retrospect the Millennium marked only a moment in time.
It was the events of 11 September that marked a turning
point in history, where we confront the dangers of the future
and assess the choices facing humankind.
was a tragedy. An act of evil. From this nation, goes our
deepest sympathy and prayers for the victims and our profound
solidarity with the American people.
were with you at the first. We will stay with you to the
two weeks ago, in New York, after the church service I met
some of the families of the British victims.
was in many ways a very British occasion. Tea and biscuits.
It was raining outside. Around the edge of the room, strangers
making small talk, trying to be normal people in an abnormal
situation. And as you crossed the room, you felt the longing
and sadness; hands clutching photos of sons and daughters,
wives and husbands; imploring you to believe them when they
said there was still an outside chance of their loved ones
being found alive, when you knew in truth that all hope
then a middle aged mother looks you in the eyes and tells
you her only son has died, and asks you: why?
tell you: you do not feel like the most powerful person
in the country at times like that.
there is no answer. There is no justification for their
pain. Their son did nothing wrong. The woman, seven months
pregnant, whose child will never know its father, did nothing
don't want revenge. They want something better in memory
of their loved ones.
believe their memorial can and should be greater than simply
the punishment of the guilty. It is that out of the shadow
of this evil, should emerge lasting good: destruction of
the machinery of terrorism wherever it is found; hope amongst
all nations of a new beginning where we seek to resolve
differences in a calm and ordered way; greater understanding
between nations and between faiths; and above all justice
and prosperity for the poor and dispossessed, so that people
everywhere can see the chance of a better future through
the hard work and creative power of the free citizen, not
the violence and savagery of the fanatic.
know that here in Britain people are anxious, even a little
frightened. I understand that. People know we must act but
they worry what might follow.
worry about the economy and talk of recession.
of course there are dangers; it is a new situation.
the fundamentals of the US, British and European economies
reasonable measure of internal security is being undertaken.
way of life is a great deal stronger and will last a great
deal longer than the actions of fanatics, small in number
and now facing a unified world against them.
should have confidence.
is a battle with only one outcome: our victory not theirs.
happened on 11 September was without parallel in the bloody
history of terrorism.
a few hours, up to 7000 people were annihilated, the commercial
centre of New York was reduced to rubble and in Washington
and Pennsylvania further death and horror on an unimaginable
scale. Let no one say this was a blow for Islam when the
blood of innocent Muslims was shed along with those of the
Christian, Jewish and other faiths around the world.
know those responsible. In Afghanistan are scores of training
camps for the export of terror. Chief amongst the sponsors
and organisers is Usama Bin Laden.
is supported, shielded and given succour by the Taliban
days before the 11 September attacks, Masood, the Leader
of the Opposition Northern Alliance, was assassinated by
two suicide bombers. Both were linked to Bin Laden. Some
may call that coincidence. I call it payment - payment in
the currency these people deal in: blood.
in no doubt: Bin Laden and his people organised this atrocity.
The Taliban aid and abet him. He will not desist from further
acts of terror. They will not stop helping him.
the dangers of the action we take, the dangers of inaction
are far, far greater.
for a moment at the Taliban regime. It is undemocratic.
That goes without saying.
is no sport allowed, or television or photography. No art
or culture is permitted. All other faiths, all other interpretations
of Islam are ruthlessly suppressed. Those who practice their
faith are imprisoned. Women are treated in a way almost
too revolting to be credible. First driven out of university;
girls not allowed to go to school; no legal rights;
to go out of doors without a man. Those that disobey are
is now no contact permitted with western agencies, even
those delivering food. The people live in abject poverty.
It is a regime founded on fear and funded on the drugs trade.
