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TEXT OF SPEECH BY RT HON TONY BLAIR, PRIME MINISTER AND LEADER OF THE LABOUR PARTY TO THE LABOUR PARTY ANNUAL CONFERENCE, BRIGHTON, 1997 EMBARGOED: NOT FOR PUBLICATION BEFORE 1430 HRS TUESDAY SEPTEMBE

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After 18 long years of Opposition, of frustration and despair, I am proud, 
privileged, to stand before you as the new Labour Prime Minister of our 
country. 
I believe in Britain. 
I believe in the British people. 
One cross on the ballot paper.  One nation was reborn. 
Today I want to set an ambitious course for this country.  To be nothing less 
than the model 21st century nation, a beacon to the world. 
It means drawing deep into the richness of the British character. Creative. 
Compassionate. Outward-looking. 
Old British values, but a new British confidence. We can never be the biggest. 
We may never again be the mightiest. 
But we can be the best.  The best place to live. The best place to bring up 
children, the best place to lead a fulfilled life, the best place to grow old. 
14 years ago our Party was written off as history. This year we made it. 
Let our first thanks be to the British people. 
You kept faith with us.  And we will keep faith with you.
Thank you to the Party organisation, the volunteers, the professionals 
who fashioned the finest political fighting machine anywhere in the world. 
And thanks to those that led before me. 
To Neil Kinnock: the mantle of Prime Minister was never his. But I know that 
without him, it would never have been mine. 
To John Smith: who left us a fine legacy, and to 
whom we can now leave a fitting monument - a Scottish Parliament in the city 
where he lived, serving the country he loved and the people who loved him. 
To Jim Callaghan: who was attending Labour Party Conferences before I was 
born; and by the look of him, will be attending long after I've gone. 
My own debt of honour to Michael Foot: you led this Party when, frankly, it 
was incapable of being led and without ever losing 
a shred of your decency or your integrity.  Thank you. 
I should also say a final word of thanks to the Tory Party. Let's be honest, 
we'd never have done so well without them. 
So thanks to Michael Howard, to John Redwood, to Peter Lilley, to Brian 
Mawhinney. 
Of course, it's a fresh start now - with Michael Howard, John Redwood, Peter 
Lilley, Brian Mawhinney. 
Sorry - ''Sir'' Brian Mawhinney - knighted for services to the Conservative 
Party. 
John Prescott wanted to give him a peerage - for services to the Labour Party.
As for Government, well, it beats the hell out of Opposition.  They 
really do say ''Yes, Prime Minister''. 
You have to learn a whole new language. 
They're not in the habit of calling anything a good idea, which given the last 
18 years is hardly surprising. 
When they describe a proposal as ''ambitious'', or, even worse, 
''interesting'', what they really mean is they think it was a stupid idea, 
dreamed up at the last minute for the manifesto. 
When they describe it as ''challenging'', they mean there's not a hope in hell 
of making it work. 
And when they say of a policy ''that it really is quite a brave proposal Prime 
Minister'', it means they've got the doctor outside waiting to sign the 
certificates and they've just applied for a transfer to a senior job 
administering one of our few remaining dependent territories. 
It's not the titles and the cars and the trappings that make government 
worthwhile. 
It's letters like this from 11 year old Emma O'Brien from Ellesmere Port.
''Summer School was a good idea.  I have started to read more books.  I 
have learned more spellings. We've had fun.  All of 
us have made new friends.  I think you and parliament have done the right 
thing. I have got a better education.'' 
Or this one from Mrs Patricia Lewis, of South London. 
''Each afternoon I collected him from school.  By the fourth day the change 
was showing in Stephen. His enthusiasm grew, confidence gained, his ability to 
read, write, spell, speak, and question politely, was amazing.'' 
That is why we are here. That is what made winning worth the fight. 
Ours was not a victory of politicians but of people. 
The people took their trust, and gave it to us. 
I want them to say, this week as they watch us here in Brighton: we did the 
right thing.  I want the British people to be as proud of having elected us as 
we are to serve them. 
