“This campaign can't only be about me...It must be about what we can do together." – Barack Obama February 2007 Presidential Announcement
When casting our votes in the Labour Leadership election we should perhaps give some thought to the words above. We have 5 capable and intelligent candidates who all believe in the Labour Party and its values. No matter who is elected they will do the party justice and will strive for a fairer society. Therefore it’s not simply about who they are it’s also about what they and the party can do together.
Obviously everyone will have a personal reaction to each candidate. When the campaign started I had no idea who I was going to support. I was still getting over the elation of winning in my own constituency of Dunfermline and West Fife and then the disappointment that there was now a Tory Government. I therefore had an open mind and waited to see who inspired me.
Lets face it the party needs that inspiration, particularly now. I along with many others have, every weekend for the last two years, been knocking on doors, phoning people and persuading them to vote Labour and to help keep the Tories out. I did this because I have been brought up to believe that we need is a fairer society and I know that only Labour is dedicated to achieving that goal. What we need now is someone who can once again unite the party and those who support us so that we can be in a position to deliver that goal.
It is for this reason that I am supporting David Miliband. I was lucky enough to get to see him speak to Labour MSP’s in the Scottish Parliament. He spoke with passion and conviction and I truly believed in what he was saying. He came across as open, honest and approachable. I felt that he truly wanted to engage and to hear what people had to say and I am sure that he will have taken on board what were some tough questions on the day. I then watched the leadership hustings in Glasgow and the Newsnight hustings and still believed both in him and what he was saying.
What particularly struck a chord with me was his vision of training 1000 community organisers across the country. This I believe has to be at the heart of our party. We cannot move forward if we don’t take our communities with us.
As I have said I have been inspired and I believe that no matter who wins this Leadership campaign is good for the party. It allows us to debate and deliberate and not only is this healthy but I think it is needed.
I live in hope that the next general election it will be a victory for the Labour Party like the one in 1997. I was a bit too young at the time to apprieciate it fully. My memories are of my mum opening the windows and doors in the house at 2am and blasting “Things Can Only Get Better”. Whatever the outcome I know I will be there again knocking on doors rain , sleet or snow because as Barack said it's about what we can do together.