The biggest drugs hoard in the world is in Afghanistan,
controlled by the Taliban. Ninety per cent of the heroin
on British streets originates in Afghanistan.
arms the Taliban are buying today are paid for with the
lives of young British people buying their drugs on British
is another part of their regime that we should seek to destroy.
what do we do?
overreact some say. We aren't.
haven't lashed out. No missiles on the first night just
kill innocent people. We are not the ones who waged war
on the innocent. We seek the guilty.
for a diplomatic solution. There is no diplomacy with Bin
Laden or the Taliban regime.
an ultimatum and get their response. We stated the ultimatum;
they haven't responded.
the causes of terror. Yes, we should try, but let there
be no moral ambiguity about this: nothing could ever justify
the events of 11 September, and it is to turn justice on
its head to pretend it could.
action we take will be proportionate; targeted; we will
do all we humanly can to avoid civilian casualties. But
understand what we are dealing with. Listen to the calls
of those passengers on the planes. Think of the children
on them, told they were going to die.
of the cruelty beyond our comprehension as amongst the screams
and the anguish of the innocent, those hijackers drove at
full throttle planes laden with fuel into buildings where
tens of thousands worked.
have no moral inhibition on the slaughter of the innocent.
If they could have murdered not 7,000 but 70,000 does anyone
doubt they would have done so and rejoiced in it?
is no compromise possible with such people, no meeting of
minds, no point of understanding with such terror.
a choice: defeat it or be defeated by it. And defeat it
action taken will be against the terrorist network of Bin
for the Taliban, they can surrender the terrorists; or face
the consequences and again in any action the aim will be
to eliminate their military hardware, cut off their finances,
disrupt their supplies, target their troops, not civilians.
We will put a trap around the regime.
say to the Taliban : surrender the terrorists; or surrender
power. It's your choice.
will take action at every level, national and international,
in the UN, in G8, in the EU, in NATO, in every regional
grouping in the world, to strike at international terrorism
wherever it exists.
the first time, the UN Security Council has imposed mandatory
obligations on all UN members to cut off terrorist financing
and end safe havens for terrorists.
that finance terror, those who launder their money, those
that cover their tracks are every bit as guilty as the fanatic
who commits the final act.
in this country and in other nations round the world, laws
will be changed, not to deny basic liberties but to prevent
their abuse and protect the most basic liberty of all: freedom
from terror. New extradition laws will be introduced; new
rules to ensure asylum is not a front for terrorist entry.
This country is proud of its tradition in giving asylum
to those fleeing tyranny. We will always do so. But we have
a duty to protect the system from abuse.
must be overhauled radically so that from now on, those
who abide by the rules get help and those that don't, can
no longer play the system to gain unfair advantage over
the world, 11 September is bringing Governments and people
to reflect, consider and change. And in this process, amidst
all the talk of war and action, there is another dimension
is a coming together. The power of community is asserting
itself. We are realising how fragile are our frontiers in
the face of the world's new challenges.
conflicts rarely stay within national boundaries.
a tremor in one financial market is repeated in the markets
of the world.
confidence is global; either its presence or its absence.
the threat is chaos; because for people with work to do,
family life to balance, mortgages to pay, careers to further,
pensions to provide, the yearning is for order and stability
and if it doesn't exist elsewhere, it is unlikely to exist
have long believed this interdependence defines the new
world we live in.
say: we are only acting because it's the USA that was attacked.
Double standards, they say. But when Milosevic embarked
on the ethnic cleansing of Muslims in Kosovo, we acted.
sceptics said it was pointless, we'd make matters worse,
we'd make Milosovic stronger and look what happened, we
won, the refugees went home, the policies of ethnic cleansing
were reversed and one of the great dictators of the last
century, will see justice in this century.
I tell you if Rwanda happened again today as it did in 1993,
when a million people were slaughtered in cold blood, we
would have a moral duty to act there also. We were there
in Sierra Leone when a murderous group of gangsters threatened
its democratically elected Government and people.
we as a country should, and I as Prime Minister do, give
thanks for the brilliance, dedication and sheer professionalism
of the British Armed Forces.
can't do it all. Neither can the Americans.
the power of the international community could, together,
if it chose to.
could, with our help, sort out the blight that is the continuing
conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, where
three million people have died through war or famine in
the last decade.
