Yesterday an era came to an end for me. I am a great fan of the US television drama series The West Wing. I have watched most of it over the years but the first time I watched most of it the disc with the last episode on it was faulty and I never managed to get to the end. So I bought the whole series and have been watching it over the last year. On Sunday I did the ironing and I watched the last episode. I will miss it. I cannot think of a series that I have enjoyed more.
I suppose my view is caused to some extent by the fact that I spent my career in government – albeit local government. Until many years after I retired no one knew my politics (not even my wife). This was partly because I have been involved in elections most of my career (I was a Scottish Depute Returning Officer and Returning Officer for 20 years – a strictly non-political officer of the Crown) and in the UK we have a tradition of non-political senior government officers (a tradition which changed to an extent during my time in government but which I never came to terms with).
However in the last year or so I have been less reticent about my views. If I lived in the US I would be a Democrat. As a beneficiary of the UK’s National Health Service without which I would probably not be alive (it is unlikely I would by now be able to get private insurance) I have long felt that too many were excluded from the health care systems of North America. So President Obama’s victory today seems to me like a Good Thing. Will the US be able to afford it? I don’t know. Will the UK continue to be able to afford it? I don’t know. With aging populations few of our economies will continue to be able to sustain the standards of wealth to which many of my generation have become accustomed.
But I do think that President Bartlet would have been proud of President Obama.
So what series shall I become addicted to next?