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Labour Party Conference Clause IV Debate
"This Conference agrees to re-write Clause 4 of the Party Constitution so that it reads: “ The Labour Party is a democratic socialist party founded to represent working people. It believes that by the strength of our common endeavour we achieve more than we achieve alone, so as to create for each of us the means to realise our true potential free from exploitation and for all of us a community in which power, wealth and opportunity are in the hands of the many, not the few, where the rights we enjoy reflect the duties we owe, and where we live together, freely, in a spirit of solidarity, tolerance and respect.”
Mr. Chairman, and Comrades,.

I rise in support of this revision to Clause 4 of our party's Constitution. Our goal as a party representing ordinary people, the people who work as laborers, as miners, as shipbuilders, as automakers and steelworkers, and as teachers, nurses, and all others who keep our country going, has been to ensure a broad basis for prosperity and the common good. These goals can be best met not by trying to stifle capitalism, but by reforming it. I see capitalism as a great and powerful engine directing the ship of state. And so the last thing we as a party should do is to shut down this great engine of growth. Back in 1976, Prime Minister James Callaghan spoke to our party and warned us that without a growing economy, we could not meet the social needs of our people. And so we must conclude, that a market economy provides the growth that we need to create a stronger and better country.

But the economic engine does not run itself, the engine cannot remain undirected. Comrades, in order to meet the rightful demands of our people for human dignity, for broad based prosperity, for the preservation and strengthening of families, let us work with enterprises to produce wealth, and let us work with enterprises to spread wealth to those who need it. We need not nationalize profitable businesses, but rather use the power of taxation and spending to shape a fairer society, one that works for all of our people. Our comrades in places like Germany have realized this, and we can be confident that anything they can do there, we can do here. Let us go forward, building a strong social market economy that rewards enterprise and ensures social responsibility.
Max Power, Labour
MP for Oxford East (1987-present)
Shadow Foreign Secretary (1994-present)

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