Prime Minister Brown yesterday revealed he has no policies to deal with the economic crisis in the interests of workers.
In his keynote address to the Labour Party Conference in Manchester, he admitted: ‘I know people have real concerns about the future of the country, the future of the economy and people in this hall have concerns about the future of our party too.’
He pledged that his ‘unwavering focus is taking this country through the challenging economic circumstances we face and building the fair society of the future.’
But all he could offer is more of the same.
He said that with ‘the collapse of banks, the credit crunch, the trebling of oil prices, the speed of technology, and the rise of Asia, nobody now can be in any doubt that we are in a different world and it’s now a global age.’
He added: ‘This last week will be studied by our children, as the week the world was spun on its axis, and old certainties were turned on their heads.’
He added that New Labour is ‘and will always be a pro-enterprise, pro-business and pro-competition government.’
In a warning to the unions he stressed that ‘what counts is not the pursuit of any sectional interest but the advancement of the public interest’.
He said the government’s job is to ‘do all it takes to stabilise the still turbulent financial markets and then in the months ahead we rebuild the world financial system around clear principles. And friends the work begins tomorrow.’
He announced that he and Chancellor Darling will be going to the US to propose ‘transparency’, ‘sound banking’, ‘responsibility’, ‘integrity’, and ‘global standards and supervision’.
On public spending, he warned ‘that as a result of the events of recent weeks there are going to be tougher choices we will have to make and priorities we will have to choose.’
He went on to say: ‘It’s the economy that’s been making the headlines, but there are other big changes too.
‘People feel their communities are changing before their eyes and it’s increasing their anxiety about crime and anti-social behaviour
‘And so we will be the party of law and order.’
He added that ‘we will be the party of the family’.
He warned that Education Secretary ‘Ed Balls and I will never excuse, explain away or tolerate low standards in education. So we will keep up the pace of reform: more academies, trust and specialist schools’.
He added that ‘our pledge today is that any parents whose local state school falls below the expected standard will have the right to see that school transformed under wholly new leadership, or closed and new school places provided.’
Attacking the unemployed he stressed: ‘Our policy is that everyone who can work, must work. . . the dole is only for those looking for work or actively preparing for it.’
Attacking migrant workers, he said ‘the other side of welcoming newcomers who can help Britain is being tough about excluding those adults who won’t and can’t’, adding that ‘we will introduce a migrant charge for public services’.