British election: Obama vs. Obama vs. Obama

So we finally have a date for the General Election. Gordon Brown met with the Queen the other day and asked her to dissolve Parliament for an election on 6th May. Since the date was announced, all three parties have swung into action, and it’s amazing that all three leaders sound exactly like Barack Obama. Hope and change are high on the agenda.

The Conservative slogan is “Vote for change”, while the Liberal Democrats have gone for “Change that works for you”.

In a speech recently, Conservative leader David Cameron said:

Let’s fight for what we believe in. Let’s take the case to the country, to the people of this country, about hope, optimism and change.

Sorry, but isn’t Conservative ideology the opposite of change? Isn’t it about keeping things the way they are, inequalities and all? Have centuries of dogged defence of class privilege been tossed aside simply because of Obama’s landslide victory on the other side of the Atlantic?

You’d expect Labour to be against change, since they’ve been in power for 13 years, but here’s Labour leader Gordon Brown, in a speech at Centre Point:

It is time to see an end to the old politics and to change our politics for good… Now we look forward in hope. Now a new prosperity, a fairer society, and a truer democracy are within our grasp.

So perhaps this will be Barack Obama’s real legacy: not healthcare reform, or world peace, but a proven vote-winning formula that will be trotted out by politicians all over the world — at least until voters tire of it and demand a change from change.

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There is 1 comment

  1. Hey Andrew,

    You’ve made a fascinating observation. Conservatives adopting the idea of change shouldn’t surprise you. If you recall that the Republican Party back in 2008 also tried to appropriate the change platform.
    Interestingly here in the US Obama’s popularity is dropping for so many reasons. I wonder if the associations they’re making will ring true to voters in the UK. Something tells me they can’t stick to that message long. Of course it does seem to be a much shorter campaign season than we have here.

    It will be interesting to see in 2012 what Obama can come up with for his re-election and how it will resonate with people throughout the world.

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