Partnership for Africa, between the developed and developing
world based around the New African Initiative, is there
to be done if we find the will.
our side: provide more aid, untied to trade; write off debt;
help with good governance and infrastructure; training to
the soldiers, with UN blessing, in conflict resolution;
encouraging investment; and access to our markets so that
we practise the free trade we are so fond of preaching.
it's a deal: on the African side: true democracy, no more
excuses for dictatorship, abuses of human rights; no tolerance
of bad governance, from the endemic corruption of some states,
to the activities of Mr Mugabe's henchmen in Zimbabwe. Proper
commercial, legal and financial systems.
will, with our help, to broker agreements for peace and
provide troops to police them.
state of Africa is a scar on the conscience of the world.
But if the world as a community focused on it, we could
heal it. And if we don't, it will become deeper and angrier.
could defeat climate change if we chose to. Kyoto is right.
We will implement it and call upon all other nations to
it's only a start. With imagination, we could use or find
the technologies that create energy without destroying our
planet; we could provide work and trade without deforestation.
humankind was able, finally, to make industrial progress
without the factory conditions of the 19th Century; surely
we have the wit and will to develop economically without
despoiling the very environment we depend upon. And if we
wanted to, we could breathe new life into the Middle East
Peace Process and we must.
state of Israel must be given recognition by all; freed
from terror; know that it is accepted as part of the future
of the Middle East not its very existence under threat.
The Palestinians must have justice, the chance to prosper
and in their own land, as equal partners with Israel in
know that. It is the only way, just as we know in our own
peace process, in Northern Ireland, there will be no unification
of Ireland except by consent - and there will be no return
to the days of unionist or Protestant supremacy because
those days have no place in the modern world. So the unionists
must accept justice and equality for nationalists.
Republicans must show they have given up violence - not
just a ceasefire but weapons put beyond use. And not only
the Republicans, but those people who call themselves Loyalists,
but who by acts of terrorism, sully the name of the United
know this also. The values we believe in should shine through
what we do in Afghanistan.
the Afghan people we make this commitment. The conflict
will not be the end. We will not walk away, as the outside
world has done so many times before.
the Taliban regime changes, we will work with you to make
sure its successor is one that is broad-based, that unites
all ethnic groups, and that offers some way out of the miserable
poverty that is your present existence.
more than ever now, with every bit as much thought and planning,
we will assemble a humanitarian coalition alongside the
military coalition so that inside and outside Afghanistan,
the refugees, 41/2 million on the move even before 11 September,
are given shelter, food and help during the winter months.
world community must show as much its capacity for compassion
as for force.
critics will say: but how can the world be a community?
Nations act in their own self-interest. Of course they do.
But what is the lesson of the financial markets, climate
change, international terrorism, nuclear proliferation or
world trade? It is that our self-interest and our mutual
interests are today inextricably woven together.
is the politics of globalisation.
realise why people protest against globalisation.
watch aspects of it with trepidation. We feel powerless,
as if we were now pushed to and fro by forces far beyond
there's a risk that political leaders, faced with street
demonstrations, pander to the argument rather than answer
it. The demonstrators are right to say there's injustice,
poverty, environmental degradation.
globalisation is a fact and, by and large, it is driven
just in finance, but in communication, in technology, increasingly
in culture, in recreation. In the world of the internet,
information technology and TV, there will be globalisation.
And in trade, the problem is not there's too much of it;
on the contrary there's too little of it.
issue is not how to stop globalisation.
issue is how we use the power of community to combine it
with justice. If globalisation works only for the benefit
of the few, then it will fail and will deserve to fail.
But if we follow the principles that have served us so well
at home - that power, wealth and opportunity must be in
the hands of the many, not the few - if we make that our
guiding light for the global economy, then it will be a
force for good and an international movement that we should
take pride in leading.
the alternative to globalisation is isolation.
by this reality, round the world, nations are instinctively
drawing together. In Quebec, all the countries of North
and South America deciding to make one huge free trade area,
rivalling Europe. In Asia, ASEAN. In Europe, the most integrated
grouping of all, we are now 15 nations. Another 12 countries
negotiating to join, and more beyond that.
new relationship between Russia and Europe is beginning.
will not India and China, each with three times as many
citizens as the whole of the EU put together, once their
economies have developed sufficiently as they will do, not
reconfigure entirely the geopolitics of the world and in
is why, with 60 per cent of our trade dependent on Europe,
three million jobs tied up with Europe, much of our political
weight engaged in Europe, it would be a fundamental denial
of our true national interest to turn our backs on Europe.
will never let that happen.
