Time will tell how clean Obama's new broom sweeps

PUBLISHED: 09:42 13 November 2008 | UPDATED: 15:54 11 May 2010

THIS WEEK the eyes of the world have been on our friends across the Atlantic Ocean. As Americans took to the polls on Tuesday we wondered whether they would throw their backing behind the old guard and vote for John McCain or welcome in a new regime heade

THIS WEEK the eyes of the world have been on our friends across the Atlantic Ocean.

As Americans took to the polls on Tuesday we wondered whether they would throw their backing behind the old guard and vote for John McCain or welcome in a new regime headed up by Barack Obama.

Of course the majority plumped for Obama, and he will officially become the 44th president of the United States in January.

The Illinois senator has built his successful election campaign around the premise that he will do things differently from the previous incumbent, and indeed his victory speech was jam-packed with the rhetoric of change.

"It's been a long time coming, but tonight, because of what we did on this day, in this election, at this defining moment, change has come to America," he told the world.

We can only hope that Obama's government will make good on its pledges and display a more compassionate stance to the environment and to foreign policy than that of the previous regime, but I always get a little uneasy when politicians start talking about what they are going to change.

History shows us that, more often than not, what is said before elections is a lot different from what actually happens after them.

Over the last few years our very own South Cambridgeshire District Council has spent a lot of time talking about how it is going to turn things around, but at present there's little going on at the sharp end to indicate it is actually doing it.

To be fair, it received a much-improved corporate governance inspection earlier this year which suggests it is sorting things out behind the scenes.

But as yet residents are still to see the fruit of this and we are still getting ridiculous decisions being made at ground level.

Take the refusal to grant planning permission for a hotel on the site of the derelict Horse and Groom pub on the A505.

The scheme has the support of all the other relevant local authorities and residents living in the area and would see an ugly, run-down site replaced with a much needed modern facility.

Yet for some reason, South Cambs refuses to budge.

The council recently adopted a series of "aims, approaches, and actions" for the future of South Cambridgeshire which, on the surface, appear to be light on detail and mainly involve the formation of yet more committees.

It will be interesting to see whether, as a result of these, they can effect some positive changes in the district and the way it is run.

n The Crow is one of the few media outlets that has remained a Russell Brand/Jonathan Ross-free zone over the last few weeks.

But now that the scandal is dying down a bit, it was interesting to note last week that footballer Marco Materazzi won undisclosed damages from the Daily Mail, one of the newspapers which led the calls for sackings at the BBC following the incident.

Materazzi was the man who was on the end of a head-butt from Zinedine Zidane in the 2006 World Cup final.

In an article written days after the final, the Mail alleged that he provoked Zidane by calling him the "the son of a terrorist wh*re", an allegation for which the paper has now apologised, accepting that Materazzi "did not say anything of a racist nature".

I trust the Mail will now be carrying out a thorough investigation.

After all, I'm sure it wouldn't want to be accused of having double standards.


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