A MANCHESTER PARLA GORDON BROWN
L'intervento alla Conference del Labour Party
... ryone. And insuring people against the new risks and empowering people with new opportunities is the mission of the hour. And those who say that governments should walk away when people face these risks and need these opportunities will be judged to be on the wrong side of history. And when the country is asking their government to meet these new challenges I say to our opponents: those who don't believe in the potential of government shouldn't be trusted to form one. So this is a defining moment for us - a test not just of our judgement but of our values. Today once again we are called to apply our enduring beliefs to completely new conditions. New Labour has always been at its best when we have applied our values to changing times.
In the 1990s Tony and I asked you to change policy to meet new challenges. We are and will always be a pro-enterprise, pro-business and pro-competition government. And we believe the dynamism of our five million businesses large and small is vital to the success of our country. But the continuing market turbulence shows why we now need a new settlement for these times - a settlement that we as a pro-market party must pursue. A settlement where the rewards are for what really matters - hard work, effort and enterprise. A settlement where both markets and government are seen to be the servants of the people, and never their masters, Where what counts is not the pursuit of any sectional interest but the advancement of the public interest - and where at all times we put people first. Let us be clear the modern role of government is not to provide everything, but it must be to enable everyone. And just as we know that governments cannot and should not do everything, so too we know markets cannot deliver it all on their own. And 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. And so it falls to this party and to this government, with its commitment both to fairness and to business, to propose and deliver what after recent events everyone should now be willing to accept - that we do all it takes to stabilise the still turbulent financial markets and then in the months ahead we rebuild the world financial system around clear principles. And friends the work begins tomorrow.
I and then Alistair will meet financial and government leaders in New York to make these proposals: First, transparency - all transactions need to be transparent and not hidden. Second, sound banking, a requirement to demonstrate that risks can be managed and priced for bad times as well as good. Third, responsibility - no member of a bank's board should be able to say they did not understand the risks they were running and walk away from them. Fourth, integrity - removing conflicts of interest so that bonuses should not be based on short term speculative deals but on hard work, effort and enterprise. I know that the British people think it's hard work, effort and enterprise we need to reward. And fifth, global standards and supervision because the flows of capital are global, then supervision can no longer just be national but has to be global. And if we make these changes I believe London will retain its rightful place as the financial centre of the world. And we know that the challenges we face in this new global age didn't begin in the last week, or in the last months, but in fact reflect deeper changes in our world. For all its benefits, the global age has revealed not just financial instability but another major pressure - a rising global population demanding more energy. So the new settlement also requires another great and historic endeavour to end the dictatorship of oil and to avert catastrophic climate change, a transformation in our use of energy. New nuclear power, an unprecedented increase in renewables and investment in clean coal. And I am asking the climate change committee to report by October on the case for, by 2050 not a 60% reduction in our carbon emissions, but an 80% cut - and I want British companies and British workers to seize the opportunity and lead the world in the transformation to a low carbon economy and I believe that we can create in modern green manufacturing and service one million new jobs. And it's not just our duty but our basic philosophy that we do everything we can to help families through the world downturn. And while the Conservatives did nothing to help people with their gas and electricity bills in the last world downturn, this winter, millions of people will receive the help with heating bills, insulation, social tariffs - help they never received from the Conservatives. But you know, when it comes to...
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