Blair's speech at 10 Downing Street
May 2, 1997
Web posted at: 12:32 p.m. EDT (1632 GMT)
LONDON -- The following is the text of the acceptance
speech made by British Prime Minister Tony Blair outside 10
Downing Street Friday.
I have just accepted Her Majesty the Queen's kind offer to
form a new administration and government for the country.
John Major's dignity and courage over the last few days and
the manner of his leaving, is the mark of the man. I am
pleased to pay tribute to him.
As I stand here before 10 Downing Street I know all too well
the huge responsibility that is upon me and the great trust
that the British people have placed in me.
I know well what this country has voted for today. It is a
mandate for New Labour and I say to the people of this
country -- we ran for office as New Labour, we will govern as
New Labour (357K/31 sec. AIFF or WAV sound).
This is not a mandate for dogma or for doctrine, or for a
return to the past, but it was a mandate to get those things
done in our country that desperately need doing for the
(213K/18 sec. AIFF or WAV sound).
And this new Labour government will govern in the interests
of all our people -- the whole of this nation. That I can
promise you. When I became leader of the Labour party some
three years ago I set a series of objectives. By and large I
believe we have achieved them. Today we have set objectives
for new Labour Government - a world class education system.
Education is not the privilege of the few but the right of
A new Labour Government that remembers that it was a previous
Labour Government that formed and fashioned the welfare state
and the National Health Service. It was our proudest
creation. It shall be our job and our duty now to modernize
it for a modern world, and that we will also do.
We will work in partnership with business to create the
dynamic economy, the competitive economy of the future. The
one that can meet the challenges of an entirely new century
and new age.
And it will be a government that seeks to restore trust in
politics in this country. That cleans it up, that
decentralizes it, that gives people hope once again that
politics is and always should be about the service of the
public. And it shall be a government, too, that gives this
country strength and confidence in leadership both at
home and abroad, particularly in respect of Europe.
It shall be a government rooted in strong values, the values
of justice and progress and community, the values that have
guided me all my political life. But a government ready with
the courage to embrace the new ideas necessary to make those
values live again for today's world -- a government of
practical measures in pursuit of noble causes. That is our
objective for the people of Britain.
Above all, we have secured a mandate to bring this nation
together, to unite us -- one Britain, one nation in which our
ambition for ourselves is matched by our sense of compassion
and decency and duty towards other people. Simple values, but
the right ones (264K/23 sec. AIFF or WAV sound).
For 18 years -- for 18 long years -- my party has been in
opposition. It could only say, it could not do. Today we are
charged with the deep responsibility of government. Today,
enough of talking -- it is time now to do.
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