Monday, May 24, 2010


30 Jan 2005

1. What motivated you to become a coach?
The biggest motivation was football, not the coaching job. Every kid who loves football wants to be a player. I thought I could be one, although maybe not a top one. At the same time my father was a coach and football was a big part of my life. I studied at the sports university and therefore it was step by step. You feel that you cannot be a top player, but you love to study football, sports science and methodology, and on reaching a certain age, you decide that you would love to coach, to be involved in football. You lose the appetite to be a player and you start to love the idea of being a coach. At this moment in time I can say I love to be a coach on the pitch. I like the direct involvement with the players, the methodology, the exercises, the development of ideas, analysing the game, trying to improve the players and the team. The English part of the job which links you to the other areas of the club, like the Youth Academy and the work of the Board, appeals to me. I love all aspects on the job, but I got to his point step by step.

I started as U-16 coach in Portugal and when I finished my studies I went to Scotland in the late 80s to join you, and your methods made me think about methodology in a different way. The way you used small-sided games to develop technical, tactical and fitness elements – a global view of training. After I came back from Scotland I felt I made a difference through my coaching work. After working in the youth sector I joined Sporting Lisbon as assistant to Bobby Robson. The first step was to study, the next step was to develop young players and the third step was to work alongside a big coach at pro level. I repeat, the process was step by step.

2. How did leaving Portugal for Spain affect you development as a coach?
I joined Bobby in Barcelona and this was a big motivation – new country, new culture. Then Louis van Gaal arrived and I was exposed to another style, another philosophy. While Bobby knew everything about me, I had to prove myself to Louis, to adapt to the Dutch School, to a new way of training. The Ajax School, the van Gaal way of seeing football, was a new adventure for me. After another four years at Barca and at 34 years old, I returned to Portugal. I may have looked young, but I was prepared to become a head coach – my journey had been a long process, involving many important experiences.

3. What was it like to come back to FC Porto as head coach?
The first six months were incredibly difficult because the club and the team were in a very bad situation. But this period helped me to understand the club and to prepare the next season. I changed players and reorganised the team – it was a crucial period of rebuilding. The next season was fantastic because we won the UEFA Cup and the treble in Portugal. That season prepared us for the next season because the level was not the same in the Champions League. Confidence was high because the players were ready to face trips to Manchester of Madrid. It was a great process – this just did not happen by chance. Along the way, I have been influenced by some people, although I have never been the type to just accept the truth of others. For example, I still have in my mind some exercises I did with you in Scotland, but from these I tried to develop my own variations. The same with ideas from Bobby Robson and Louis van Gaal. Even when I was scouting for Bobby around the world I got ideas. I tell youngsters who are trying to follow me, “don’t accept what I give you as the pure truth.” I have always tried to learn, and people like Louis challenged me. During my last year at Barca, for example, I was given the responsibility of taking the team in some friendlies or cup games and Louis would monitor the way I handled things. I was prepared to take charge of a team – I had developed my know- how and my confidence. Confident yes, arrogant no. I am open to people, and my friends laugh when they read articles which label me as arrogant – they know it is not true. I am focused on my job when I say I think we will win I am only saying what most coaches think before a match. When the players think you are strong and that you trust them, it helps them to have a good attitude.

4. Was there one moment when you knew you were on the way to stardom?
Yes. Portugal is like Scotland. You can be a king in our own country but people outside don’t recognise you and, of course, your countrymen wonder if you can be a success abroad. The important thing is to be recognised in Europe and the crucial moment for me was when we won away to Panathinaikos FC in the quarterfinals of the 2003 UEFA Cup. We had lost at home and no Portugese team had ever earned a point in Greece. We won 2-0 and in that moment I felt I had gone from the domestic level to the European standard. Winning the final against Celtic was the second big step in my career because I then felt I was a success in European terms and could move to higher things.

5. What do you emphasise in your training sessions?
I have a plan at the beginning of the season and I try not to waste any time – I concentrate on my tactical ideas for the team. I write down my ideas and give them to everyone in the club. The tactical aspects of the game: how to press, when to press, transitions, ball possession, positional play. After that other things come – the physical and psychological aspects are part of the exercises. The individual work is done when we feel the players need that. Often we need to separate the players into groups depending on their condition and the amount of playing time they have had. The emphasis of the work is always tactical.