50 years, Britain has, uncharacteristically, followed not
led in Europe.
each and every step. There are debates central to our future
coming up: how we reform European economic policy; how we
take forward European defence; how we fight organised crime
needs its voice strong in Europe and bluntly Europe needs
a strong Britain, rock solid in our alliance with the USA,
yet determined to play its full part in shaping Europe's
should only be part of the single currency if the economic
conditions are met. They are not window-dressing for a political
decision. They are fundamental. But if they are met, we
should join, and if met in this Parliament, we should have
the courage of our argument, to ask the British people for
their consent in this Parliament.
is not a threat to Britain. Europe is an opportunity.
is in taking the best of the Anglo-Saxon and European models
of development that Britain's hope of a prosperous future
lies. The American spirit of enterprise; the European spirit
of solidarity. We have, here also, an opportunity. Not just
to build bridges politically, but economically.
is the answer to the current crisis? Not isolationism but
the world coming together with America as a community.
is the answer to Britain's relations with Europe? Not opting
out, but being leading members of a community in which,
in alliance with others, we gain strength.
is the answer to Britain's future? Not each person for themselves,
but working together as a community to ensure that everyone,
not just the privileged few get the chance to succeed.
is an extraordinary moment for progressive politics.
values are the right ones for this age: the power of community,
solidarity, the collective ability to further the individual's
ask me if I think ideology is dead. My answer is:
the sense of rigid forms of economic and social theory,
20th Century killed those ideologies and their passing causes
little regret. But, in the sense of a governing idea in
politics, based on values, no. The governing idea of modern
social democracy is community. Founded on the principles
of social justice. That people should rise according to
merit not birth; that the test of any decent society is
not the contentment of the wealthy and strong, but the commitment
to the poor and weak.
values aren't enough. The mantle of leadership comes at
a price: the courage to learn and change; to show how values
that stand for all ages, can be applied in a way relevant
to each age.
politics only succeed when the realism is as clear as the
Party's strength today comes from the journey of change
and learning we have made.
learnt that however much we strive for peace, we need strong
defence capability where a peaceful approach fails.
learnt that equality is about equal worth, not equal outcomes.
our idea of society is shaped around mutual responsibility;
a deal, an agreement between citizens not a one-way gift,
from the well-off to the dependent.
economic and social policy today owes as much to the liberal
social democratic tradition of Lloyd George, Keynes and
Beveridge as to the socialist principles of the 1945 Government.
over a decade ago, people asked if Labour could ever win
again. Today they ask the same question of the Opposition.
Painful though that journey of change has been, it has been
worth it, every stage of the way.
this journey, the values have never changed. The aims haven't.
Our aims would be instantly recognisable to every Labour
leader from Keir Hardie onwards. But the means do change.
journey hasn't ended. It never ends. The next stage for
New Labour is not backwards; it is renewing ourselves again.
Just after the election, an old colleague of mine said:
"Come on Tony, now we've won again, can't we drop all
this New Labour and do what we believe in?"
said: "It's worse than you think. I really do believe
didn't revolutionise British economic policy - Bank of England
independence, tough spending rules - for some managerial
reason or as a clever wheeze to steal Tory clothes.
did it because the victims of economic incompetence - 15%
interest rates, 3 million unemployed- are hard-working families.
They are the ones - and even more so, now - with tough times
ahead - that the economy should be run for, not speculators,
or currency dealers or senior executives whose pay packets
don't seem to bear any resemblance to the performance of
competence is the pre-condition of social justice.
have legislated for fairness at work, like the minimum wage
which people struggled a century for. But we won't give
up the essential flexibility of our economy or our commitment
Because in a world leaving behind mass production, where
technology revolutionises not just companies but whole industries,
almost overnight, enterprise creates the jobs people depend
have boosted pensions, child benefit, family incomes. We
will do more. But our number one priority for spending is
and will remain education.
