Sunday 21 September 2008

Labour's next generation for Obama

There is likely to be one Labour gain at the next General Election, even if the sheer gloom of The Observer marginal poll turns out to be true. And that will be Rushanara Al, taking on whatever the imploding Respect left turn into in Bethnal Green and Bow.

And she received an early if not entirely serious tip for the Premiership from Peter Kellner just now, responding to David Lammy's observation that the US election would see one historic first:

When in 2020 Gordon Brown retires after his third successive victory as Prime Minister to the cheers of generation, I would like to see a Labour leadership contest between David Lammy and Rushanara Ali to be Labour leader and Prime Minister, though I don’t know who I would support

I certainly couldn't get David Miliband to move an inch from absolute neutrality on the US campaign in chairing his Fabian speech this lunchtime.

Labour's next generation is able to be much more open about why an Obama victory matters. This is how Rushanara Ali put the case just now.

This election matters more to the rest of the world than ever before

Obama reminds us of an America that has an assertive liberal message – a message of generosity not just in domestic terms but to the rest of the world. He is a reminder of an America that can have the potential to provide lessons for the rest of the world, in a way that we have not seen recently, and that can act again as a peacemaker for the rest of the world in a way that it once did

Bush has left a really destructive message for the rest of the world. That is why Barack Obama’s message is so important, and why we as Brits are so engaged in what is happening in America right now and in the Democratic Party

To quote Bill Clinton, more than ever America needs to act more than ever before through the power of example and not through the example of its power – and that is the choice between the Democrats and the Republicans. It is a battle between hope and fear. That is the difference in America.

Ali went on to say that the Republicans have built a message based on fear – including a fear of government; fear of change and "even a fear of hope".

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