January 2009 Blog Posts

On 2nd May, 1997, the Tony Blair led the Labour Party to the first election victory over the Conservatives for 18 years. This was a landslide victory, the worst performance by the Conservatives for over 90 years, and a popular call for change by the people of the UK. The country was desperate for something different. There was such a feeling of relief, of new optimism, a belief that things would be better now.

History will judge whether the New Labour experiment was a missed opportunity. As time passes, it’s inevitable that more and more people become disillusioned with the status quo, with the fact that perhaps life isn’t as different as they’d hoped for. The Blair government became side-tracked, embroiled in World affairs that with hindsight might best have been avoided, and yet in their finer hours I believe they did make changes that improved many peoples’ lives.

My politics aside, however, I sense even greater hope and optimism in the United States. The people of this country are ready to cast aside the previous leader and look ahead to a change for the better. The inauguration of Barack Obama carries so much more significance than just a change of president, more than the change of administration from one party to another. 40 years after the civil rights movement, the dreams of many who never thought they’d live to see the day will come true. I still remember the feeling of a new beginning from that day back in 1997. There are millions of people for whom today must feel a thousand times more powerful.

Can we look forward to a new beginning both in the United States and throughout the World? I hope the answer is, “Yes, We Can.”


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