Let's have a great Christmas this year and try and keep the roads safe. No-one is trying to ruin the party but there is no place for over-the-limit drivers (and I mean those who are just slightly over) on the island's roads.
Winning with money
He said it himself: At some point you start to look obscene. This was Michael Bloomberg talking earlier this year about the $30 million he planned to spend to win election as Mayor of New York. Yet this week he revealed that he had actually spent almost $69 million in his ultimately successful bid last month. This was easily a record for any municipal campaign anywhere in the United States and about half of what Al Gore spent nationwide last year to nearly win the presidency. The difficulty about this kind of comparison, though, is that Mr Bloomberg did not solicit money from anyone else unlike most presidential, gubernatorial and Congressional campaigners, he spent his own money. The nearest comparison is perhaps with Ross Perot (remember him?) who invested some $70 million in an effort to become president in 1992, most of which was from his own pocket.
A man, even a billionaire, is entitled to spend his money how he likes, within the law. But somehow the idea that Mr Bloomberg in effect bought the votes of a sufficient number of New Yorkers at almost $100 each does not seem much of an advertisement for democracy. And the fact that despite his lavish expenditure he only just managed to defeat his rival Mark Green (total spend, $16.5 million) suggests that he owed his victory to less to his policies and personality than to the power of TV advertising in which he invested heavily. There are frequent attempts to control election expenditure in the United States but no one has yet found a satisfactory way of doing it.