Showing posts with label Prime Minister Gordon Brown. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Prime Minister Gordon Brown. Show all posts

Saturday, May 1, 2010

The Americanization of British Politics

30 Apr 2010 19:43 Africa/Lagos

The Americanization of British Politics

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C., April 30 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- With the British election less than a week away, Americans may not have to wait until November to see which direction the political tide is moving in the United States. Voting results overseas may portend results here later, says David Coates, author of the new book Answering Back: Liberal Responses to Conservative Arguments, and a political science professor at Wake Forest University.

Coates, a former Brit, says the parallels between the U.S. and British elections are striking. "A moderately progressive Obama-like government is facing off against a party of compassionate Conservatives and a third party parading its concerns for individual liberty," Coates says. "Like voters in the United States next November, UK voters will be choosing between 'Big Government' and 'Big Society.'"

Britain also is contending with many of the same issues that are facing this country - from the economic slowdown and unemployment to immigration and crime. "Will the Labour Government survive?" Coates adds. "It is the question of the hour, certainly for the Brits, and possibly even for us."

Coates says there are a number of other reasons why the UK election is important for the United States. For starters, Britain is a major NATO ally, with troops in Afghanistan. In addition, the UK is Europe's leading financial center, strongly linked to Wall Street.

"The links between our political parties and theirs are close and ongoing. Where the UK moves today, we might move tomorrow," Coates says.

Currently, the opinion polls are giving the Conservative opposition a single figure lead, but no matter who ultimately wins, the closeness of the election is indicative of the deep unpopularity of the Labour Party under Gordon Brown, Coates says.

"That unpopularity is partly a product of Brown's own poor performance as prime minister. But it also represents another chapter in a growing alienation with Labour that began with Tony Blair's decision to invade Iraq," Coates says. "It also tells us how deep the recession has been in the UK since the financial crisis struck in September 2008. British electorates traditionally reward governments for good times and punish them for bad. Times in the UK right now are very bad indeed. "

Since the last election in 2005, incomes are down, job insecurity is up, and debt and foreclosures have increased. Says Coates: "All New Labour's considerable achievements on the economic and social front - unbroken economic growth, reduced unemployment, less child poverty, bigger spending on health and education - have been swept away in 18 traumatic months."

This news release was issued on behalf of Newswise(TM). For more information, visit

Source: Wake Forest University

CONTACT: Carol Cirulli Lanham, +1-336-758-5237,,
for Wake Forest University

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Sunday, May 31, 2009

Nigeria: Civil War Looms As Federal Troops Invade Niger Delta

A Niger Delta militant in full battle gear.

Fears of another internecine civil war loom large in Nigeria 42 years after the last civil war that claimed over one million lives and left over 20 million people as refugees. Over 1, 000 people have been killed and over 20, 000 others displaced when the ruthless troops of the Nigerian Armed Forces invaded the Niger Delta of Nigeria last week.

The Niger Delta region has been under siege as federal troops and militants engaged in bloody war over illegal oil bunkering and resource control of the oil rich south-south states of Nigeria.

The Joint Task Force (JTF) of the Nigerian Armed Forces declared total war on the rebel forces of Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) and launched a land, sea and air operation on Gbaramatu Kingdom and other villages in the creeks of the Delta State after the militant rebels killed 10 military officers at Camp 5 in Oporoza. Several villages have been bombed and razed in the siege, but the guerrillas of MEND have been able to repel the 7000 troops, gunboats and jet bombers of the JTF.

Militants have been kidnapping oil workers and destroying oil installations of the multinational oil companies and reducing the production of crude oil by a quarter in Nigeria, the most populous country in Africa and eighth largest oil producer in the world. The Niger Delta militants called freedom fighters want more control of their oil and gas and better life for the oil communities devastated by decades of both legal and illegal oil exploration.

As the federal troops continued the bombardment of rebel camps and villages in the creeks, leading human rights groups have sent peace delegations to Prime Minister Gordon Brown of Britain and other world leaders to persuade the Federal Government of Nigeria to end the siege to reduce the growing humanitarian crisis in the Niger Delta.

~ Orikinla Osinachi, reporting from Nigeria.

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