an open letter to Barack Obama

Dear Mr Obama,

Well I see you just about got your job back then.

It was looking pretty touch and go out there during one of the most bitter and expensive races for the White House ever. At one point you nearly let that Mr. Romney steal your thunder and your presidency.

These are dark and dangerous times with the twitching economy, Iran, the fallout from the Arab Spring, the bankers, healthcare and the one per centers trying to take everything and the added general unease that is everywhere that things are just not quite right and the whole world really was watching. Nervously.

Mr. Obama, the American elections are a curious affair for us over here. They seem to take up more news time than our own elections. It’s all very well for your people to say that they having nothing to do with us but they have a massive impact on our lives. And we can’t even vote in them!
I guess that’s what we call the special relationship- you know the one where we hang on to your coat tails and hope for the best. I’m not sure how we ended up like this but I know it’s not a very smart way to exist.

So Mr. Obama I’m writing to you and saying please don’t fuck up this time because it affects us all. This fascination with the American election is quite telling, after all no-one here can even name the Chinese president let alone seems to care who it is in what is fast becoming the world’s number one powerhouse.

That’s because, despite everything, we still love America. Your country is still part of our national psyche. There’s a lot to like even if we know what the agenda of the bad guys behind the scenes is but then all empires are run as hungry and cruel machines- we, of all people, know this only too well having invaded and fleeced nearly every country in the world when we had the chance.

There are many things we misunderstand about eachother, they say we are two nations seperated by a common tongue but sometimes it seems more than that. Barack, if I may call you by your first name, we remain baffled by how a nation of people, like the Americans, who are the most polite and caring you can meet anywhere can be so opposed to your so called ‘Obamacare’.

The anger that was generated by, what seems to us, a really watered down health care system put in place to care for the sick and the poor in even this most lightweight of ways is shocking to us. It seems very un-Christian like! And that Jesus guy is still a big deal to you and your people. I’m not sure if it’s same Jesus we heard about at school but there seems to be some very loud fans of his saying stuff that the Jesus who didn’t like the decadence of the temples and the rich elites would have trouble with.

I often wonder what would Jesus would say if he heard some of the hatred that comes from the mouths of his biggest fans in the USA- like from ‘comedian’ Victoria Jackson . What would these people say if they ever met Jesus if he ever did bother to return? Would they tell him to get a wash and a hair cut and call him a hippie liberal?

The one per centers who own everything are obviously a bit upset this morning that you won Mr. Obama, with Donald Trump- that very rich person –claiming that you got less votes that Mr Romney and that it’s a l a fix and that there should be a ‘revolution’.

What sort of revolution would that be? A hundred super rich people camping outside Wall Street in very expensive camper vans? Or a super rich barricade and march through new York in specially made expensive outfits? It’s hard to believe that anyone with such a small grasp of the facts like Mr. Trump can get so rich in the first place and this could be a big part of the problem you face Mr. Obama because those rich and powerful people won’t play ball- they are businessmen after all.

Despite all this we love watching the American elections, it’s the closest that politics gets to showbiz. The elections steam roll out of America like a gigantic Hollywood blockbuster with car crashes, lots of action and high drama with good guys and bad guys and deep voiced statements of intent. Just like these films, the amount of money it costs to get into power is quite shocking and negates the so called American dream- you know that folksy old dream that anyone can be president (as long as they have billions of dollars to spare). It seems like policy is up for sale to the highest bidder and money talks in a very loud and brash voice. I’m not very sure how democratic all of this is but then nowhere is perfect at least you don’t have to go to Eton to have a chance of getting into power like you do over here.

The knife-edge nature of the election underlines that there now seems to be two Americas who are moving further away from eachother. The key to your victory Mr. Obama appears to have been a big turnout of Democratic supporters – especially black people and Hispanics but is America tearing itself apart and can there ever be some sort of consensus again?

Is it possible to join these two halves Mr. Obama? Politics in America seems to be turning into a dirty and bitter game with both sides indulging in hate Ads and character assassination. When we watch the TV debates it seems to be who can shout the loudest, who can make the most base argument, who can make the swift upper hook soundbites- is there actually any policy in all of this hot air and bitching? Is this any way to conduct a debate?

I’m glad you are reaching out to Mitt Romney to somehow work with you in some sort of way in the next term. God knows if these were just words or if this is even possible but an America united is more powerful than an America divided. Perhaps it is time for individuals to start thinking more collectively and working together rather than trying to grab as much as they can without thought for the overall consequences.

Mr Obama, you may have won but the euphoria we felt last time has all gone, this time it was more a sigh of relief. When you stop sending the those drones against civilians and escalating the so-called war against terror and stomping all over civil liberties then the optimism may return.

This time we are just glad that the other bloke with the badly died hair didn’t get over the finishing line first because we get nervous when these overtly religious types get near a public office. No-one was very sure what Mitt Romney’s agenda really was but we really didn’t want a return to the George Bush days of neo- Cons and strange men making hand shake deals round the world with dictators and selling arms under the counter with the word ‘covert’ popping up everywhere. Hopefully the American 1%ers will take note that you can’t buy an election any more or maybe they already saving up for next time…

Obama we’re not dumb enough to think that you are radically different or radical atall. We knows that it’s very much two peas from the same pod but we just trust you more and you can hear the sigh of relief everywhere outside the USA but please don’t fuck up, we’re counting on you, even if we can’t vote for you…

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Award winning journalist and boss of Louder Than War. In a 30 year music writing career, John was the first to write about bands such as Stone Roses and Nirvana and has several best selling music books to his name. He constantly tours the world with Goldblade and the Membranes playing gigs or doing spoken word and speaking at music conferences.


  1. my thoughts exactly. yesterday i learnt that Brandon Flowers of the Killers is a mormon so does that make him a Mitt Romney supporter? In the words of Clarke Gable “Frankly, i couldnt give a damn”.

  2. Excellent letter John. Hopefully he will listen to the 99%. Lee Camp a great American Satirist said it well though and I 99.9999999% agree with him.
    Lee Camp”Good speech by Obama but two notes –
    1) Woulda been better if he’d had an empty chair up onstage with him.
    2) He said the whole country thanks everyone who participated in the debate… but Green Party candidate Jill Stein was arrested and chained to a chair for trying to participate in the debate.

  3. Whether or not America is governed by a Liberal like Obama, or a Conservative such as Romney, little will change in terms of America’s drive for global military domination.

    ‘The Project for the New American Century’ outlines very clearly America’s intentions for the world. During his term as President, Obama the ‘Democrat’ has continued to facilitate the plans laid out in the ‘PNAC’, just as Bush the ‘Republican’ did before him.

    “Meet the new boss – same as the old boss.”

  4. Had a minor revelation
    became spokesman of degeneration
    callin’ down Armageddon
    in an open letter to Satan



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