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Cameron invokes Gandhi's values

The newly elected Conservative party leader David Cameron has taken inspiration from Mahatma Gandhi for his New Year message.

india Updated: Dec 31, 2005 18:47 IST
UK Bureau

The newly elected Conservative party leader David Cameron has taken inspiration from Mahatma Gandhi for his New Year message. Cameron invoked the words of the Mahatma on Saturday by declaring that the Conservatives must "be the change" they want to see in the world.

In his New Year message, he says: "The Conservative Party can look forward to 2006 confident in our values, clear about our direction, and optimistic about the future. As the world is changing, so must we. Our main objective in 2006, as a modern, compassionate Conservative Party, is to apply all our energies to tackling the big, long-term challenges faced by Britain and the world. I want us to usher in a new type of politics in this country: constructive, thoughtful and open-minded.

"And I want every single member and supporter of the Conservative Party to remember that personal commitment is the most powerful way to bring about change. As Gandhi said, 'we must be the change we want to see in the world'."

The Tory leader called on his party to show that it was adapting to modern Britain.

In his message, Tony Blair responded to the threat posed by Cameron by telling voters that Britain remained a prosperous and successful country under Labour. The Prime Minister, who also signalled his determination to press ahead with difficult public service reforms on schools, pensions and local health services, said: "Britain in 2006 will continue to be one of the most successful countries in the world with a strong economy.

"In an age of rapid change new challenges and threats will emerge but we should always be grateful for what a great country Britain is. We have rising living standards and this is the only Government of any major developed nation investing more money in health and education every year as a proportion of national income." He also pledged that the Government would not "let our resolve slip" in the battle to defeat terrorism and bring peace to Iraq.

First Published: Dec 31, 2005 18:47 IST