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L'intervento alla Conference del Labour Party

Gordon Brown MP, Prime Minister and Leader of the Labour Party speaks to Labour Party Conference
Manchester, 23 September 2008

I want to talk with you today about who I am, what I believe, what I am determined to lead this party and this great country to achieve.As we gather here today I know people have real concerns about the future of the country, the future of the economy and people in this hall have concerns about the future of our party too.And so I want to answer your questions directly, to talk with you about how amidst all the present difficulties we should be more confident than ever that we can build what I want to talk to you about today. A new settlement for new times. A fair Britain for the new age.

But let me start with something I hope you know already.I didn't come into politics to be a celebrity or thinking I'd always be popular. Perhaps, that's just as well. No, 25 years ago I asked the people of Fife to send me to parliament to serve the country I love.And I didn't come to London because I wanted to join the establishment, but because I wanted and want to change it.So I'm not going to try to be something I'm not.And if people say I'm too serious, quite honestly there's a lot to be serious about - I'm serious about doing a serious job for all the people of this country.What angers me and inspires me to act is when people are treated unfairly.So when people share with me stories about the hard time they're having with bills, I want to help, because I was brought up seeing my parents having to juggle their budget like the rest of us.And when I talk to parents about schools, I'm determined that every child should have a good school, because while I got my break in a great local secondary, not all my friends got the chance to get on.And when I speak to victims of crime I get angry - because like them I know the difference between right and wrong. And so here I am - working for this incredible country, while trying as far as possible to give my children an ordinary childhood. Some people have been asking why I haven't served my children up for spreads in the papers. And my answer is simple. My children aren't props; they're people.And where I've made mistakes I'll put my hand up and try to put them right. So what happened with 10p stung me because it really hurt that suddenly people felt I wasn't on the side of people on middle and modest incomes - because on the side of hard-working families is the only place I've ever wanted to be. And from now on it's the only place I ever will be.

And so I want to give the people of this country an unconditional assurance - no ifs, no buts, no small print - my unwavering focus is taking this country through the challenging economic circumstances we face and building the fair society of the future. The British people would not forgive us if at this time we looked inwards to the affairs of just our party when our duty is to the interests of our country.The people of Britain would never forget if we failed to put them first - and friends, they'd be right.And because this is a time of greater than ever change around us, it must be a time of higher ambition from us. And because the world of 2008 is now so different from the world of 1997 I want to talk about the new settlement we must build for these new times.You know, each generation believes it is living through changes their parents could never have imagined - but the collapse of banks, the credit crunch, the trebling of oil prices, the speed of technology, and the rise of Asia - nobody now can be in any doubt that we are in a different world and it's now a global age.In truth, we haven't seen anything this big since the industrial revolution. This last week will be studied by our children - as the week the world was spun on its axis - and old certainties were turned on their heads.And in these uncertain times, we must be, we will be, the rock of stability and fairness upon which people stand.And friends, it's a calling that summons us because in every time of profound change those with great wealth and privilege have always been able to look after themselves.But our duty, what gives us moral purpose, is serving the people who need us most- Britain's vast majority - people on middle and modest incomes who need to know that they are not on their own amidst this change - we are on their side.Where there are new risks and new pressures our duty is and will be security for all. And where there are new opportunities, our duty is and will be fair chances for everyone matched by fair rules applied to eve...

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