We won because we are New Labour, because we had the courage to change 
ourselves, and the discipline to take hard decisions, whilst remaining united. 
The lessons we learned in Opposition we carry on applying in Government.  The 
moment we stop that is the moment we will stop 
being in government. 
Even now, especially now, no complacency. 
I know I'm obsessive about this.  But I will admit now that I perhaps went 
over the top when I phoned Millbank Tower on election night to say people were 
behaving as though  it was in the bag. 
''Look,'' I was told, ''We've got 150 seats.  The Tories have got 6.  It's 
hard to persuade the media this thing's on a knife edge.'' 
But still, no complacency. 
May 1st was the beginning not the end.  We have never won two 
full consecutive terms of office. Never.  That is one more record I want to 
break. 
No cockiness about the Tories even now.  They're 
not dead. Just sleeping.
Let their fate serve as a warning to us. 
What the people give, the people can take away. We are the servants. They are 
the masters now. To govern Britain is a privilege not a right. Never forget 
it. Last year we were talking about 
what we would do.  This year we're doing it.  That ten point contract with the 
British people - we are honouring. 
We said we would get more money into schools and hospitals.  We have.  -2.2 
billion more than Tories planned to spend next year. 
We said we'd sign the Social Chapter.  We did. 
We said we'd restore trade unions at GCHQ.  On May 19, free and independent 
trade unions came back to GCHQ. 
We said we'd set up a Low Pay Commission.  We have, and the national minimum 
wage is on its way. 
We said we'd legislate to release the money from selling council homes in 
order to house the homeless.  We've done it. 
We said we'd cut class sizes, by scrapping the Assisted Places Scheme.  The 
law to do it has been passed. 
We've given the people of Scotland and Wales the devolution referendums we 
promised, and they have voted: yes, yes, and yes again. 
We said we'd reform the Lottery to address the people's priorities.  We  have, 
and today more proposals on how we'll reform it further and get more money to 
more local projects, the length and breadth of Britain, preparing for the 
millennium. 
We said we'd cut VAT on fuel.  We have. 
We never said we'd cut corporation tax.  But we did anyway, to the lowest 
level it's ever been. And we have brought Britain's top business brains right 
into the heart of Government. 
And we said we'd force the water companies to give a better deal to their 
customers.  A few hours of quiet diplomacy by Mr John Prescott did the 
necessary, and the companies did the business.
We owed a debt to the people of Dunblane. We said MPs would vote to ban 
handguns.  MPs have had that vote.  The people have spoken.  Parliament has 
spoken.  Handguns are banned.  We have honoured our debt. 
We said we'd ban landmines.  They're banned in 
Britain and we'll keep working until they are banned the world over. 
Of all we have done, ask me what has taken the most time, the most effort, 
it's probably Northern Ireland. 
There is no tougher job in Government than Northern Ireland Secretary, and 
there is no better person to do it than Mo Mowlam. 
The effort has been worth it. The cease-fire has been renewed. Republicans and 
Unionists are talking for the first time since 1921. 
There is a long, long way to go. Every step is fragile. 
But in the name of humanity, I ask that ancient enmities be put aside. 
Talking is no treachery.  Agreeing is no betrayal. The real betrayal would be 
to let violence take the place of democracy in Northern Ireland again. 
But I want to do more than keep our promises. I sense the British people 
demand more of us too. People ask me the highlight of the election.  Mine was 
driving from home to Buckingham Palace, along streets we had driven hundreds 
of times, past soulless buildings and sullen faces on their way to work.  This 
drive was so different. As we turned into Gower Street, people watching our 
journey on TV came pouring out of the doorways, waving and shouting and 
clapping, with an energy and excitement that went beyond anything I imagined 
would happen.  They were liberated.  Theirs were the smiles of tolerant, 
broad-minded, outwardlooking, compassionate people and suddenly they learned 
that they were in the majority after all. As one woman put it to me:  ''We've 
got our Government back.''
And with them I could sense confidence returning to the British people, 
compassion to the British soul, unity to the British nation, and that all 
three would give us new found strength. 
