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Ambiguity Marks the First Anniversary of Gordon Brown’s Premiership

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2008. 06. 30. 12:00

It has been a year now since Gordon Brown took over from Tony Blair as Prime Minister. The anniversary highlights a series of controversies and rising doubts.

It makes one wonder whether it was the unfavourable economic and political climates that posed challenges to the PM, or his failure to be able to listen and articulate his agenda clearly.

The meltdown of the popularity of the Labour Party was fuelled by the natural disaster that struck Gloucestershire in the summer of 2007. Torrential downpours caused severe flooding and tens of thousands were forced to leave their homes and stay in caravans, some even until this day.

Following the natural disaster, the UK was hit by a banking crisis when Northern Rock, one of the major mortgage providers, reported financial difficulties. As a result of the global credit crunch, the bank was unable to raise sufficient funds for its operations. The Bank of England had to bail out the troubled mortgage lender with £55bn of taxpayers’ money.

Due to the financial crisis, Mr Brown also saw the Bank of England offering a maximum of £100bn to banks to ease liquidity. There are worrying signs in the property market compounded by increasing oil and food prices. The inflationary pressure is looming and without prudential measures in the financial markets, the UK has a slim chance to escape a recession.

Britain’s ongoing operations in Afghanistan and Iraq, with increasing casualties and death toll, are raising ever sharper criticism. A controversial anti-terrorism bill, allowing for a 42-day detention without charge, was narrowly passed by the House of Commons recently. Many view this as an infringement of civil liberties. Mr Gordon Brown enjoyed a decade of economic prosperity whilst being Chancellor of the Exchequer.

Lord Levy, the former chief fundraiser of the Labour Party, believes that Mr. Brown needs to go, whilst Margaret Beckett, the former Foreign Secretary, is supportive of his leadership. It is clear that the PM needs a clear sense of direction and priorities if he wants to be successful in steering Britain through rough times.

Vocabulary

  • ambiguity – zavar, homály
  • to articulate – érthetően kifejez
  • to bail out – szavatol, kezességet vállal
  • Chancellor of the Exchequer – pénzügyminiszter
  • controversy – probléma
  • credit crunch – hitelválság
  • detention – őrizetben tartás
  • to ease liquidity – könnyíti a likviditást
  • fundraiser – anyagi támogatások megszerzéséért felelős személy
  • infringement – megsértés
  • to loom – fenyeget, levegőben lóg
  • meltdown of popularity – népszerűség nagyarányú megfogyása
  • mortgage provider – lakáshitel szolgáltató
  • prosperty – jólét
  • torrential – szakadó, áradó, zuhogó
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