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Tony Blair's speech
Trimdon Labour Club, Sedgefield, 10 maggio 2007
di Tony Blair

It's a great privilege to be here with you again today and to thank all of you too for such a wonderful and warm welcome.

I'd just like to say also if I might and just a special word of thanks to John Burton. John has been my agent here for many years now. He's still the best political adviser that I've got. He's...he's all the years I've known him he's been steadfast in his loyalty to me, to the Labour Party and to Sunderland Football Club, not necessarily in that order.

You know it's been my great good fortune at certain points in my life to meet exceptional people and he is one very exceptional person. And also if I may refer to another exceptional person who's my wife, friend and partner, Cherie.

And the children of course. Euan and Nicky and Katherine and Leo who make me never forget my failings...but give me great love and support.

So, I've come back here to Sedgefield, to my constituency, where my political journey began and where it's fitting that it should end. Today I announce my decision to stand down from the leadership of the Labour Party. The party will now select a new leader. On the 27th June I will tender my resignation from the office of Prime Minister to the Queen.

I've been Prime Minister of this country for just over 10 years. In this job, in the world of today, I think that's long enough, for me, but more especially for the country. And sometimes the only way you conquer the pool of power is to set it down.

I can only describe what I think has been done over these last ten years and perhaps more important why I tried to do it, and I never quite put it in this way before. I was born almost a decade after the Second World War. I was a young man in the social revolution of the 60s and the 70s. I reached political maturity as the cold war was ending and the world was going through a political and an economic and a technological revolution. And I looked at my own country. A great country with a great history and magnificent traditions, proud of its past. But strangely uncertain of its future. Uncertain about the future, almost old fashioned.

And all that was curiously symbolised you know in the politics of the time. You, you had choices, you stood for individual aspiration and getting on in life, or a social compassion of helping others. You were liberal in your values, or conservative. You believed in the power of the state or the efforts of the individual. Spending more money on the public realm was the answer, or it was the problem. And none of it made sense to me. It was twentieth century ideology in a world approaching a new millennium.

Of course people want the best for themselves and their families, but in an age when human capital is a nation's greatest asset, they also know it's just and sensible to extend opportunities, to develop the potential to succeed for all our people not just an elite at the top. And people today are open minded about race and sexuality. They're averse to prejudice. And yet deeply, rightly, conservative with a small 'c' when it comes to good manners, respect for others, treating people courteously.


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