1 May 2009

A new dawn has broken, has it not?

I don't think its unreasonable to say that it has been a pretty dire week for the government. Spirits in the Labour Party amongst activists are lower than those of Mexican pig farmers and senior members of the government are now openly musing about electoral annihilation.

There is a sense that one era is spluttering to an end as fatalism takes hold of the party. 

Today marks the twelfth anniversary of the historic 1997 rout of the Conservatives. So to try and raise my spirits, I thought I'd reminisce about the resounding victory and the spirit of optimism and renewal that swept the country at the time. 

I remember waking up on the morning of May 2nd and reading about the incredible result on ceefax and getting a real sense that something had fundamentally shifted in the country. I was 5 days short of turning twelve and I genuinely believe that it is that morning and that realisation that sparked a love of politics and a passion for the Labour Party that remains to this day. 

It cemented a belief that we as a party could represent the hopes and aspirations of the publicand that through the democratic process you could affect real change. 

Things do look bleak for the party at the moment and I would be lying if I said I was proud of everything we had done or that I looked forward to the next election with immense optimism. But we should never doubt that we did deliver remarkable change for the better. The fabric of society has been altered in the past twelve years to become more open, more tolerant and more encompassing. Education has improved and so has the National Health Service and public transport. Should we have been more radical? Of course. But, to borrow a phrase, if the next election were to mark the closing of our era, we would leave the country in a lot better shape than when we found it. 

And I've also realised that I am a few days short of having the majority of my life under a Labour Government. Hurrah! 

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