New Britain: My Vision of a Young Country

New Britain: My Vision of a Young Country

New Britain: My Vision of a Young Country

New Britain: My Vision of a Young Country


New Britain presents Tony Blair on all the major debates of British public life: from nationalized health care to crime prevention, from the welfare state to monetary policy, from religion to family values, from individualism to isolationism, from taxation to trade unions, from NATO to Northern Ireland, from community rebirth to economic growth. After seventeen years of Conservative Party rule under Margaret Thatcher and John Major, a change in Great Britain's leadership appears imminent. In Blair's Stakeholder Nation, government works in partnership with private and voluntary sectors to harness the pawer of the market to serve the public interest. In New Britain, we read in Blair's own articulate words how to improve the standard of living of all Britain's families; how to base a new social order on merit, commitment, and inclusion; how to decentralize British institutions of political power; and how to expand Britain's leadership in foreign affairs.


At four successive general elections, the British people have refused to grant the Labour Party their trust. They have sent us back to the exile of opposition.

Most important, they have tried to tell us something. They have not told us to retreat or to retire: they have told us to rethink and to review, and to come back with a new prospectus for a new government. For our generation and our time, Labour must exist not only to defend the gains of the past but to forge a new future for itself and our country. Our job is to honour the past but not to live in it. I have never believed that Labour's essential principles and values were its problem. On the contrary, they still retain their validity and their support among the public. But the public have longed for us to give modern expression to those values, to distinguish clearly between the principles themselves and the application of them. That is the difference between honouring the past and living in it.

With Neil Kinnock's election as leader we began a long march of renewal. That project was taken forward by John Smith. We owe it to them both, and above all to the people who most need a Labour government, to finish the journey from protest to power.

To win the trust of the British people, we must do more than just defeat the Conservatives on grounds of competence, integrity and fitness to govern. We must change the tide of ideas. Our challenge is to show that in our policies, in our commitment and in our optimism we are ready to meet the country's call for change and its hopes for national renewal. Britain stands at a crossroads, and Labour stands ready. Our challenge is to forge a new and radical politics for a new and changing world.

From Change and National Renewal, Leadership Election Statement 1994 . . .

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