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Being the change he seeks

Chuka Umunna perspective parliamentary candidate for Streatham has received praise on a Nigerian news website adding to the national press attention he has already attracted.

By Richard Sudan

Part of a new wave of PPC’s ready to change the political landscape of Parliament, Umunna was born in Streatham is hoping to join the handful of black MP’s currently sprinkled throughout Westminster, and has been dubbed by many as Britain’s Obama.

But ask him how he feels about this he will reply “I’m happy being Streatham’s Chuka.” It’s a fitting response from a man who was born in Streatham and lives in Streatham.

Knock on the doors of the constituents he is hoping to represent and it is surprising how many people seem to know him personally. I help out the campaign team at weekends and what is also encouraging is the level of support Chuka receives on the ground from people across the political spectrum.

This speaks of the fact people believe in Umunna. If elected he will become the first MP for Streatham to be from Streatham.

Umunna who is of mixed Irish and Nigerian heritage like Obama is the personification of his own message. Ambition and self belief yes-and they both have a background in law. But the comparisons to Obama are also a testament to the hope Umunna has given people.

I asked Umunna at OBV’s Barack Obama inauguration event last January what message he would like to give young people on such an emotional and historic day. He told me that they should “Be the change they seek”

And that is precisely why people are hoping Umunna wins in the general election. Chuka is the opposite of a career politician something which Westminster needs ridding of.

He is talented and full of positive ideas, and has a relentless energy driven by a genuine desire to bring real and positive change to Streatham. Furthermore Umunna remains focused on making a real, and lasting impact in Westminster should he win.

His determination to do so comes at a time when it is sourly needed. We at OBV wish Chuka every success at the forthcoming election.


3 Responses

  1. Hopefully not a(nother)? case of SOS – Soundbites Over Substance.

  2. No it’s not really James. Are we talking about the same Chuka? Chuka has a long history of political activism, and has been instrumental in youth work, dating back to his involvement with Compass (the centre left pressure group) and his work with TMP the online political magazine. He also spoke at OBV’s express yourself event last night highlighting the importance of young people from ethnic minority communities ‘being the change they seek’ and has mad young people one of his priorities.

    I think it’s important we support our black politicians, but I think if you disagree on Chuka’s ability and motives you need to be more specific on the reasons as to why. Using a catchy abbreviation, without backing it up is not constructive I’m afraid.

    If your interested in Chuka’s views you can e-mail him:


    Thanks James

  3. Hi there Richard,

    Please note, I did say “hopefully not”. Which means that I (personally, can’t speak for others) will give him a chance.


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