The people were yearning for change in their country, at a time when they 
could see we had had the guts to modernise our party. The two came together. 
The result is a quiet revolution now taking place.  Led by the real 
modernisers - the British people. 
The size of our victory imposes a very special responsibility on us. 
To be a government of high ideals and hard choices. Not popular for one time 
but remembered for all time.  Not just a better government than the Tories but 
one of the great, radical, reforming Governments of our history. 
To modernise Britain as we modernised the Labour Party.  To build a Britain, 
not for a few, but for 
all the people.  And it will require change.  Hard choices.  I know this 
country can make them 
if we show how and why. 
The British don't fear change. 
We are one of the great innovative peoples. 
From the Magna Carta to the first Parliament to the industrial revolution to 
an empire that covered the world; most of the great inventions of modern times 
with Britain stamped on them: the telephone; the television; the computer; 
penicillin; the hovercraft; radar. 
Change is in the blood and bones of the British we are by our nature and 
tradition innovators, adventurers, pioneers.  As our great poet of renewal and 
recovery, John Milton, put it, we are ''A nation not slow or dull, but of 
quick, ingenious and piercing spirit, acute to invent, subtle and sinewy to 
discourse, not beneath the reach of any point that human capacity can soar 
to''. 
Even today, we lead the world, in design, pharmaceuticals, financial services, 
telecommunications.  We have the world's first language. 
Britain today is an exciting, inspiring place to be.  And it can be much more. 
If we face the challenge of a world with its finger on the fast forward 
button; where every part of the picture of our life is changing. 
Today I say to the British people: the chains of mediocrity have broken, the 
tired days are behind us, we are free to excel once more.  We are free to 
build that model 21st Century nation, to become that beacon to the world.
Creative. 
Compassionate. 
Confident of our place in the world. 
And when people say sorry, that's too ambitious, it can't be done, I say: this 
is not a sorry country, we are not a sorry people.  It can be done. 
We know what makes a successful creative economy. Educate the people.  Manage 
the country's finances well.  Encourage business and enterprise.  But each bit 
requires us to modernise and take the hard choices to do it. 
We have been a mercantile power.  An industrial power.  Now we must be the new 
power of the information age. 
Our goal: to make Britain the best educated and skilled country in the world; 
a nation, not of a few talents, but of all the talents.  And every single part 
of our schools system must be modernised to achieve it. 
Nearly 40 per cent of 11 year olds can't read, write or add up properly. 
42nd in the world education league. 
This is the scandalous legacy not just of 18 years of Tory Government but of a 
country too often content to educate the elite and ignore education for all. 
Education, education, education.  Remember? 
In just 5 months, we made a remarkable beginning, under the brilliant 
leadership of David Blunkett. 
But we will do more. 
Equipping our schools. 
We are publishing today details of agreements involving Government and the 
private sector, for the biggest public/private partnership in any education 
system, anywhere in the world, which will mean:
By 2002 every one of the 32,000 schools in Britain will have modern 
computers, the educational programmes to go on them, the teachers skilled to 
teach on them, the pupils skilled to use them, connected to the superhighway 
for free and with phone bills slashed to as low as £1 per pupil per year. 
We are setting a new target of £2 billion for this parliament 
for our school repairs and equipment programme.  A list of the first 2,300 
schools to benefit is being published today.   The money is being allocated 
today.  One of the head-teachers is here with us. By 2002 up to 10,000 schools 
will have benefited. 
Getting the basics right.  We are launching the biggest assault on poor 
literacy and numeracy standards this country has seen. We are setting a target 
of 80% up to the standard in literacy, 75% for numeracy by the year 2002, and 
we'll keep on until every 11 year old in every school in every part of Britain 
gets the start in life that they deserve. 
And I repeat the promise I made at the election, that over the lifetime of 
this parliament, we will reverse the Tory policy of cutting spending on 
education as a proportion of our national income and raise it once again, 
beginning with £1billion extra next year. 
