OK so there’s a credit crunch on. And yes the Labour Party is skint. So it’s time for the fundraising department to get creative. But really, there is a limit isn’t there?
The party today sent out an email to members with the subject line: “Be part of this moment”.
No surprise then that it kicked off with the line: “Today is an historic day for the United States of America – the inauguration of Barack Obama. It is another step in a movement of progressive change, both here as in America.”
What came next though was something of a surprise: “A movement like this is only ever possible with the support of the many over the interests of the few. For instance, you may have heard that most of Obama’s donors were ordinary people giving whatever they could afford as early as possible – helping increase the impact of their donations. By giving whatever you can afford right now you will immediately help us in this year’s elections.”
Yes it’s true to say that millions of ordinary American citizens were so inspired by the promise of an Obama presidency that they decided to dig deep into their own pockets in unprecedented numbers. But they did so because they were being presented with the opportunity to positively affect change and contribute to a fundamental shift in an entire nation’s mindset.
Can donating to the Labour party to ensure funding for a local by-election really aspire to such lofty ambitions?
The email goes on to say: “In America, almost 70 million ordinary people have been inspired by a belief – a belief at the core of the Labour Party – that we should try to be the change that we want to see in the world.”
Yes I can see the point. But, ultimately Labour’s email comes off sounding opportunistic and just a little bit desperate – not traits normally associated with Obama.