June 7, 2001 – Britain went to the polls this day. And for a historic second time, The Labour Party of Tony Blair won re-election. But, it was also noted, that this election represented the lowest voter turn out in a very long time. So Labour won a historic second full term, but in an apathetic sort of way, with the lowest voter turnout since after World War 2. However, in its defense, observers noted that it was a foregone conclusion that Labour would win handily, so many voters didn’t feel the need to contribute – also, because Britain was undergoing a period of peace and relative prosperity, casting votes didn’t seem like a crucial step to take – so voters stayed away in large numbers.
But the BBC World Service devoted much of its programming on this day to covering the big news story anyway – and while the newscast was underway, voting returns were being announced and the win of the Labour Government was getting larger by the hour.
But there was other news happening in other parts of the world on this particular June 7th. Former Argentine President Carlos Menem was arrested by a judge on suspicion of arms trafficking during his administration in the early 1990s.
U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld was briefing members of NATO, giving them a detailed account of why the United States must have an anti-missile defense system. His main theme was the need to adjust to emerging and rapidly changing threats, from ballistic missiles in particular. Mister Rumsfeld’s remarks came as China proposed a treaty banning the testing and deployment of nuclear weapons in space. They said in view of American plans, there was an urgent need to prevent an arms race in space.
And that’s a small piece of news for this June 7, 2001 – along with an almost 3 hour sampling of election results live from The BBC World Service.