Nursery vouchers have gone and instead we'll get nursery places for all four 
year olds and we're on the way to places for all three year olds too. 
The money will be there, but in return hard choices and modernisation. 
No failure.  No muddling through.  No second best.
High standards.  The pursuit of excellence. Discipline and leadership. 
Support from home. Not for some children in some schools.  But for all 
children in all schools. 
Each school that needs it, and every LEA, will be set targets for improvement. 
Failing schools and LEAs will be taken over.  Teacher training will be 
reformed. 
Headteachers will have a proper qualification. Poor teachers will go. 
People say my job's pressurised.  So is teaching. And don't let anybody think 
that we are tough on bad teaching because we don't value teachers.  We are 
tough on bad teachers precisely because we DO value good teachers who need 
high quality teachers working alongside them. 
And parents have to play their part.  There will be home school contracts for 
all pupils.  Sign them. 
There will be new measures to tackle truancy and disruptive children, new 
homework requirements. Support them. 
When a school disciplines a child, back the teacher. 
The high ideal of the best schools in the world. Reached through hard choices. 
Universities in Britain had their funding cut by 40% per student under the 
Tories.  The science and research base - once the envy of the world - under 
threat. 
The Tories put a cap on student numbers.  Only 30% of youngsters in Britain 
admitted to go to university.  Fewer not just than France or the USA, but 
fewer than South Korea.  The hard choice: stay as we are and decline.  Or 
modernise and win. 
Under our proposals, no parent will have to pay more.  Low income families 
will be entirely exempt from tuition fees.  All students will repay only as 
they can afford to.
And if we reform, I am going to pledge to you, that by the end 
of this parliament, we will put resources saved through reform into frontline 
provision in universities and further education; and the first 165 million 
pounds is already  in next year's budgets.  We will lift the cap on student 
numbers and set a target for an extra 500,000 people into higher and further 
education by 2002. 
Our education system - a beacon to the world. 
Within days of taking office, we took one of the hardest choices of all: we 
gave the Bank of England the right to decide interest rates and take the 
politics out of mortgages. 
And in the short term it's tough.  Interest rates 
have gone up. But I say to people, better to go up now, still only by 1%, than 
to go back to the days of the last Tory government when mortgages were at 15% 
for a year, 1 million homes in negative equity, a whole swathe of industry 
wiped out. 
We are cutting the Tory deficit too.  We are sorting out the public finances. 
Borrow only for investment.  Hold debt down. Earn before you spend. Don't live 
on tick. I want this to be the New Labour Government that ended Tory boom and 
bust for ever. 
Twenty years ago, the IMF came to bury us. Now they come to praise us. 
Yes, new Labour's got new friends everywhere. 
I want Britain to be a country of enterprise and ambition where small 
businesses grow, manufacturing and engineering revive, where we learn the 
lessons of British industrial relations over the past 100 years.
Fairness at work yes.  But flexibility will remain.  For business,  this 
will be a Government on your side not in your way. 
And I say to both sides of industry, there is no place for militant trade 
unionism or uncaring management today. Partnership is the key.  That is the 
only language this New Labour Government will respect. 
It's pretty simple the type of country I want. It's a country where our 
children are proud and happy to grow up in, feeling good not just about 
themselves, but about the community around them. 
I don't want them living in a country where some of them go to school, hungry, 
unable to learn because their parents can't afford to feed them; where they 
can see drugs being traded at school gates; where gangs of teenagers hang 
around street corners, nothing to do, but spit and swear and abuse passers-by; 
I don't want them brought up in a country where the only way pensioners can 
get long term care is by selling their home, where people who fought to keep 
that country free are now faced every winter with the struggle for survival, 
skimping and saving, cold and alone, waiting for death to take them. 
And I will not rest until that country is gone and all our children live in a 
Britain where no child goes hungry, the young are employed, and the old are 
cherished and valued to the end of their days. 
But let me spell out some facts. 
After eighteen years of Tory Government, of cuts and closures, of declining 
public services, the country was taxed more than under the last Labour 
Government.
