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Last Updated: Thursday, 27 September 2007, 15:23 GMT 16:23 UK
In full: Harriet Harman speech
Here is the full text of the speech given by Labour deputy leader Harriet Harman at her party's annual conference in Bournemouth.

This has been a historic conference.

We all remember the spirit of 1997 and now we will all remember the spirit of 2007.

Harriet Harman
Labour will be organised, mobilised and determined, Mrs Harman said
We have been more confident, more determined, more united than ever before.

This has been Gordon's first conference as our leader and we are all so proud of you.

And Sarah Brown - our thanks to you for being so warm and friendly to everyone at this conference.

It has been our extraordinary good fortune that we have had, two of the most outstanding politicians of their generation.

Neil Kinnock's apprentices - Tony Blair and Gordon Brown.

And it's a great honour for me to have been elected by you to be Gordon's deputy.

On behalf of all of us, I want to pay tribute to our former deputy leader John Prescott.

It's a privilege to follow in his footsteps and in the footsteps of our first woman deputy leader, Margaret Beckett.

At the next general election, the British people will have a clear choice about who will lead our country.

I think people want a prime minister who listens and gets on with the job so they and their family can get on with their lives.

So why would anyone want David Cameron?

Just getting your photo in the papers isn't a qualification to run the country.

If the international money market wobbles and you are worried about your savings, if torrential rain floods your home, if foot-and-mouth threatens your farm, you want people who can sort it out, people you can trust.

You need Gordon Brown and his Cabinet.

But our confidence and determination doesn't come just from the top, but from the whole of the Labour team - all of us who gather under the strength and power of what it means to be Labour.

The men and women trade unionists who stand up for people at work.

Our party members - in all parts of Britain - the South and the North, Scotland and Wales.

The hard-working party staff, and I want to thank them for their dedication - especially the mighty team of stewards in red shirts, our very own "Red Army".

Our mayor of London, our very own "Red Ken".

The men and women in the Welsh Assembly, in the London Assembly, in the Scottish Parliament, our Members of the European Parliament and our Labour MPs

And our local Labour councillors - we are proud of the work you do and we will stop Tory and Lib Dem councils stealing the credit for our Labour achievements.

And we want every one of our councillors, and Ken Livingston, and every one of our MPs back after their next elections.

And we are counting on you to see that happens - and they must be joined by more.

And I know that our leadership is stronger and bolder when we work with and listen to every part of this great Labour team, and that is what we will do.

At this historic conference, we have heard the determination to look to the future but never to forget the past.

I never forget how, at my advice surgeries in Peckham when we were in opposition, my constituents would hand me their pay slips showing 1.60 an hour.

The National Minimum Wage put an end to that.

There would have been no National Minimum Wage without Labour.

I never forget my constituents showing me letters from Kings College Hospital saying: "Your hip operation is in two years."

That doesn't happen any more.

Nor do I forget the woman in my constituency who said to me: "I've got two lads indoors. One's 19 and one's 21. Neither have had a day's work or training since they left school. Can you help?"

And I couldn't help.

We couldn't do anything until we kicked the Tories out and Labour was in government, and our determination is "never again".

But at this conference we have talked about the future and the changes that people want.

This is a time of great change in people's lives. So we must change the way we do our politics and we are changing the way we govern.

That means listening - not lecturing.

It means respect for Parliament, with ministers first answering to MPs in Parliament, before they answer to the press.

And it means politics - not the white male Westminster club it used to be but - men and women, black and white, local and national, in our countryside as well as in our cities, working together, sharing decisions.

Life has changed for families.

And we need to listen to and act on their concerns.

Families where the parents are holding down a job as well as bringing up their children.

Families holding down a job, bringing up children and caring for older relatives.

Labour is the party of the family - families of all shapes and sizes.

So the right to flexible work for parents is not a burden on business - it's an investment in the next generation.

And rights to time off work for a woman who cares for her elderly mother is not political correctness - it's respect for the older generation.

So whether it's rights at work, tax credits, nurseries, respite care, youth clubs or standing up against the ridiculous discrimination that still faces people just because they are older; whatever it takes to support families, Labour is the party of the family and we will do it.

Families do need practical help - they don't need to be told by politicians how to lead their lives.

They don't need Tories "sending a message about marriage".

What does that really mean?

It means saying to children whose parents have divorced or who are being brought up by a mother or a father on their own, there's something wrong with your family. And we will not stand for that.

It means saying to the gay couple or the lesbian couple who have loved each other for years - there's something wrong with your relationship. And we will not stand for that either.

Because that Tory message about marriage is just the same old "back-to-basics".

And the truth is that until they drop it, the Tory party is still the nasty party.

And I think David Cameron is too weak to change it.

This is a watershed conference. People's lives are changing and the political landscape is changing too.

And we need to reach out and work with everyone who wants a fair, prosperous and peaceful Britain.

Many things that we have done have helped women - like extending breast cancer screening, like giving fathers paternity leave and mothers more maternity pay.

But how many women out there still worry about what their children will do in half-term, resent the fact that men are still paid more, or are outraged that young women are abducted from abroad, brought into this country and bought and sold as sex slaves - the evil trade of human trafficking.

I want women who want change to join with us, join us women in the Labour Party and campaign with us for change.

And many of the things we have done have helped young people.

More opportunities for education and training, more jobs, more money in their pockets.

But how many young people out there are worried that they might never be able to afford a place of their own; wanting more done to stop climate change; angry about what's happening in Zimbabwe and Darfur and Burma.

I want young people to join with us, to join the brilliant young people we have in the Labour Party and campaign for change.

And we want to work with all those of good faith who share our cause of social justice.

So when people who have previously voted Tory instead vote Labour, and when people who have previously been members of the Tory Party want to join us, that is a great thing and we warmly welcome them.

In every constituency in every part of England, Scotland and Wales there are people whose hopes for the future depend on a Labour government.

We will not let them down.

We will be organised. We will be mobilised. We will be determined.

We are confident of our record, ambitious for the future, and so, so proud of Gordon Brown.

And if we do what is right, when the time comes and we ask people for their vote, people will say: "Yes, we want our government to be Labour."

Timetable: General Elections
27 Sep 07 |  UK Politics

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