Saturday, 14 March 2009

The Birmingham upsurge...

Eighty plus Labour party people gave up their Friday evening to come to a talk I was giving on Barack Obama and what lessons Labour can draw in Birmingham last night. It was the most energetic, engaged, inspiring event I have taken part in for quite some time and very kindly chaired by Steve McCabe MP. There is considerable life left in the Labour party yet and the work that is starting to be done- looking at some community organising principles- is phenomenal.

I look forward to the Fabian Society's new pamphlet on 'what we can learn from Obama.' Whatever the Labour party thinks it can learn, people in Birmingham are already getting on with it and it is this local, community based activism that is far more interesting than anything to do with on-line campaigning or the like. That had a part to play but the real lesson from Barack Obama's success- quite apart from that it helps to have a phenomenal communicator and inspiring leader at the helm- is that face to face politics, old-fashioned politics if you like, is just as important. If the party gets that right then it will find itself swimming with the tide of local community activism. More to follow over the coming weeks....

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