Aggressive foreign policy fails to solve domestic problems
British Prime Minister Tony Blair is coming under increasing pressure at home for failing to deliver on people’s basic worries, which are the same as those of other citizens in the EU: street crime, health, public transportation and education.
As the Labour Party Conference gets under way in the northern seaside city of Blackpool, an opinion poll carried out by the Daily Telegraph shows that 66% of the British electorate are “extremely unsatisfied” with the government’s performance in the areas of health, where waiting lists remain long, public transportation, which is at best unreliable and at worst unsafe, education, which is perceived to be in a constant state of shambles and street crime, whose statistics soar higher and higher every year.
An aggressive foreign policy is often a useful trump card to play. However, a poll by Channel 4 TV station reveals that 80% of the British public is against a unilateral military strike against Iraq outside the auspices of the UNO, while a third of motions tabled for the conference, by Labour Party members, express concern about the growing tension in the Gulf and the US/UK stance.
The Trade Unions are already beginning to make their rumblings of discontent at the government’s plans for a Private-Public mix in providing public services, fearing that this will lead to changes in labour laws and a reduction in workers’ rights.
Tony Blair’s period of grace is certainly at an end. Fortunately for him, the opposition is as weak as it is leaderless as it is divided.
John ASHTEAD PRAVDA.Ru LONDON UNITED KINGDOM