Congratulations to young (I know it sounds patronising, but it is kind of relevant) Ellie Gellard who is today enjoying the sweet taste of campaign success. To people with political blood flowing through their veins, there are few better feelings.
Ellie started the online campaign to persuade the Labour powers-that-be to choose, as their next party political broadcast, a film that was shown at Labour’s conference shortly before GB walked onto the stage.
I was very happy to support the idea, not least because the film, Against The Odds, was made by Mark Lucas and his team at Silverfish, the same people who designed this website and do the films and vlogs I put up from time to time. So congratulations to them too.
Ellie, whose Twittername is BevaniteEllie, is big on values in politics, and rightly thinks the film shows the link between Labour values and progress made by and for Britain down the years.
As I said on Saturday, it covers the fight against fascism, Labour¹s commitment to the NHS and the battle against apartheid. There’s the peace that TB sought to bring to Northern Ireland. Rights for workers, Sure Start, the minimum wage, cancelling debt to developing countries. This and more, none of which could have been achieved without being in government. How did we get into government, not just in 1997 but at any time? By fighting against the odds.
The main parties get a broadcast around the time of The Queen’s Speech, so Ellie’s campaign was timely. Its outcome will also save a few bob for the Party, able as it is to take this film off the shelf. But as the government sets out its legislative programme for the future, that is as good a time as any to remind ourselves what through our values we have achieved in the past.
And why is Ellie’s relative youth relevant? Because if she can be inspired by Labour’s history, and its relevance to today, so can others.
I am reading ‘The Audacity to Win,’ by David Plouffe, Barack Obama’s campaign manager. It is a terrific read, but one of the things that most impressed me was their commitment to, and belief in, empowering young people within the campaign. We could do with a bit more of that in UK politics. Ellie’s campaign victory is a step in the right direction.
Congratulations too, this time of a wholly ironic nature, to William Hague and his fellow Conservatives in helping to block Tony Blair as the first President of the European Council, thereby in all probability paving the way for Belgian PM Herman van Rompuy.
That would be the same HvR who told the secretive Bilderberg group of politicos, bankers and businessmen of the need for new EU wide taxes. Mr Hague has reacted rather angrily to this. ‘Advocacy of such a policy is not a fruitful use of anyone’s time,’ he says. Not nearly as fruitful as campaigning to get the wrong man in the wrong job, eh Willy?