23 September 2008

Brown's Labour Conference Speech

The full transcript:

"What angers me and inspires me to act is when people are treated unfairly."

- Unless they are people inconvenienced by my 10p tax changes. Or those in an immigration detention centre. Or the people I've cut loose at Lloyds and Halifax Bank of Scotland branches around the country by not subjecting a merger to competition scrutiny.

"When I speak to victims of crime I get angry - because like them I know the difference between right and wrong."

- I'm going to expand our prison system to create even more schools for crime. More laws and more prisons and less retraining within prisons and less drugs treatment within prisons means a safer Britain, since they never have to come out, right?

"What happened with 10p, it 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."

- I thought you wouldn't notice.

"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."

- Since we've been funding peak oil resiliance projects around the country since 1997 (oh, we haven't), and since we've been funding flood defence preparation around the country since 1997 (oops). And since I put in place a robust regulatory framework for the financial services sector that has seen us through the first real test in our first 10 years in office (dang, missed that one too).

"Just as those who supported the dogma of big government were proved wrong, so too those who argue for the dogma of unbridled free market forces have been proved wrong again."

- Both myself and Ed Balls have put a "soft touch" regulation of the City front and centre in our policies for years and years. We now want you to forget this. Go to sleep, Britain, everything is ok.

"First, transparency, Second, sound banking, Thirdly, responsibility, Fourth, integrity, And fifth, global standards and supervision."

- I thought about Sixth, "not having banks have more debts than money in their vaults" or Seventh, "rolling out local currencies to reinforce local economies" or Eighth, "the Bank of England should put unemployment first, and incorporate house price inflation into its target," but those would be just wacky.

"When it comes to public spending you can't just wave a magic wand to conjure up the money - not even with help from Harry Potter."

- Infant mortality rose in the first 10 years of Labour, but don't tell JK.

"I know that this can be a British century and I'm determined it will be."

- Hold on, what about the rise of Asia a few minutes ago?

"When we talk about three million more people in work since 1997"

- Apart from immigration and the increase in public sector work ...

"When we talk about the 240,000 lives that are saved by the progress Labour's NHS has made in fighting cancer and heart disease"

- How many families will lose out on medical care when the never-never of the PFI-NHS nexus starts to constrict, like a python, around medical finances in Britain?

"For me, fairness is treating others how we would be treated ourselves. So it isn't levelling down it's empowering people to aspire and reach ever higher."

- Fairness is more brand-friendly than equality or redistribution.

"Fairness is why Harriet is introducing the first ever equalities bill. And let me thank her for her tireless work as deputy party leader."

- Yes, the grassroots are doing so well after her year as deputy leader that the party is 25% behind in the polls. Plus the 42-day compromise with the DUP may lead to an abortion compromise that will really tickle her.

"Our whole party is leading the fight against the British National Party."

- For the two weeks leading up to local elections ...

"Ed Balls and I will never excuse, explain away or tolerate low standards in education. So we will keep up the pace of reform: more academies, trust and specialist schools."

- This puts me in the same category as Campbell and "bog-standard comprehensives" ... only privately-invested academies (with control over staffing and curriculum) are the way forward.

"In just one year in the fight against hospital infections, we have doubled the number of matrons and achieved a 36 percent reduction in MRSA."

- Of course, we wouldn't have had to do that if MRSA and c.diff hadn't got out of control in the first place.

"I've always found it unfair that we cannot offer on the NHS the comprehensive services that private patients can afford to buy."

- But now, Alan Johnson will allow top-up services on the NHS.

"Providing free nursery care for more children is a cause worth fighting for. Providing better social care for older people who need it is a cause worth fighting for. Delivering excellence in every single school is a cause worth fighting for."

- Publically-delivered? Private-PFI delivered?

"And so let's hear no more from the Conservatives - we did fix the roof while the sun was shining."

- Eee-ernnnnnt. No. You save money whilst the sun is shining, so you can spend money whilst the times are tough. You spent the bank whilst the sun was shining, and now you have to borrow more in perilous financial times when you need to keep spending public money.

"The Conservatives say our country is broken - but this country has never been broken by anyone or anything. This country wasn't broken by fascism, by the cold war, by terrorists."

- Do you know your neighbour? Does your community do things together to fight climate change? Do you have enough community-focused police on your streets, enough programmes to keep youth employed/trained/busy/interested in their communities?

"David Miliband, Douglas Alexander and I will do everything in our power to bring justice and democracy, to Burma, to Zimbabwe and to Darfur."

- Finally, we could have some democracy in Britain -- with proportional representation for our elections (not just in Scotland's locals, or Euro elections, or Wales/Northern Ireland/Scotland/London). We could have some gender democracy in Britain, with 50% of the cabinet being women.

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