WATCH: President Obama’s town hall to young European leaders

I have rarely been more jealous of Jo Swinson than I was when she tweeted this on Friday:

It is worth taking a couple of hours out of your life to watch Obama talk about investing in the next generation of leaders to work on securing action to combat gender inequality and climate change.

“Change happens because citizens are mobilised and force change” he said – an inspiration to those of us who are fighting the right and trying to create that “greater sense of hope.”

The first question was about consensus and compromise. He talked about being a community organiser and going to politicians and asking for stuff and they would say well, we can only do so much and how angry that made him. Then he talked about being President and having angry community organisers come to him and demand stuff that he couldn’t give. He understood stuff form both sides.

He knew when he signed off the Paris Climate accord that it wasn’t enough – he felt that it was worth doing it because if you could get every country signed up to doing something, then that becomes the “architecture” in place. We can then build on that.

He also says it’s important not to compromise on everything – you have to be clear what your principles are and where you are not prepared to compromise. This should inform our decision making at all levels – and I’m thinking about the fotthcoming Brexit votes. If it isn’t going to get us a People’s Vote or a revocation of Article 50, don’t vote for it. It’s that simple.

He talks about helping people to find their better selves – a great phrase.


* Caron Lindsay is Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice and blogs at Caron's Musings

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This entry was posted in Op-eds.


  • Nom de Plume 7th Apr '19 - 12:36pm

    “If it isn’t going to get us a People’s Vote or a revocation of Article 50, don’t vote for it.”

    If that is the attitude, then I hope they have the spine to vote against everything that doesn’t lead to one of those two outcomes.

  • Jayne Mansfield 7th Apr '19 - 2:40pm

    What a great shame that Michelle Obama has chosen not to enter politics.

    What an impressive potus she would make.

  • Denis Loretto 8th Apr '19 - 10:41am

    “If it isn’t going to get us a People’s Vote or a revocation of Article 50, don’t vote for it. It’s that simple.”

    Provided that you can be confident that this does not result in a catastrophic crash-out with no withdrawal agreement.

  • Bernard Aris 9th Apr '19 - 3:24am

    It cannot be a coincidence that along with Jo Swinson,
    *) Rob Jetten MP, D66 (Dutch Libdem-like party) party leader,
    *)sitting D66 MEP Marietje Schaake,
    *) D66 Europarliament candidate Samira Rafaela (no. 3 on our party list) and
    *) D66 ex-Eindhoven city councillor Mpanzu Bamenga

    were also present at this gathering.
    They were just as thrilled about Obama and the whole meeting; and they too were selected by the Obama Foundation as “Upcoming leaders” in EU and European politics.

    Compare that with the patchy response Italian Lega Nord Leader Salvini got this same weekend when he (in line with Steve Bannons plans) tried to gather all right-wing Populists fom the EU; not even Marine le Pen or Geert Wilders showed up.
    Puopulists are just too jingoist to gather for anything politically binding, transmational. We’re not.

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