Thursday 7 August 2008

David Lammy: What Obama can do for us

Does David Lammy have the right idea? He reckons the Labour Party has lessons to learn from Barack Obama's successes in America.

In a recent lecture Lammy argued that motivating members, new ways of campaigning, a culture of open discussion and creating a buzz about what you can achieve are all ways forward for the party.

He spoke about a need to attract "new people into politics" and to "reinvent the way to do things". Lammy pointed at how Obama had opened up political activism in America. "Our rigid sense of membership is something we have to look at." He spoke of "real dialogue" and "less control".

"I believe it is possible to build movements around things that people feel passionate about today."

Does this thing about passion and politics really work? You see the Americans out in the street in their thousands for an Obama rally, but can anyone really imagine that happening here? Frankly we might be a bit too cynical to go out on the street and cheer. As a nation we seem better at heckling, but that is not to say we don't need a bit of passionate politics somewhere, sometime.

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