Friday, January 15, 2010


Thanks to Andy's recommendation, I watched “By the People: The Election of Barack Obama” on BBC iPlayer a couple of nights ago. Just brilliant, captivating television. It’s a rough-and-ready documentary, right from the start of the his campaign (from 2007, and well before he decided to run for President) by film-makers Amy Rice and Alicia Sams. I blogged about Obama a number of times during the election campaign – here, here and here for example). With our own forthcoming General Election, it just made me YEARN for someone as charismatic and, frankly, believable as Obama as one of our own Party leaders.
I surprised myself by feeling really quite emotional during the programme. It reminded me that politics and elections CAN be exciting, stimulating and feel life-changing. I scribbled down the following quote from one of Obama’s campaign people in reference to the enthusiastic involvement of so many young people: “The kids, they think they’re changing the world – and I think they ARE!”. Actually, the star of the programme was a 9 year-old boy (but you’d have to watch the programme to know what I’m on about!).
Yes, we can!
The nearest I’ve ever got to feeling similarly inspired was perhaps election night in 1997 and Blair’s new Labour government. It’s a little ridiculous that our own general election has become almost presidential in style and I have to say that, as things stand, the nearest to an Obama-figure in my humble opinion (but an awful long way behind!) is perhaps Nick Clegg. I’m afraid that, as things stand, both Cameron and Brown leave me cold.
PS: I also watched the first of Simon Sharma’s series entitled “Obama’s America” the same evening (well, actually, I fell asleep after ten minutes and watched it yesterday morning over breakfast!). It’s absolutely fascinating and I love Sharma’s relaxed, low-key presentation style.

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