This country, any country, will not just carry on paying out more in taxes and 
getting less. 
Our new society will have the same values as it ever did. Fighting poverty and 
unemployment. Securing justice and opportunity.  It should be a compassionate 
society.
But it is compassion with a hard edge. 
A strong society cannot be built on soft choices. 
It means fundamental reform of our welfare state, of the deal between citizen 
and society.  It means getting money out of social breakdown and  into schools 
and hospitals where we want 
to see it. 
The new welfare state must encourage work not dependency. 
We are giving young people and the long term unemployed the opportunity.  A 
£3.5 billion investment.  We are adding today the option of self employment 
as part of the new deal.  But they have to take one of the options on offer. 
We want single mothers with school age children at least to visit a job 
centre, not just stay at home waiting for the benefit 
cheque every week until the children are sixteen. 
Modern welfare means a better balance between public and private money. 
We need to invest more as a country in savings and pensions.  But government's 
role is going to be to 
organise provision -like new stakeholder pensions not fund it all through ever 
higher taxes. And our number one duty is to get help to the poorest pensioners 
first. 
Housing benefit, in some areas, is virtually designed for fraud. It has to 
change.
We will not be that beacon to the world in the year 2005 with a welfare 
state built for the very different world of 1945. 
Our tax system should reward hard work.  In the 80s the Tories took down high 
marginal tax rates for high earners.  It is time we did the same for 
Britain's' working poor. 
And the same drive for reform applies to the NHS. 
I'm tired of hearing the NHS described as if it were a relic. 
It isn't.  It was the greatest act of modernisation any Labour Government ever 
did. 
My vision is not just to save the NHS but make it better.  The money will be 
there.  I promise you that.  This year.  Every year.  Millions saved from 
red tape, millions more into breast cancer treatment already. 
The values will remain.  From next April, the twotier NHS of the Tories will 
go. 
And I tell you.  I will never countenance an NHS that departs from its 
fundamental principle of health care based on need not wealth. 
The hospitals will be built. 14 of them, the biggest hospital building 
programme in the history of the NHS. It will mean an extra £1.3 billion in 14 
towns and cities serving 5 million people.  And as of today, it is 15. 
But money is not the only problem with healthcare in Britain. The NHS itself 
needs modernisation and hard choices.
We appointed the first Minister for Public Health because the NHS should 
not lose millions every year because of avoidable illnesses like those from 
smoking. 
Barriers between GPs, social services and hospitals must be broken down. 
Hospitals cannot stand still.  Increasingly, general hospitals will provide 
routine care, supported by specialist centres of excellence in treatment, 
research and education. 
GPs and nurses will do more of what hospitals used to do, often working on the 
same site in partnership with chemists, dentists, opticians and 
physiotherapists. 
New technology offers huge opportunities in healthcare but we haven't yet 
begun to seize them properly. 
We will get the money in.  But in return, I want reform. 
From next April, there will be up to ten speciallyfunded Health Action Zones 
set up in Britain. 
Their remit: to experiment with new ideas in the way healthcare is delivered, 
so that patients get a better deal from their health service for the 21st 
century. 
The NHS was a beacon to the world in 1948.  I want it to be so again. 
It will always be safe with us.  But I want it to be better with us. 
I say to the country in all honesty.  You can have the education revolution, 
the health revolution, the welfare revolution.  But it means hard choices. It 
means us all getting involved. And it 
means modernisation.
And we need to bring a change to the way we treat 
each other. 
I tell you:  a decent society is not based on rights.  It is based on duty. 
Our duty to each other.  To all should be given opportunity,  from all 
responsibility demanded. 
The duty to show respect and tolerance to others. 
I make no apology.  I back zero tolerance on crime. 
I back powers to tackle anti-social neighbours;  to make parents responsible 
for their children; to overhaul the youth justice system so that youngsters 
stop thinking they can commit a crime, get a caution and carry on being a 
criminal. 
At every level of the fight against crime - today acting on serious organised 
crime -  this New Labour Government is taking it on.  It will take time.  And 
it will be tough. 
