Author`s name Pravda.Ru

UNITED KINGDOM: ELECTORAL CAMPAIGN UNDER WAY

Prime Minister Tony Blair starts to prepare the next general election in the United Kingdom, after having visited President Vladimir Putin for the fifth time in one year, giving him increased international credibility as he launches New Labour’s campaign for the new elections on 3rd May, 2001. Elected into office on 2nd May, 1997, after 18 years of liberal economics from the Tory party, Tony Blair has tried to decrease the gap between the UK and its main European Union partners: 30% less than France and Germany in productivity rates this year. After years of under-investment under a Tory government which favoured the private sector with a minimum of interventionism, giving preference to a rampant monetarism which almost saw a schism in the British social fabric (provoking the hasty exit of Margaret Thatcher from the political scene, hated by her public and disowned by her party), Tony Blair has had to tread a difficult path between a vigorous private sector and the need for an increase in public spending. Thus Tony Blair announces new levels of investment in health, education and public transports, proving that there is a limit to the benefits of private sector interventionism and that the public sector has always had, and will always have, a place to provide a social umbrella where it is most needed. The latest opinion polls, published yesterday by the Evening Standard newspaper, gave Tony Blair’s Labour party the lead with 50%, the main opposition Tory Party, led by William Hague, 31% and the Liberal Democrats, led by Charles Kennedy, 14%. John Ashtead, Pravda.Ru, London