This broadcast consists of two parts. It opens with a montage of the City of London: tall buildings, unusual camera angles, shots of Tony Blair and Gordon Brown. This is accompanied by the voices of Roddick, Conran, Charkham and Robinson making their introductory comments. The second part is a series of 'interviews' (although we never hear the interviewer's voice) with the 4 Labour business people. As they make their points the subjects are pictured in their offices and also 'at work'.
The major element of this broadcast is a Blair 'talking head', but this is 'framed' within a black and white sequence of a bull-dog (presumably representing Britain) with its master (ambiguously representing the Conservatives). As the bull-dog 'hears' Blair's claims about how Britain could be better the dog gradually becomes more wakeful, finally breaking his chain and running off into the sunset.
Now someone has emerged who is determined to give it back to us. He is the most talked about politician of his generation. They've called him everything: from Bambi to union basher; from public opinion courter to autocrat. But one thing is undeniable - in three short years his energy and leadership have transformed his party. What can he do for Britain?
The Tories today are no longer the party of low taxes. The fact is they broke their word on tax, they raised taxes twenty-two times. Ordinary families have had massive tax rises under the Conservatives, the largest in peace-time history. Now I don't want to add to the burden of those families, they're hard-working. I'd like to see them get their tax burden down that's why we said that we're not going to raise the basic or top rate of income tax.
Ask yourself this question: if these Tories get back in for another five years, will we even have a National Health Service in the way that we've known it, and grown up with it? Now we've got to rebuild the National Health Service, and as a start we will spend a hundred million pounds by cutting that bureaucracy, and putting it into cutting waiting lists.
Why should people in this country have to put up with these levels of crime? The fear, the abuse, the hassle elderly people often afraid to go out of their own homes, sometimes afraid to be in their own home. The Labour party will take on this issue in every single aspect of it. Tough on crime, tough on the causes of crime.
I'm a British patriot, and I want the best out of Europe for Britain, and we need a government that is going to lead in Europe shape Europe, not just follow along behind the Europe that's been shaped by others, and a divided Conservative party with weak leadership fighting itself cannot fight for Britain.
Education is the future for this country. If we don't give our kids the right education they don't succeed, Britain doesn't succeed. That's why I've said, for a Labour government, its top three priorities: education, education, education. And again we can make a start, for example by reducing class sizes for all five six and seven year olds in our primary schools to thirty or under. That we will do in the five years of a Labour government.
Britain can be better. We can make this country better than it is, and I am not going to promise anything that I can't deliver, but I do tell you that today's Labour party, transformed as it is with the strength of leadership and the strength of unity behind it, can make this country better.
There is no speech in this broadcast. The soundtrack consists of 'Land of Hope and Glory'. This is played over images of the 1996 Conservative party conference. These images have been manipulated (by speeding-up, slowing-down and repeating sequences) to present the politicians and delegates extremely unflatteringly. Interspersed with the conference footage there are shots of people sleeping in hospital corridors, miserable looking old people in a nursing home, security camera footage of street-robbery, miserable children in school etc. There is a running commentary in the form of captions.
The broadcast interweaves 'interview' footage (although we never see the interviewer, who is the film-maker Molly Dineen) with scenes of Blair signing a poster, playing football with children, talking to children in school, making speeches, playing tennis, listening to a woman complain about the health service, visiting a hospital with his wife, and getting on a plane. The 'interviews' take place in two cars, a train, and Blair's kitchen.
And there is a part of you that constantly wonders whether it is worth staying in politics because of all the the the rubbish that you have to do, I mean you just have to do it.
You've just got to keep a grip of yourself, and, and hope that your humanity sees you through, and in the end understand why you want to be in it.
What I keep saying to people is: get behind the image. It's quite difficult to bring people to actually see the type of person you are.
My ambition when I was a child was to play football for Newcastle United. That was my greatest ambition, and I kept trying to talk my dad into using whatever meagre influence he had with the Newcastle United to get me a trial, but he never did.
