Expanding nursery places, and the personalisation of the NHS (National Health Service) – fairness being extended in Britain as it is coded into our DNA and the reason the Labour Party existed. A commitment to end child poverty by 2020 – he also spoke of how blindness threatened him after playing Rugby made him blind in one eye, but the NHS was there. Free health check ups for the over 40s. Free prescriptions for cancer drugs. He also spoke about extra tuition being made available to children who fall behind.
Attacking the Conservatives, listing achievements “We did fix the roof while the sun was shinning”. He attacked the Shadow Chancellor for saying that in market downturns people make money out of other people’s misery. “I’m all for apprenticeships; but this is no time for a novice.”
Whether talking about Conservatives cutting public spending will have the same effect when people have less disposable income we shall see. “The Conservatives have changed their tune but have not changed their minds”.
The speech was an upbeat talk of Britain, and the hard work people do – that Britain was not a broken society, but the best in the world. Stronger together as the United Kingdom, but with devolution planned for Northern Ireland. The best armed forces in the world. Working together, not just for compassion for the vulnerable but for globalisation to be successful for the challenges both diplomatic and economic.
He mentioned speaking up for justice for the children of the world. “Fairness at home, fairness abroad – the new settlement of our time.” Staying true to himself, he said what ever the cynics throw his way the job was worth doing if it helped one child, one community (though I personally hope it would benefit more) because he wants to make a difference, helping someone in need and not passing by on the other side. All of us united we are a great movement, that where each of us can say this is our country, Britain, we are making the fair society for the sake not of the Party but of the country.
The speech played on those traditions that make Labour the party one of social justice. It even borrowed from America having his wife introduce him (unheard of in British politics). However, with the economic downturn and a lack of assured confidence over recent events the question is will Gordon Brown be back or stabbed in the back?
The song at the end “(Your love keeps lifting me) Higher and Higher”. Using some of those lyrics, the question is whether they want to take up his offer of “Quench my desire and I’ll be at your side, forever more”.