Barack Obama’s momentous win has lifted the spirits of the entire world. There has been nothing like it since Nelson Mandela came from prison to win the South African Presidency.
After eight long years in which America often acted as if it did not care about anyone else’s opinions, the White House will come back into the family of nations. Where it always was under Roosevelt, Kennedy and Clinton.
Where diplomacy, not force takes centre stage. Where international justice – ending world poverty and human rights – becomes equally as important as national security.
President Obama will mean a welcome new approach to end the conflict in Iraq, a different commitment to fighting terrorism in Afghanistan and finally bringing Osama bin laden to justice – whilst making sure there are serious negotiations with Iran, not just threats, and a new drive to resolve the Israel/Palestinian crisis.
He will also mean the USA taking its responsibilities over climate change much more seriously.
Under Obama the special relationship with Britain will be two-way again, not just one way.
And there will be a healthy new domestic policy, changing course by offering tax cuts for the poor and the middle class, not just the rich, like Bush. He promises more funding for education, and proper healthcare for all.
Obama will deliver much needed hope and change, inspiring as he has generations of young and old, black and white, who had given up on politics, that his new politics really can make a difference again to build a better world.
Coming into office amidst immense international problems, his is the new face of all that was always, and still is, best in America, living proof that the US has thankfully escaped from the ugly grip of red-neck right wingers.
Right Honourable Peter Hain MP for Neath served as a Minister in Government and the Cabinet between 1997-2008. He received a Master of Philosophy in Political Science from Sussex Univercity having studied there between 1973-6.