All change: Obama’s instant impact on British politicians

November 6th, 2008 - 4:18 pm ICT by IANS  

Barack ObamaLondon, Nov 6 (IANS) The election of Barack Obama has had an immediate impact on British politics - from the ruling Labour Party to the opposition Tories and even distant Scots, there’s a scramble on to claim his day-old legacy.“His policies are similar to ours,” thundered Prime Minister Gordon Brown in the British parliament Wednesday at Tory leader David Cameron who had wondered if it was “time for change” in Britain after 11 years of Labour rule.

‘Time for change’ was Obama’s running motif during his hard-fought battle to dislodge the Republican Party after eight years in the US administration.

“On the day the American people voted for change, aren’t people in this country entitled to ask how much longer are we going to put up with more of the same from a government that’s failed,” Cameron said.

Brown, whose popularity has risen in recent weeks on account of his handling of the financial crisis, said, “The only change that they (Tories) represent is that they change their mind every week.”

In a witty jibe Cameron also asked whether Brown in his message of congratulations to Obama had said, ‘this is no time for a novice’ - words Brown had used for his political opponent in his most famous piece of soundbite earlier this year.

“What I had said was that ‘serious times needed serious people’,” Brown retorted, as Labour MPs cheered wildly.

“On this day of all days, I believe we should end this exchange by recognising the truly historic nature of the decision that’s been made by the American people,” Brown added.

Echoes of the debate were also heard in the Scotland, where the Scottish Nationalist Party (SNP), which wants independence for the province, leads a minority government.

Asked if the SNP would succeed in overturning Labour’s 10,664-majority on the eve of a byelection in Glenrothes, a Scottish constituency, SNP leader Alex Salmond quoted Barrack Obama to say: “Yes, we can and yes we will.”

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