ref date:20 May 1997 (WBA)
Blair quotes, some about Scotland...
I believe our country can and must
be better: better schools; better hospitals; better ways of tackling crime; of building a modern welfare state; of equipping ourselves for a new world economy.
I want a one nation society, with shared values and purpose, where merit comes before privilege, run for the many not the few, strong and sure of itself at home and abroad.
I want a country that does not shuffle into the new millennium afraid of the future, but strides into it with confidence.
I want to renew our country's faith in the ability of its government and politics to deliver this new Britain.
I want to do it by making a set of limited but important promises and achieving them. This is the purpose of the bond of trust I set out at the end of this introduction, in which ten specific commitments are put before you. Hold us to them. They are our contract with you.
I want to renew faith in politics by being honest about the last 18 years. Some things the Conservatives got right. We will not change them. It is where they got things wrong that we will make change. We have no intention or desire to replace one
set of dogmas by another.
I want to renew faith in politics through a government that will govern in the interest of the many the broad majority of people who work hard, play by the rules, pay their dues and feel let down by a political system that gives the breaks to the few, to an elite at the top increasingly out of touch with the rest of us. I want people here in Scotland to have a greater say over their own affairs through a Scottish parliament.
And I want, above all, to govern in a way that brings our country together, that unites our nation in facing the tough and dangerous challenges of the new economy and changed society in which we must live. I want a country which we all feel part of, in whose future we all have a stake, in which what I want for my own children I want for yours.
The reason for having created new Labour is to meet the challenges of a different world. The millennium symbolises a new era opening up for Britain. I am confident about our future prosperity, even optimistic, if we have the courage to change and use it to build a better Britain.
To accomplish this means more than just a change of government. Our aim is no less than to set political life on a new course for
People are cynical about politics and distrustful of political promises. That is hardly surprising.
There have been few more gross breaches of faith than when the Conservatives under
Mr Major promised, before the election of 1992, that they would not raise taxes, but would
cut them every year, and then went on to raise them by the largest amount in peacetime
history in the first Budget after the election. The Exchange Rate Mechanism as the
cornerstone of economic policy, Europe, health, crime, schools, sleaze the broken promises are strewn across the country's memory.