But to those who say it's all a threat to our civil liberties, 
I say the threat to civil liberties is of women afraid to go out, and 
pensioners afraid to stay at home, because of crime and the fear of crime and 
we're going to help them. 
And we cannot say we want a strong and secure society when we ignore its very 
foundation:  family life. 
This is not about preaching to individuals about their private lives. 
It is addressing a huge social problem. 
Attitudes have changed.  The world has changed. 
But I am a modern man leading a modern country and this is a modern crisis.
Nearly 100,000 teenage pregnancies every year. Elderly parents with whom 
families cannot cope. Children growing up without role models they 
can respect and learn from. 
More and deeper poverty. 
More crime. 
More truancy. 
More neglect of educational opportunities. 
And above all more unhappiness. 
I give you this pledge.  Every area of this Government's policy will be 
scrutinised to see how it affects family life.  Every policy examined, every 
initiative tested, every avenue explored to see how we strengthen our families 
and there will be a Ministerial group to drive it through. 
Don't think we're asking everyone to change but not Government itself.  We 
will publish a White Paper in the new year for what we call Simple Government, 
to cut the bureaucracy of Government and improve its service.  We are 
setting a target that within five years, one quarter of dealings with 
Government can be done by a member of the public electronically through their 
television, telephone or computer. 
Our politics are being reformed. 
We will deliver the Scottish Parliament and the Welsh Assembly after one 
hundred years of trying, and I say to the House of Lords, before it is 
reformed, don't try to wreck this legislation:  we have the votes of the 
people, you've got the votes of nobody. 
We will have a strategic authority and elected Mayor for London if the people 
vote for it. 
I can announce to you we are going to bring forward a Bill to ban foreign 
donations to political parties and to compel all parties to make contributions 
above -5,000 public.  And we will ask the Nolan Committee to look at the wider 
question of Party funding. At the next election all political parties will at 
last compete on a level playing field. 
And I know some of you are a bit nervous about what I am doing with the 
Liberal Democrats. Though not half as nervous as they are. 
Since this is a day for honesty, I'll tell you: my heroes aren't just Ernie 
Bevin, Nye Bevan and Attlee.  They are also Keynes, Beveridge, Lloyd George. 
Division among radicals almost one hundred years ago resulted in a 20th 
century dominated by Conservatives.  I want the 21st century to be the century 
of the radicals. 
We cannot be a beacon to the world unless the talents of all the people shine 
through.
Not one black High Court Judge; not-one black Chief Constable or 
Permanent Secretary. 
Not one black Army officer above the rank of Colonel. 
Not one Asian either. 
Not a record of pride for the British establishment. And not a record of pride 
for the British Parliament that there are so few black and Asian MPs. 
I am against positive discrimination.  But there is no harm in reminding 
ourselves just how much negative discrimination there is. 
On taking office, we discovered that the last Government planned to cut from 
£83m to £43m the Home Office section 11 budget and make redundant 7,000 
teachers and classroom assistants who help children for whom English 
is a second language. 
Today I announce; that Tory cut will not stand. 
I'll tell you why.  That money is not a cost, it is an investment.  And it's 
one a civilised nation should make. 
A nation tolerant and open.  Free from prejudice but not from rules.  A beacon 
for good at home and abroad. 
There is huge interest in Britain now.  Because people know that this is a 
country changing for the better.  A go-ahead place. The gates of xenophobia 
falling down. 
This Government can be the Government of enlightened patriotism. 
Again my vision for post-Empire Britain is clear.  It is to make this country 
pivotal, a leader in the world. 
To use the strengths of our history to build our future.  With the US our 
friend and ally. Within the Commonwealth. In the United Nations. In NATO. 
To use the superb reputation of our Armed Forces, not just for defence, but as 
an instrument of influence in a world of collective security and cooperation. 
And to lead in Europe again.  Not so that we ''don't get left behind''.  That 
is a weak reason.  It is because for four centuries or more, we have been a 
leading power in Europe. And we have at times been absolutely critical to the 
survival of not just Europe but the world.  It is our destiny.