Because my dad was very active, I mean he was active in Tory politics actually, locally in fact they had him lined up to fight a, to fight a seat, and become a member of parliament, but then he became very ill so everything he gave up, everything. But we, we discussed it, and then when I started really being Labour, there was a slight problem for a time, but he never really objected to it because he's come over to the Labour party now, so it's all fine.
I think my generation is trying to get to a different type of politics, which is rooted in strong values and convictions, but it's not quite left and right in the way that it's been before.
I just think that, for a whole generation of people, they thought that if they arrived, and did well, then you became a Tory. You know it's like people used to say: well if you bought your house, if you owned your own home, then you were a Tory, it's crazy.
I've always understood, because of dad, why some people who've done very well, come up in life, made it on their own, felt the Tory party was the party that was for them, because it was the party of ambition and aspiration, and that the Labour party somehow wasn't, and I think to an extent, I mean, that's what the Labour party became. It became too stuck in the past, too rooted in the [inaudible] that's where you are, that's where you stay, whereas today I think the position has changed round. What I've always wanted for today's Labour party is to be the party of aspiration [inaudible] say you know you can have a society where there's ambition without a lack of compassion and
Homework - well you're gonna have a lot of that under Labour. You wait you wait till David Blunkett gets hold of you, you'll be doing a lot of homework, ha ha ha.
The kids, they keep you grounded because you're seeing all through them and through their friends. You know what's actually happening all the time, you just go back to understanding why you're there and why you want to be in it.
There's a sense in which I just feel people have got to understand things can change. I mean it's just so daft to think they couldn't be better. I mean it could be better. You could if you decided on a, even if you decided right, the education system, let's say education and welfare were gonna be the only things you're worried about and everything else stayed the same even.
For me education is almost like trade union reform was for Margaret Thatcher. To me education is the big passion, it's the thing that you know should drive everything that we're doing, which is one of the reasons why it's so crazy that today we spend more on unemployment than we do on education. If a family's got people in the home where no-one's working, how can the kids grow up with any sense of the work ethic, any sense of turning up to work on time earning a wage, then they start living in a different culture in a different society, and when that actually happens then all the other problems come with them all the crime all the drugs benefits bills, and when I talk about getting young people off benefit and into work it's not [inaudible] uncaring, on the contrary the only proper true compassionate way to care is to say we're going to do something about that.
There is a battle for resources in the National Health Service because we're spending so much money now on increased administration. But it, it's more than just about the resources in the health service. What's really happening is that the Conservatives don't understand why we created the health service. They don't understand it. The health service to me is a living breathing symbol of what a decent civilised society should mean in practice, helping people on the basis of their need not on the basis of their wealth.
When my father became ill, when I was ...um... ten, eleven, and he ...er... had a stroke, and all our lives changed after that, really. Well for the first twenty four hours we weren't sure whether he was gonna live or not, so then then that was OK, but then when he came back home he really couldn't do anything, which was very tough for him because he was a public speaker, he was a good public speaker, he was a barrister, a good public speaker, so all those things had to stop. He had to give up his political ambitions. Everything changed. Yeah well it was, the amazing thing is, he did actually rebuild his life and my mother of course she nursed him for three years, taught him how to speak again, and I think when my mother died, when I was twenty one, you got a sense of urgency into your life [inaudible] do you know what I mean? You suddenly thought well you've actually quite a short time you've got, so you better get on, you better get things done, you better do things.
This broadcast takes the form of a mini-drama. 'Tom' and 'Becky' are father and daughter. They've been at the hospital, where Becky has had to wait for treatment on a broken arm. It's late at night and raining, so they decide to take a taxi home. During the taxi-driver's speech about 'decline' we see images of how another Conservative government would affect Becky's life negatively. When Tom and Becky get out of the taxi, they notice that the taxi driver has a pair of angel's wings and that the clocks have gone back, making it possible for Tom to vote.
|Last Modified: 22 Oct 12|
© Richard Kimber