There's an historic phrase in England: 'Remember, remember the 5th of November'. It was always supposed to commemorate (if that's the right word) the day when a certain Robert Catesby and Guido Fawkes plotted to change their nation's government. Fireworks and burning effigies have always been grotesquely used to remember that day. All the more amazing then that from today, the 5th November will be remembered for something else. Yes, people have campaigned to change their government; yes, enormous effort has been maintained to overthrow what many saw as an iniquitous system, and yes, a new way forward was seized upon for the country's people. The change envisaged was certainly explosive, but back then in England it failed.
The difference today? The change is in another nation, across the Atlantic; the people have changed their government, but from Republican to Democrat; the people have elected the man they see as the new JFK, one to lead them forward through all the current world difficulties. And, amazingly, the new President is the first ever black President of the USA. Martin Luther King and all the former African slaves would be jumping for joy.
And the rest of the world? In Europe, there is muted applause for the result. M. Sarkozy has publicly congratulated Obama. But as I look out this morning onto the rain-washed streets and muddy fields all around me? People will still live their lives exactly the same as yesterday. And for the future? We can only hope for a better world.