And Europe needs us.  For we have a vision of Europe. 
We want a people's Europe: free trade, industrial strength, high levels of 
employment and social justice, democratic. 
Against that vision is the bureaucrat's Europe: the Europe of thwarting open 
trade, unnecessary rules and regulations, the Europe of the C.A.P. and the 
endless committees leading nowhere. 
But we cannot shape Europe unless we matter in Europe.  I know there will be a 
hard choice to come over a single currency.  And our policy, based on the 
British national interest, remains unchanged.  But in or out, we will be 
affected by it and must remain able to influence the way it works. 
Next year Britain now takes on the Presidency of the EU and it will do so as, 
once again, a respected leading European nation. That is an achievement of the 
new Labour government of which I am proud.
And elsewhere too, new respect and influence. In tackling Third World debt. 
On the environment. 
Today in London the Government's Chief Scientific Adviser is issuing a report 
on global warming which I commissioned on coming into government.  Read it and 
you will see why I am so passionate in my commitment to action not just in 
Britain but throughout the world, which is why we will take that action and 
get the rest of the world to take that action too. So much to do.  So much to 
change.  So hard to do it.  But the vision is as old as humanity. 
Modernisation is not an end in itself.  It is for a purpose. 
Modernisation is not the enemy of justice, but its ally. 
Progress and justice are the two rocks upon which the New Britain is raised to 
the heights. Lose either one and we come crashing down until we are just 
another average nation, scrabbling around for salvation in the ebbing tide of 
the 20th Century. 
That is why we changed the Labour Party.  To make New Britain. It is why we 
will carry on changing.  It is why it was right yesterday to take another 
historic step on the road to reform of our Party so that never again will a 
Labour government be torn about by divisions between leadership in Parliament 
and Party in the country. 
Yes, we are New Labour.  Yes, our policies and attitudes have changed. 
But there are no Old Labour or New Labour values.  There are Labour values. 
They are what make us the Party of compassion; of social justice; of the 
struggle against poverty and inequality; of liberty; of basic human 
solidarity; and the day we cease to be those things is the day we keep the 
name of the Labour Party but lose the reason for its existence.

And these are indeed the best of British values too. The point of modern Britain is not to dishonour the past. But to honour it by improving it, by taking the best of it and adding to it. Ours is a simple enough vision. But it will require a supreme national effort. It is a task for a whole people, not just a government.

Great challenges. 
But great rewards for all of us if we rise to them as we can. 
As one nation. Held together by our values and by the strength 
of our character. 
We are a giving people. 
In the face of crisis or challenge we pull together, strengthened by unity. 
It says nothing about our politics.  It speaks volumes about our character. 
You remember how your parents, like mine, used to say to you: Just do your 
best. 
Well let's do our best. 
On May 1, the people entrusted me with the task of leading their country into 
a new century. 
That was your challenge to me.  Proudly, humbly, I accepted it. 
Today, I issue a challenge to you. 
Help us make Britain that beacon shining throughout the world. Unite behind 
our mission to modernise our country. 
There is a place for all the people in New Britain, and there is a role for 
all the people in its creation. 
Believe in us as much as we believe in you. Give just as much to our country 
as we intend to give. 
Give your all. 
Make this the giving age. 
''By the strength of our common endeavour we achieve more together than we can 
alone.'' 
On 1st May 1997, it wasn't just the Tories who were defeated. Cynicism was 
defeated. Fear of change was defeated.  Fear 
itself was defeated. Did I not say it would be a battle of hope against fear? 
On 1st May 1997, fear lost.  Hope won. 
The Giving Age began.

Now make the good that is in the heart of each of us serve the good of all of us. Give to our country the gift of our energy, our ideas, our hopes, our talents. Use them to build a country each of whose people will say that "I care about Britain because I know that Britain cares about me". Britain, head and heart, can be unbeatable. That is the Britain I offer you. That is the Britain that together can be ours.

SOURCE The Labour Party



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