Agent off to boost Obama

IPSWICH Labour agent John Cook is preparing to fly out to the US to boost the final phase of Barack Obama's campaign to become the first black president.

IPSWICH Labour agent John Cook is preparing to fly out to the US to boost the final phase of Barack Obama's campaign to become the first black president.

He will be joining other Democratic Party sympathisers to work behind the scenes during the final week of the election at the end of next month.

Mr Cook, who is also a member of the borough council, will be flying out to the key swing state of Ohio - a state which George W Bush won by a few thousand votes in the last presidential election.

The trip has been organised by The Fabian Society, a group which has links with the Labour Party.

Mr Cook said: “I've always been keen to see first hand how an American election works and I thought Obama looked like the best candidate right from the start of the campaign.

“I could not resist the temptation to go on this trip. It will be like a working holiday.

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“I hope I am able to bring some of my experience to their campaign and will bring back some of the things I learn over there back here afterwards.”

Mr Cook said the trip could not be organised by The Labour Party itself because of election etiquette.

“It is difficult for Labour to organise trips like this because as a political party it cannot get involved in other parties' affairs - especially when it is in power in this country,” he said.

“But there are not problems like that with the Fabian Society and this should be a useful trip.”

Mr Cook has been keeping up to date with the Obama campaign through its website.

“We have reciprocal arrangements from democratic socialist parties whose members come over to help us during election campaigns.

“In 1997 there were a lot of young democrats from newly-liberated Eastern European states working with us - it was a bit disconcerting getting a broad Eastern European accent answering the phone when you rang up Labour headquarters!” he said.

“But politicians from all countries can learn from how campaigns are run in other parts of the world.”