Britain Off and Running

Doom, boom or merely gloom, the candidates unveil their themes

Is Britain depressed and divided? Is it buoyantly forging ahead? Or is it ^ simply muddling through? As the country launched into a 24-day parliamentary- election campaign last week, the portraits that political leaders painted of their country were starkly different -- and the conflicting images at once turned into political battle flags. To the strains of Brahms' Fourth Symphony in London's Queen Elizabeth Conference Center, Neil Kinnock, the leader of the opposition Labor Party, strode onto the podium to describe a joyless, divided Britain, an "economically and socially disabled" country afflicted with Dickensian misery. Two hours later, at Conservative Party...

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