Barack Obama's father was brought up in Kenya, one of the many African countries which had been part of the British Empire, but Barack Obama never lived there but has visited. He was photographed wearing the traditional local garments when he visited his father's birthplace Wajir, close to the Somalia border, the summer of 2006.

He may have some family history and feeling for the role that the British Empire and then the British Commonwealth have played in the development of post-war international relations. With his stay with his mother and step-father in Indonesia, originally a colony of the Netherlands via The Dutch East Indies Company, the potential future President of the United States of America will have developed a better feeling for the diaspora nature of the world: different from most his predcessors, but these experiences may not chime with the voters in the US, around only 20% of whom do not have a passport. :accessed 4 June 2008

Barack Obama does not appear to have spent much time in the United Kingdom but has already stated that he wants to re-calibrate the special relationships. In the United Kingdom we hope that if the Democrats replace the Republicans that there will be a more global view on Foreign Policy. The speech 4 June 2008 in which the parallel of Jews and Palestinians wanting their own homeland and how other people's, including African Americans, need to have a place they can strive for and dream about, could be part of a better future for the world.

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