PM wants confident, united Labour

Gordon Brown appealed for “unity” at the Labour party conference last night, telling an audience of local government workers the party must maintain “confidence” it can beat the Conservatives.

His speech to a reception hosted by the Local Government Association saw a more relaxed prime minister speak passionately about Labour as “the greatest force for fairness our country has ever seen”.

He called on Labour supporters to expose “day by day” the Conservatives’ policies. “They’re cutting, they’re taking services away, they’re running down the voluntary sector,” he said, adding “you don’t need a crystal ball – we need to show on the ground what they’re doing”.

Mr Brown pointed out it was “no accident” that governing parties around the world were suffering electorally because of the global economic crisis.

“The test of loyalty at the end of the day is that in hard times, difficult times as well as good times, we show we can represent the people of this country and respond to their aspirations,” he continued.

“I do urge you to have confidence. To have confidence that only Labour progressive values can deal with the shared challenges we face around the world.

“They cannot be met by isolation, free market dogma, or by people who have good PR and spin but no idea how to solve the problems we face.”

The prime minister described recent developments on the international stage as being “the first changes in the crisis which is taking place as a result of globalisation”.

Ten years of prosperity, he said, had seen Britain reap the benefits of the global boom.

“Now we’re seeing the problems and we’ve got to deal with them one by one,” Mr Brown explained.

“We, because of these global factors, are unable to give people that prosperity this year.”