Every government under threat, Gordon Brown warns

May 4th, 2008 - 6:05 pm ICT by admin  

A file-photo of Gordon Brown

London, May 4 (IANS) Every government in the world is under threat from the current economic downturn, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown said Sunday, just days after his Labour party suffered a mauling in local government elections. “In politics at the moment, you can look around the world and every government is under pressure - every government, because of what’s happening to the world economy,” Brown said amid mounting criticism that he has failed to deliver a strong message to the British electorate about how he plans to help them cope with the effects of the global downturn.

Brown said not just he, but American presidential candidates John McCain, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, too, are hitting “lows and highs”.

“Every government is under pressure, everyone’s got low ratings as a result of that because people are asking the question: ‘can you deal with the problems?’ It takes time to show people that we have got the answers.

“They (governments) have not created the problems as we have not created the problems. But we’re having to deal with these problems,” Brown told BBC television.

Labour suffered its worst losses in 40 years in elections held to 159 local authority bodies in the provinces of England and Wales Thursday, capped by the defeat of London’s Labour Mayor Ken Livingstone to his Conservative Party rival Boris Johnson.

After an embarrassing party revolt over a plan to abolish a 10 pence base rate of tax, Brown was accused of losing touch with the working classes and the poor - Labour’s traditional vote-banks.

Brown said the “key issue” emerging from the electoral defeat is “how can we come through the global economic challenges in this country.”

He said he planned to meet the challenge by addressing shortage of housing, education and enterprise and by tapping the potentials of “every single family in this country”.

“What’s behind it (the results) is that people want to know that we’ve got a clear and unequivocal sense of direction when it comes to dealing with the economic problems ahead of us. And they want to know that we have a plan for the future of this country that can unlock the talent of British people.

“What I’m about is better opportunities for every single family in this country - everything I do in politics is about that,” the prime minister added.

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