Blair's plea on personal standards

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The Independent Online
Remember, you are not here to enjoy the trappings of power but to do a job and to uphold the highest standards in public life. You are the ambassadors for new Labour and ambassadors for the Government. More than that, you are here to keep the promises in our contract with the people.

We have won a historic victory. But now the weight of history is upon our shoulders. Great is the excitement and hope in Britain today.

Even greater is our sense of humility and responsibility in not disappointing those hopes.

There is an air of optimism, a belief now that things can indeed be better but do not let any of us mistake the temper of the times. It is not the optimism of grand but unachievable illusions. This is a realistic age, where extravagant claims are treated with a raising of the eyebrows and a worldly caution.

They [the people of Britain] want a government whose heart is in the right place and whose head is very firmly stuck on its shoulders. All the time putting Britain first.

Be under no illusion - `it was new Labour wot won it'. Let us learn that lesson well. We ran for office as new Labour, we govern as new Labour.

We are the one-nation party of British politics now. People from all walks of life supporting us, joining us, helping us succeed.

We owe them a debt. They put their trust in us. Some of them never voted Labour in their lives before. They did so on the basis on new Labour. I want them to vote for us again.

They will only do so if new Labour is as real in government as it was in opposition. They will only do so if we succeed, if we capture the hope and energy the result unleashed, harness it for our country. The political geography of Britain has changed. We are strong in every region of the country. This is the chance to build a new coalition of support - let us use it.

And there is another lesson: the importance of strength, unity and discipline. Look at the Tory party. Pause, reflect. Then vow never to emulate.

Day after day, when in government they had MPs out there behaving with the indiscipline and thoughtlessness that was reminiscent of us in the early 80s.These are great times if we are prepared to have the courage to think in the way our country thinks.

The hope is there in our country. I have never believed that destiny is preordained. I believe it is fashioned by human hands.

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