Labour was only in government for four short periods of the 20th century. However its achievements during those periods and from 1997 – 2010 revolutionised the lives of the British people. The values Labour stands for today are those which have guided it throughout its existence.
- social justice
- strong community and strong values
- reward for hard work
- rights matched by responsibilities
A new statement of Labour Values was written by Tony Blair and John Prescott and adopted by the Labour Party in 1995:
1. The Labour Party is a democratic socialist party. 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 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.
2. To these ends we work for:
- a dynamic economy, serving the public interest, in which the enterprise of the market and the rigour of competition are joined with the forces of partnership and co-operation to produce the wealth the nation needs and the opportunity for all to work and prosper, with a thriving public sector and high quality services, where those undertakings essential to the common good are either owned by the public or accountable to them;
- a just society, which judges its strength by the condition of the weak as much as the strong, provides security against fear, and justice at work; which nurtures families, promotes equality of opportunity and delivers people from the tyranny of poverty, prejudice and the abuse of power;
- an open democracy, in which government is held to account by the people; decisions are taken as far as practicable by the communities they affect; and where fundamental human rights are guaranteed;
- a healthy environment, which we protect, enhance and hold in trust for future generations.
3. Labour is committed to the defence and security of the British people, and to cooperating in European institutions, the United Nations, the Commonwealth and other international bodies to secure peace, freedom, democracy, economic security and environmental protection for all.
4. Labour will work in pursuit of these aims with trade unions, co-operative societies and other affiliated organisations, and also with voluntary organisations, consumer groups and other representative bodies.
5. On the basis of these principles, Labour seeks the trust of the people to govern.