At-a-glance guide to Gordon Brown's big speech

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Indy Politics

Here are the main points from Gordon Brown's speech to the Labour Party conference in Manchester:

* Mr Brown made light of his poor ratings in the polls, joking it was "just as well" he had not come into politics to be popular. He also attempted to make a virtue of his dour demeanour, insisting: "If people say I am too serious, quite honestly there's a lot to be serious about."

* He said where he made mistakes he would "put my hand up and try to put them right". Criticism over abolishing the 10p tax rate had "stung" because people suggested he was not on the side of those on modest incomes. Implicitly admitting he had been wrong on that issue, he added: "On the side of hard-working families is the only place I've ever wanted to be. And from now on it is the only place I will ever be."

* Mr Brown highlighted the scale of global change, saying it was the greatest since the industrial revolution and "old certainties" had been "turned on their heads" during the past week's banking crisis. A new time required a "new settlement", he told delegates. He hinted at a curbing of markets in the wake of financial turbulence by saying they and government had to be "servants of the people and never their masters".

* The PM said he would be telling world leaders in New York tomorrow that financial regulation now had to be global rather than national. He also said financial transactions had to be more transparent; risk had to be better understood; board members at banks should be held responsible for failures; and bonuses should be based on "hard work, effort and enterprise" rather than "short-term speculative deals".

* Mr Brown signalled he was scaling up his ambitions for cutting carbon emissions, from 60% by 2050 to 80% by the same date. He reiterated the Government's commitment to new nuclear power, renewables, and clean coal.

* The premier insisted measures announced previously, such as fuel payments and grants towards better home insulation, would help people through the world downturn. However, he warned that there would not be as much money to go round as over the past decade, heralding "tough choices" on priorities.

* Mr Brown denied there was an "inevitable political cycle" in Britain that would sweep Labour out of power.

* He said "fairness" was in the party's "DNA", and called for personalised services to improve opportunity and access. He also confirmed moves to allow more parents to return to work, pledging free nursery places for all two-year-olds.

* Mr Brown said the target of eliminating child poverty by 2020 would be enshrined in law, meaning that campaigners could take the Government to court if it was not met. He also promised that children who fell behind at school would have access to "personal catch-up tuition", and parents would be given powers to install new management at sub-standard state schools or have them close and new education places provided.

* The PM stressed his personal link to the NHS, saying it had saved his sight when his one good eye started to deteriorate. He said from April the NHS would provide health "MOTs" for everyone over the age of 40.

* Savings on the NHS drugs budget in coming years would be directed into abolishing charges for patients with long-term conditions. Cancer patients would not have to pay prescription fees as of next year, he insisted.

* Mr Brown restated his commitment to re-establishing the link between pensions and earnings, although he did not give further specifics on the timing.

* The premier backed tough reforms of the welfare state, calling for a "something for something, nothing for nothing Britain". While migrants who contributed to the economy would be welcomed, the Government would not hesitate to exclude "those adults who won't or can't". "Nobody in Britain should get to take more out of the system than they are willing to put in," he added.

* Mr Brown said criminals would be more visibly punished, and, following a spate of teen stabbings in cities, pledged: "We will take knives off our streets." He denied claims that British society was "broken" and evoked the spirit of the Blitz, saying: "This country has never been broken by anyone or anything. This country wasn't broken by fascism, by the cold war, by terrorists."

* The Labour leader launched a stinging attack on the Tories, dismissing their claim that as Chancellor he failed to "fix the roof while the sun was shining" during a decade of economic boom. He lambasted their policies on Northern Rock, saying allowing the stricken bank to fail would have "imperilled the whole financial system". He also played to the Labour Left by pointing out that the Government had suspended the City practice of short-selling, whereas the Conservatives had wanted it to continue. Mr Brown said: "Britain cannot trust the Conservatives to run the economy."

David Cameron's team was "smart" and wanted to "give the appearance of change, and conceal what they really think". However, they were "prisoners of their past" and "isolationist" in Europe.

* Mr Brown made what amounted to a personal plea for Labour to stick with him despite doubts over his presentation skills, insisting: "I know what I believe, I know who I am. I know what I want to do in this job." He acknowledged he was suffering in the polls and newspaper headlines, but stressed it was "all worth it, if in doing this job I make life better for one child, one family, one community".

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