6. How would you describe your style as a coach?
I think it has been an evolution – I am different today than I was five years ago. When it comes to games, I am much more analytical during the first half because at half time I need to help my team. It is difficult to communicate with the players during a top match so I don’t shout too much but I do take notes, but only in the first half. The second half I can analyse at home. During the half-time team talk, I try to control my emotions and to be what the team needs me to be – this means that I can be very cool or I can be very emotional because the team needs a certain response from me. There is always a certain emotional component as well as a tactical contribution. There is always something to tell the team at half time, but after the match not one word, because the players are not ready to be analytical at that moment. Overall, I would say that I have a flexible management style, although I am very demanding during training. I have always been lucky to have more than one pitch at my training centre, and I therefore prepare my sessions in such a way that I can jump from one situation to another with effective working time high and resting time very low. We go for quality and high intensity during short periods. Players want to work, whether it is in Portugal, England or Spain, as long as the training is well organised and serious, and they know the purpose of the exercise.

7. Having won the UEFA Cup and the UEFA Champions League back-to-back, what is your view of these competitions?
The ‘knock-out’ element of each top competition is fantastic. Every team must be prepared to play for a result away from home. With Porto I tried to play away with exactly the same mentality that we had at home. If you want to win a competition, you cannot play in a crazy way at home to try to keep the score down when you are away. In the UEFA Cup, our results with Porto were very similar home and away. When I prepared my Porto team for the Champions League, I arranged matches during the pre-season which exposed us to different systems, different approaches to the game. To win the UEFA Champions League, you need to be a very strong team but at some point you need luck, like the last minute goal my Porto team scored against Manchester United, (although I think we deserved it). After that we went on to win the cup, and I don’t remember any team winning at this level without such a moment – a penalty, a late winner, etc. At the highest level there is often very little difference when the first of the group has to play the second of another group. It means nothing because the runners up can be Bayern Munich or Real Madrid. In addition, the away goals rule in extra time kills any advantage of being the home team in the second leg.

The UEFA Champions League is the ultimate club competition – even the European/South American Cup is nothing in comparison. I must say that, for me, the emotion was much greater when winning the UEFA Cup against Celtic than beating Monaco in the UEFA Champions League final because of the game of football. The match against Celtic was dramatic until the last moment – they even sent their goalkeeper into our penalty box to attack a corner in the dying seconds. But after the dust has settled, then UEFA Champions League title is the greatest prize. On a personal level, the night we won it was difficult because I was full of conflicting emotions, knowing that I would be leaving the team – I did not see my Porto players again until three months later when they came to Stamford Bridge in this season’s UEFA Champions League competition.

8. What was your impression of Euro 2004?
I think Greece in EURO 2004 was like Porto in the UEFA Champions League because the strength of the team and the desire to be successful were decisive. For Greece, it was a step-by-step process of gaining confidence and a victory for commitment, belief and organisation. Like everyone else I thought some top players were below par. Also, in countries where they can build around the players of one or two clubs, like Greece, this can be an advantage. In the big countries – that is those with the money – this cannot happen because the players are spread around various clubs. I must say that Portugal, as a country, was fantastic with the organisation, and the team did well. The image of Portugal was enhanced by EURO 2004. As we are talking about national teams, I can tell you that one day I would like to be the head coach of Portugal, but not now. I would not like to retire without having been the Portuguese manager.

9. Are there any laws, interpretations or regulations which concern you?
At Chelsea, I am frustrated because often our counter-attacks are stopped by ‘technical fouls’ and no yellow cards are given. Some teams are masters at this. Also, the interpretation of the offside law is very confusing and it must be very difficult for the match officials to make decisions.

10. What are the main qualities that you look for in a player?
Once again, I take a global view. I have produced profiles for each position in terms of personality, athletic qualities, technical skills, etc. And, of course, if a player lacks speed he has no chance in today’s top-level football. OK, you may get a midfield player who is quick mentally and he can still perform despite the high tempo. Also, in English football, fullbacks who lack height can have problems because of the long-ball tactic employed by many teams.

