In North Korea it is mandatory that you wear a pin badge everyday, typically a red one with a picture of the Great Leader, Kim il Sung. Lose your badge and woe betide you; a gulag awaits.
In the coming week Barack Obama should be anointed as the Democratic candidate for November’s presendential election. For so long he managed to campaign on the ‘change for good’ mantra, claiming he was different to old Washington He had managed to eschew wearing the frankly fascist US pin badge so beloved of the current White House resident. Yet when Obama’s campaign hit a sticky spot six weeks back with his wacky pastor, Jeremiah Wright spouting off, his opponents attacked Obama’s patriotism – cue the stars and stripes pin badge on his crisp suits. A small but revealing aspect of the depressive, constrained state of US politics.