Message for Obama

A young politician sweeps into power with a huge majority. He is a man of change - a man who sees his election as a sign his country is ready to head in a different direction. He is married with a young family and now has an overwhelming mandate to rule in his own way.

Recognise him?

No, it's not your President Elect Barack Obama, but our own Tony Blair back in 1997. Our former Prime Minister has now left the world stage, but Mr. Obama would do well to look at what happened over here and learn from Blair's mistakes.

Most notable was when Tony first got into Number 10 Downing Street. His campaign song had been: 'Things can only get better'. But they didn't really. Because instead of using his massive majority to push through unpalatable, but necessary, changes he decided instead to hang out with clingy celebrities. His desire to remain popular clouded his political judgement and made him afraid to push through the policies he had promised us he would deliver.

He appeared to enter a type of political competition for the 'American Idol' generation. Appealing to young voters by only just appeasing the older ones. It was a wasted opportunity. A time when he should have followed through with his vision for a better Britain; a time when popularity was less important than using the power we had handed him.

We didn't need or want a 'showbiz' leader. We could have done without the sight of our Prime Minister laughing with pop stars, actors, talk show hosts and other sycophants. Obama needs to ditch Oprah and the Hollywood set and just get on with the job. He may not have this opportunity again. He must learn from our history and not try to hold onto the almost universal love he has experienced in his pursuit of power.

After all, in two years, he will begin campaigning for re-election and in four years, he won't be anything like as strong as he is now. We have a saying here - make hay while the sun shines. If you see him - pass it on!

In the meantime congratulations America - you seem to have made a wise choice in Mr Obama - and some of us may even be prepared to forgive you for the last eight years.
by Petrie Hosken