Because in the new markets countries like Britain can only
create wealth by brain power not low wages and sweatshop
have cut youth unemployment by 75 per cent.
more than any Government before us. But we refuse to pay
benefit to those who refuse to work. Why? Because the welfare
that works is welfare that helps people to help themselves.
graffiti, the vandalism, the burnt out cars, the street
corner drug dealers, the teenage mugger just graduating
from the minor school of crime: we're not old fashioned
or right-wing to take action against this social menace.
standing up for the people we represent, who play by the
rules and have a right to expect others to do the same.
especially at this time let us say: we celebrate the diversity
in our country, get strength from the cultures and races
that go to make up Britain today; and racist abuse and racist
attacks have no place in the Britain we believe in.
these policies are linked by a common thread of principle.
with this second term, our duty is not to sit back and bask
in it. It is across the board, in competition policy, enterprise,
pensions, criminal justice, the civil service and of course
public services, to go still further in the journey of change.
All for the same reason: to allow us to deliver social justice
in the modern world.
services are the power of community in action.
are social justice made real. The child with a good education
flourishes. The child given a poor education lives with
it for the rest of their life. How much talent and ability
and potential do we waste? How many children never know
not just the earning power of a good education but the joy
of art and culture and the stretching of imagination and
horizons which true education brings? Poor education is
a personal tragedy and national scandal.
even now, with all the progress of recent years, a quarter
of 11 year olds fail their basic tests and almost a half
of 16 year olds don't get five decent GCSEs.
NHS meant that for succeeding generations, anxiety was lifted
from their shoulders. For millions who get superb treatment
still, the NHS remains the ultimate symbol of social justice.
for every patient waiting in pain, that can't get treatment
for cancer or a heart condition or in desperation ends up
paying for their operation, that patient's suffering is
the ultimate social injustice.
the demands on the system are ever greater. Children need
to be better and better educated.
live longer. There is a vast array of new treatment available.
expectations are higher. This is a consumer age. People
don't take what they're given. They demand more.
not alone in this. All round the world governments are struggling
with the same problems.
what is the solution? Yes, public services need more money.
We are putting in the largest ever increases in NHS, education
and transport spending in the next few years; and on the
police too. We will keep to those spending plans. And I
say in all honesty to the country: if we want that to continue
and the choice is between investment and tax cuts, then
investment must come first. There is a simple truth we all
know. For decades there has been chronic under-investment
in British public services. Our historic mission is to put
that right; and the historic shift represented by the election
of June 7 was that investment to provide quality public
services for all comprehensively defeated short-term tax
cuts for the few.
need better pay and conditions for the staff; better incentives
for recruitment; and for retention. We're getting them and
recruitment is rising.
year, for the first time in nearly a decade, public sector
pay will rise faster than private sector pay.
we are the only major government in Europe this year to
be increasing public spending on health and education as
a percentage of our national income.
Party believes in public services; believes in the ethos
of public service; and believes in the dedication the vast
majority of public servants show;
the proof of it is that we're spending more, hiring more
and paying more than ever before.
servants don't do it for money or glory. They do it because
they find fulfilment in a child well taught or a patient
well cared-for; or a community made safer and we salute
them for it.
that is true. But this is also true.
often they work in systems and structures that are hopelessly
old fashioned or even worse, work against the very goals
they aim for.
are schools, with exactly the same social intake. One does
well; the other badly.
are hospitals with exactly the same patient mix. One performs
well; the other badly.
reform, more money and pay won't succeed.
we need a national framework of accountability, inspection;
and minimum standards of delivery.
within that framework, we need to free up local leaders
to be able to innovate, develop and be creative.
there should be far greater flexibility in the terms and
conditions of employment of public servants.
there has to be choice for the user of public services and
the ability, where provision of the service fails, to have
an alternative provider.
schools want to develop or specialise in a particular area;
or hire classroom assistants or computer professionals as
well as teachers, let them. If in a Primary Care Trust,
doctors can provide minor surgery or physiotherapists see
patients otherwise referred to a consultant, let them.
are too many old demarcations, especially between nurses,
doctors and consultants;
little use of the potential of new technology;
much bureaucracy, too many outdated practices, too great
an adherence to the way we've always done it rather than
the way public servants would like to do it if they got
the time to think and the freedom to act.
not reform that is the enemy of public services. It's the
of that reform programme is partnership with the private
or voluntary sector.
get one thing clear. Nobody is talking about privatising
the NHS or schools.
believes the private sector is a panacea.
are great examples of public service and poor examples.
