30th Sep 2012 12:42pm | By Oliver Jones
The Republican candidate is a bulletproof global liability
When Mitt Romney was caught on film saying 47 per cent of Americans would vote for Barack Obama “no matter what” because they “believe that they are victims, who believe that government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you name it,” logic would have dictated that was it for his campaign.
But, perplexingly, the incident doesn’t seem to have impacted his poll rating too drastically.
Mercilessly, for all, Romney was compelled to continue his run at the White House, and this week served up yet another golden gaffe.
During an interview, Romney complained that the inability to wind down windows on a plane was a “real problem”. At this juncture, it should be stressed, this is a man potentially three months away from obtaining nuclear launch codes.
And yet Romney is polling only four points behind Obama.
It seems as if Romney could get away with anything. Imagine for a second if he’d said that the hunt for Osama Bin Laden was a waste of money, or that he wanted to double the size of Camp X-Ray at Guantanamo Bay.
Or if he’d said that in France, marriage is now contracted in seven-year terms, and that he didn’t care about his wife’s opinions. Imagine also that he belongs to a religion whose holy book claims black people were contentious objects in an intergalactic battle between good and evil angels, and were sent to Earth with dark skin as punishment.
Would his poll rating change much?
Apparently not, because he has done/ said/ is all of the above.
In a rather beautiful way, Romney’s campaign is crystallising a fallacy that lies at the centre of American Republican belligerence: that wealth is an indicator of a meritocratic standing. It’s not.
But as we can’t do anything about the American election, we’ve just got to sit and wait to see if the Yanks give the Mormon who doesn’t understand why you can’t wind down the windows on planes the nuclear codes. Joseph Smith help us all.
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Alex Haigh, a 21-year-old from Plymouth, last week became the first person in the UK jailed for squatting.
He’d come to London looking for work and was arrested in a flat in Pimlico.
Rueben Taylor, from Squatters Action for Secure Homes, said: “This marks a dark day for our country, as a young vulnerable person is being sent to prison simply for trying to keep a roof over his head.
“The real crime is the 930,000 properties sitting empty across the UK, not the people who are bringing these back into use. This crazy law is aggressively punishing the victims of our housing crisis, at massive cost to the taxpayer.”
Squatting is a London tradition. While abuses undoubtedly occurred before, it was the police’s laziness in properly assessing cases that led to the tabloid outrage that then bred this retrograde legislation, which will only increase homelessness in London.