Blair sets out Labour’s vision

Tony Blair today admitted the criminal justice system had
“19th century methods, as if we still lived in the time of
Dickens”, writes Clare Jerrom.

In his keynote speech to the Labour party conference in
Brighton, the prime minister said he had been
“battering” the system for eight years but that it
wasn’t until antisocial behaviour legislation was introduced
that a difference was made.

“The system itself is the problem,” Blair told
delegates. “We are trying to fight 21st century crime –
ASB, drug-dealing, binge drinking, organised crime – with
19th century methods as if we still lived in the time of

Blair said a new system was needed and pledged to publish plans
by the end of the year to tackle binge-drinking, drug dealing and
organised crime as well as developing existing laws on antisocial

He added that young people needed places to go and the
government would invest in youth services, increase competitive
sport in schools, give teachers full disciplinary powers and
identify problem families early in order to give them a single lead
agency to affect change and impose sanctions.

The prime minister also reiterated that the government would
next month be publishing proposals to reform benefits for the

For Tony Blair’s full speech click here

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