There are excellent private sector companies and poor ones.
There are areas where the private sector has worked well;
and areas where, as with parts of the railways, it's been
the private sector is used, it should not make a profit
simply by cutting the wages and conditions of its staff.
where the private sector can help lever in vital capital
investment, where it helps raise standards, where it improves
the public service as a public service, then to set up some
dogmatic barrier to using it, is to let down the very people
who most need our public services to improve.
programme of reform is huge: in the NHS, education, including
student finance, - we have to find a better way to combine
state funding and student contributions - ; criminal justice;
regard it as being as important for the country as Clause
IV's reform was for the Party, and obviously far more important
for the lives of the people we serve.
it is a vital test for the modern Labour Party
people lose faith in public services, be under no illusion
as to what will happen.
is a different approach waiting in the wings. Cut public
spending drastically; let those that can afford to, buy
their own services; and those that can't, will depend on
a demoralised, sink public service. That would be a denial
of social justice on a massive scale.
would be contrary to the very basis of community.
this is a battle of values. Let's have that battle but not
amongst ourselves. The real fight is between those who believe
in strong public services and those who don't.
the fight worth having.
all of this, at home and abroad, the same beliefs throughout:
that we are a community of people, whose self-interest and
mutual interest at crucial points merge, and that it is
through a sense of justice that community is born and nurtured.
what does this concept of justice consist of?
people all of equal worth, of course. But also reason and
tolerance. Justice has no favourites; not amongst nations,
peoples or faiths.
we act to bring to account those that committed the atrocity
of 11 September, we do so, not out of bloodlust.
do so because it is just. We do not act against Islam. The
true followers of Islam are our brothers and sisters in
this struggle. Bin Laden is no more obedient to the proper
teaching of the Koran than those Crusaders of the 12th Century
who pillaged and murdered, represented the teaching of the
is time the West confronted its ignorance of Islam. Jews,
Muslims and Christians are all children of Abraham.
is the moment to bring the faiths closer together in understanding
of our common values and heritage, a source of unity and
is time also for parts of Islam to confront prejudice against
America and not only Islam but parts of western societies
has its faults as a society, as we have ours.
I think of the Union of America born out of the defeat of
think of its Constitution, with its inalienable rights granted
to every citizen still a model for the world.
think of a black man, born in poverty, who became Chief
of their Armed Forces and is now Secretary of State Colin
Powell and I wonder frankly whether such a thing could have
think of the Statue of Liberty and how many refugees, migrants
and the impoverished passed its light and felt that if not
for them, for their children, a new world could indeed be
think of a country where people who do well, don't have
questions asked about their accent, their class, their beginnings
but have admiration for what they have done and the success
think of those New Yorkers I met, still in shock, but resolute;
the fire fighters and police, mourning their comrades but
still head held high.
think of all this and I reflect: yes, America has its faults,
but it is a free country, a democracy, it is our ally and
some of the reaction to 11 September betrays a hatred of
America that shames those that feel it.
I believe this is a fight for freedom. And I want to make
it a fight for justice too.
not only to punish the guilty.
justice to bring those same values of democracy and freedom
to people round the world.
I mean: freedom, not only in the narrow sense of personal
liberty but in the broader sense of each individual having
the economic and social freedom to develop their potential
to the full. That is what community means, founded on the
equal worth of all.
starving, the wretched, the dispossessed, the ignorant,
those living in want and squalor from the deserts of Northern
Africa to the slums of Gaza, to the mountain ranges of Afghanistan:
they too are our cause.
is a moment to seize.
Kaleidoscope has been shaken. The pieces are in flux. Soon
they will settle again.
they do, let us re-order this world around us.
humankind has the science and technology to destroy itself
or to provide prosperity to all.
science can't make that choice for us.
the moral power of a world acting as a community, can.
the strength of our common endeavour we achieve more together
than we can alone".
those people who lost their lives on 11 September and those
that mourn them; now is the time for the strength to build
that community. Let that be their memorial.