Hope for 2008

Six weeks into the year seems a strange time to think about hope in 2008. Maybe it is a better time than January, away from the pressure of New Year’s resolutions and with a clearer and more realistic view of the year ahead. So here are my hopes for 2008…

Energising new voters

Having recently returned from Washington DC, I was amazed by the way Barack Obama (candidate for Democratic Presidential nominee) had energised people to participate in the democratic primaries. At one of his rallies where I almost saw him (I made it inside, but couldn’t wait the three and a half hours for him to appear on stage), the diverse queue of more than 6,000 people standing in the freezing cold to see him proved his attraction to the voting public. Whether this was to see whether the art of rhetoric was alive and well, the cult of personality that pervades American culture or simply an interest in the issues Obama has pulling power. The idea of positive change and everyone having a role to play in that is inspiring, especially when people are equipped to play that role. I hope we can learn lessons from this for our elections this year.

A Democrat in the White House

And my second hope follows on; a Democratic President with a worldview that seeks to constructively engage around the world.

Investing in our communities

Closer to home though I hope that we, as Liberal Democrats, continue to invest in our own communities, whether that means using the power and influence at our disposal in a formal manner on councils or individually and personally with our neighbours and friends. I long for the day that everyone has the opportunity to fulfil their potential. All too often I have seen young and old lose hope that their personal situations will ever change. But with a relatively small investment of time and encouragement people can blossom.

A willingness to listen to others

As a member of the Lib Dem Christian Forum (and blogging in that capacity) how could I miss the opportunity to mention the Sharia law story?

Suffice to say that wherever you stand on the issue of whether it should have been raised or not, the reaction of some of the press has hardly helped to have an informed debate about the issue.

A willingness to listen to other sides of the debate can, at times, result in a stronger & better outcome for all concerned. Sadly this is not always easy – or worse, can be politically problematic – when the next campaign is always just around the corner.

My hope for 2008 is that we (as individuals & as a community) leave the year in a better position than when we entered it.

Kate Heywood is Chair of the Lib Dem Christian Forum. Check out www.ldcf.net

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This entry was posted in Op-eds.


  • John McHugo wrote:

    “and allowed Douglas Murray to mouth off his neo-conservative, Islamophobe demonisation of Muslims while stopping the Bishop of Hulme and Tariq Ramadan from having equal time to reply.”

    Note how apologists for Islam characterise critcism of Islam as “Islamophobic” and “demonisation of Muslims”.

    Incidentally, what is wrong with “Islamophobia”? Liberals condemn other evil ideologies, such as fascism and communism, so why are we required to abstain from criticising Islam?

    I have applied my magnifying glass to Laurence’s mugshot. No, it isn’t a beard, it’s designer stubble.

  • LiberalHammer 20th Feb '08 - 11:50am

    Sesenco, I share your puzzlement that there is such a term as ‘islamophobia’. If by that it means ‘dislike of a superstition that has too much influence in the world’ then I am islamophobic. Is there a term for dislike of Christianity? No. Then there shouldn’t be one for Islam.

    Islamophobia is not a substitute term for racism. Dislike of muslims with dark skin because they have dark skin is racism. Dislike of the views of dark skinned muslims is perfectly permissible, surely!!

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