For too long, normal, hard-working people have felt that Britain is not working for them.
I hear it everywhere I go.
People are fed up with paying more but getting less.
They are afraid that their children and grandchildren will not have the same opportunities in life as they do.
I’m tired of seeing the country held back.
I’m determined to turn things around.
And I’m convinced that we can do it.
When I became Labor leader three years ago, it was a self-talking party interested in narrow niche issues.
Not focused on the real concerns of families across the country.
Now we are proud again as the party of the working people.
I want to do the same for Britain – to make sure our country delivers to those who do it great.
We’ve all said to our children, “If you work hard, you can get whatever you want in life.”
That’s what all parents want.
But the truth is that as a country we run the risk of breaking that promise.
level the playing field
If we are to prevent this tragedy, we must break what I call the “class ceiling.”
All too often it matters more where you were born or who your parents are than your talent or background.
The class cap severely blocks the flow of potential and talent that we have across the country.
My job is to remove it and thereby level the playing field for anyone who feels held back or left out in Britain today.
There are examples of this everywhere.
Young people cannot buy their own home.
Older people find it difficult to retrain for new jobs.
Working-class people are paid far less for the same job than people from better-off backgrounds.
These are the prices people will pay for a Tory government that prioritizes the opportunities for some over the opportunities for all.
But they are all solvable and I am determined to be the prime minister to fix them.
My first task, if elected, will be to ensure Britain has a strong national defense and sound public finances.
They are non-negotiable: the rock-solid foundations upon which we will build.
Based on that, I have laid out the building blocks for our country’s future: Missions for a Better Britain.
Raising living standards, reducing waiting times on the NHS, making our roads safer, investing in our country’s future to reduce energy bills and create quality jobs.
Today I introduce the fifth and final pillar of those missions: Breaking Down the Barriers to Opportunity.
It is both our most important task and our most difficult.
It means standing up to the blockers and snobs, the naysayers and the defeatists.
That means changing Britain’s absurd and antiquated planning laws so we can build everything from attractive homes to offshore wind farms.
It means making sure that what we teach in our schools prepares young people for work and life.
This means that more gold-standard apprenticeships must be created.
And it means that every young person can not only be fluent in reading and writing, but also have the speaking skills that the elite expect of their children.
By doing these things, we will give our ailing country the restorative, electric boost of opportunity, ambition, and opportunity.
The importance of the optimism and hope that comes with opportunity cannot be overstated.
Likewise, we can all see how his absence saps momentum and vigor from our country.
This is personal for me.
There was nothing in my working-class upbringing that suggested I would ever become the country’s senior public prosecutor or leader of the Labor Party.
My parents – my mother was a nurse, my father a toolmaker – instilled in me the belief that hard work and imagination were rewarded in Britain.
That even in difficult times things would get better.
As a country, we urgently need to restore the sense that a brighter future lies ahead.
This begins with another important good: respect.
For too long people have seen their cities ignored.
Your views have been condemned.
Too few options in too few places.
Too little reward for hard work.
Too much talent is wasted.
The pride and ambition that people have in their families, their communities and their country simply has not been matched by those in power.
This is important.
There is a race for the jobs and industries of the future, and only by using all of our talents, skills and strengths can we win it.
Only by respecting and valuing all four corners of our great country can we once again be world leaders.
Things are getting harder and harder
But I also want to be honest with the Sun readers.
I know the sacrifices that working people make – and I respect them.
When the government treats the economy like a crazy roulette wheel, as is the case here, they suffer.
I will never do what the Tories did and take chances with other people’s jobs, mortgages or savings.
Economic stability must come first.
We will never spend what we cannot afford.
That would mean saying no to the good things we would like to do, like lowering tuition for students.
Lowering the cost of living for working people and investing in our country’s future must come first.
For too long, working people in Britain have felt that the game is being rigged against them.
That things are getting harder and harder.
I cannot promise to fix everything in our country overnight.
I cannot promise that everything will be easy or smooth.
But I can promise that the next Labor government will be led in the interests of those who work hard and do well.
This is the change Britain needs.
It’s the change I’ll bring.