Saturday 21 March 2009

Lammy: This is now a time for political vision

What should British politicians learn from Obama's campaign, asks a new book to be published by the Fabians on Monday. David Lammy MP suggests that they should realise people want a candidate who offers them a better future, not one that campaigns on the past. The electorate wants to hear about big themes that are relevant to their lives.
But Obama drew on US history, while emerging as an outsider, apart from political elites.
If they were lessons for Britain, they might come from Lammy's assertion that Obama moved away from the technocratic, policy-heavy talk and focussed on applying visions of change. Key messages were simple, but powerful, while distilling complex thoughts and therefore avoiding the trap of being accused of being lightweight.
In the past the Republican Right had been successful at portraying Democratic policies as being against the interests of the average American, Obama's team avoided this trap.
Lammy says this a moment for Labour to learn from this.

On both sides of the Atlantic then, now is a time for political
vision and a discussion of what the world should look like
in the future.

A financial downturn was a chance for all parties of the Left to express a vision of a future where the market was not king, adds Lammy.

Read the full essay on our sister website here. We invite you to comment and tell us what you think of the chapters published ahead of the debate on Monday.

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