupid amount, thats 4.1%, of our GDP on the military.
Thankfully Obama’s push for strong regulation to stop banks and hedge funds from betting on food commodities gives me something to say we are doing better than England. There are now movements in both the US and in Europe to regulate food commodity speculation but the UK government, in deference to the city lobbyists might stand in the way. WDM is campaigning to make sure the UK government stops bankers from betting on hunger: www.wdm.org.uk.
But even with Obama, I just can’t find enough reasons to cheer for the US. So I guess, for this game at least, it will have to be England!
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Views expressed here are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect those of the World Development Movement.