On Gordon Brown’s Speech…

09/29/2003

The full text of Gordon Brown’s speech to the Labour party conference is well worth a read whether or not you rate his aspirations or his ability to achieve them. I personally think it presents an interesting and honourable model for what the United Kingdom could aspire to be – a bridge between nations and a model of the balance between responsibility and practicality – although of course with all normal caveats gently acknowledged. The only thing I’m less than comfortable with is the way that he appears to have taken vague pot-shots at all our national neighbours and allegiances in the process. Otherwise – generally intriguing and rousing stuff…

“And where America is enterprising but not today seen as fair, the rest of Europe more socially cohesive but not today seen as enterprising, I believe that we in Britain can – even amidst the pressures and insecurities of globalisation – become the first country of this era to combine enterprise and economic strength with a strong public realm where public services are based not on vouchers or charges but are universal – and we eradicate child and pensioner poverty… And by standing up for these British ideas – and with our outward looking internationalism – Britain can be more than a bridge between Europe and America: our British values – what we say and do marrying enterprise and fairness, and about public services and the need to relieve poverty, can and should, in time, make Britain a model, a beacon for Europe, America and the rest of the world.”