Blair bid to secure Labour legacy


Blair bid to secure Labour legacy

Tony Blair stresses it is his last election as leader
Tony Blair will ask voters to make Labour's changes last "for all time" as he launches the party's manifesto.
After eight years in power, Mr Blair will say he is fighting his last election as Labour leader but still has fresh ideas on making Britain fairer.

The spotlight will be on which taxes the manifesto says will be untouched.

The Conservatives insist Labour will have to raise taxes to pay for its plans while the Liberal Democrats say the tax system is too unfair.

The Tories are expected to launch a new cinema advertisement to encourage people to vote against Mr Blair's "smirking".

The Lib Dems will highlight plans to make the NHS fairer. They will again be without leader Charles Kennedy, who will stay with his wife and new-born son.

Paperback size

Labour's manifesto, called Britain: Forward not back, will run to 23,000 words over 110 pages and be the size of a paperback book.

Economic stability, health, education and tackling crime are likely to feature high in the manifesto's 10 chapters.

Let's together make irreversible the positive changes that are happening in our country

Tony Blair

Mr Blair will be joined on stage by the whole Cabinet at the launch in London.

In his foreword, he stresses the need for social justice and freedom from class barriers.

He says: "Our ideals are undimmed: extend opportunity to all, demand responsibility from all, secure justice for all.

"Our policies are refreshed: never has a governing party proposed a more wide ranging programme of change for the country."


Mr Blair talks of a "social contract", where the government helps people, who in turn help themselves.

He says: "So now, I fight my last election as leader of my party and prime minister of our country," he says.

What's obvious is the amount of tax we're all paying now - the party that can do something about that will get my vote

Barbara, Kent

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"My call is a passionate one: Let's together make irreversible the positive changes that are happening in our country.

"Let's make the values of social justice and a fair deal for all the governing ideal of our country not just for some time but for all time."

To reassure Labour voters disillusioned by the Iraq war, the manifesto is tipped to promise to work for world action on HIV/Aids and a timetable for ending farming subsidies.

The party's leadership are also expected to propose a review of the powers of the House of the Lords, with the last hereditary peers removed and MPs given a free vote on whether to elect some peers.

Oliver Letwin says Labour would raise taxes

Much attention will fall on Labour's eagerly-awaited tax promises.

It is expected to rule out raising income tax and VAT, as happened at the last election.

But it is unclear what will be said about national insurance, which was raised after the last poll.

After a day on the defensive about their own spending plans, the Conservatives will go on the attack in an early morning news conference.

They claim taxes will have to rise if Labour is re-elected because there is an £11bn "black hole" because Gordon Brown has spent and borrowed too much.

The Tories are also expected to unveil a cinema advertisement to be broadcast nationwide.

The Lib Dems plan to scrap dentists' charges

It is thought to feature pictures of a smiling Tony Blair with the song Take That Look Off Your Face, the tale of a love rat from musical Tell Me On A Sunday.

The Lib Dems will spotlight their plans to provide free eye and dental checks for everybody and review how to make prescription charges fairer.

They will also renew their promise to provide free personal care for the elderly.

Deputy leader Sir Menzies Campbell will say: "It's time to reinvigorate the founding principles of fairness in the NHS."
Positive changes!!!!!!!! A failing NHS, a creaking MoD, a failed immigration policy........I'll stop there or I'll cry :evil:

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