September 27, 2005


Four more bold years, vows Blair (Philip Webster, 9/28/05, Times of London)

TONY BLAIR gave notice of a four-year programme of relentless change yesterday as he told Labour that it would have to be even bolder in its reforms if it was to win a fourth term in power.

As the Conservative Party’s leadership race was thrown wide open in London, the Prime Minister told his party’s Brighton conference that his conclusion from three election victories was that it could win another if it adapted to the shifting aspirations of the people.

In a clear message to his successor, whom he expects to be Gordon Brown, Mr Blair said that every time he had introduced reforms he wished in retrospect that he had gone farther than he had. Now his prescription was an even tougher dose of change. [...]

Mr Blair said that Labour would win by helping Britain to respond to the urgent pace of globalisation, tackle growing worries over social disorder and by introducing private and other provision into the education and health services. He promised a reappraisal of the criminal justice system, starting from the premise that its primary duty must be to allow law-abiding people to live in safety. [...]

Mr Blair promised that over the next year Labour would:

Publish plans to reform pensions, including incentives to help people to save for a second pension;

Produce proposals for the future of Britain’s energy policy, including civil nuclear power;

Publish plans for changes to transport funding, including road pricing;

Prepare for a shake-up of local government, with new freedoms for good councils, more city mayors and more power to local communities;

Carry out a radical reform of incapacity benefit;

Introduce a radical extension of summary powers to police and local authorities, focusing on binge drinking, drug dealing and organised crime, and development of existing antisocial behaviour law.

But his most controversial pledges again related to health and education. He said that Labour must break down the “old monolith” of the NHS, bring in new providers and give patients more choice.

Here's Tony Blair in a nutshell: he could win the GOP primaries in '08 but not the Democratic.

Meanwhile, the Tories do indeed prepare to attack Blair from the Left, Tory faithful keep their say as Howard's changes rejected by referendum (Rosemary Bennett, 9/28/05, Times of London)

KENNETH CLARKE’S hopes of becoming the next Conservative leader received a significant boost last night when rank-and-file members held on to their voting rights in a party referendum. [...]

[T]he prospect of Mr Clarke becoming the next party leader could spark a frenzy of tactical voting among right-wing MPs who could rally behind another candidate to try to block the pro-European former Chancellor reaching the last two.

Posted by Orrin Judd at September 27, 2005 11:03 PM
Comments for this post are closed.