11. What tactical trends do you see at the top level of the game?
Transitions have become crucial. When the opponent is organised defensively, it is very difficult to score. The moment the opponent loses the ball can be the time to exploit the opportunity of someone being out of position. Similarly when we lose the ball we must react immediately. In training I sometimes practice keeping a minimum of five players behind the ball, so that when we lose it we can still keep a good defensive shape. The players must learn to read the game – when to press and when to return to their defensive positions. Everybody says that set plays win most games, but I think it is more about transitions.

12. What concerns you most about football today?
On the field, the constant disruption and the wasting of time bothers me. I would like us to consider actual playing time because some people are clever at manipulating the time.

13. How has your meteoric rise to the top affected your life style and you as a person?
Nobody knew me, and then suddenly within two seasons I am known everywhere. Of course, you live with the pressure and with the public attention. My life and that of my family has changed. It is, of course, part of the job to deal with the various demands. However, a principle for me is that I never miss a training session due to other claims on my time. I strongly believe that professional duties always come before external business requests. You will gather that, for me, football is my job but also my passion.

With thanks to uefadirect and UEFA Technical Director Andy Roxburgh for providing the interview

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Politics is About Perception - Dr. Tan

"Anybody who does not understand that politics is about perception, does not understand politics."

Dr. Tan Seng Giaw is the most senior DAP Member of Parliament in the Federal Territory. He first contested and won the Kepong parliamentary seat in 1982 and there's been no stopping him ever since. Politics aside, Dr. Tan is a dermatologist by profession and interestingly the following interview was conducted at his clinic in Petaling Jaya.

Dr Tan is a man of facts and figures. In an interview with Klik4Malaysia, he told us that he is only interested in talking about policies rather than dwelling on politics. Also, he shared with us his views about his role being the Deputy Chairman of the often-misunderstood parliamentary select committee, PAC (Public Accounts Committee), of which he spoke in length about the issue of the stolen Royal Air Force jet engines and the ongoing PKFZ scandal, which he was part of the investigation committee.

Commenting on Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak's performance and his Government Transformation Program (GTP) initiatives, while most opposition leaders chose to be sceptical or cynical towards the GTP and NKRAs, Dr. Tan in the meanwhile offered fresh views and hoped that the Prime Minister succeeds. In his own words he said;

"That is of the good of the nation if he can succeed" said Dr. Tan.

On politics, he is optimistic that Malaysia is moving towards the right path. He further explained that DAP's new slogan "Middle Malaysia" is mainly about moderation.

"We will take a more moderate and middle path. What we want to stress is that moderation is the key word" said Dr. Tan.

Responding to a question on how Pakatan Rakyat can be a better and viable alternative to Barisan Nasional, Dr. Tan said that although change is needed, Malaysia cannot afford a revolution.

"Change must be in the form of a peaceful evolution" he added.

Dr. Tan did not discount the possibility that Pakatan Rakyat might have its own logo, but was quick to point out that DAP, PAS and PKR each has its own logo which have long been well recognised by their supporters.

"So, we have to take all these into considerations. Anybody who does not understand that politics is about perception, does not understand politics." he concluded.

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

David Cameron's speech

David Cameron: Vote Conservative for guaranteed change on Friday

Now some people think that this election, there’s just this evening and then there’s tomorrow and then there’s polling day.

Well that’s not the way it’s going to work for us. I urge you to campaign every minute and every hour that you’ve got left until polling day.

And I can tell you what I’m doing. I’m starting in Scotland then I’m going to be in Cumbria, then in Lancashire, then in Yorkshire, then in Nottinghamshire, then in to Wales, then back to Shropshire then to Bristol. We’re going at it all night, all day, all day next day, all the way through to polling day, that’s how we’re going to win this election.

Oh I missed out the Black Country as well, I’m sorry about that. But we’re going to be where people are working baking the bread, landing the fish, running the emergency services we’re going to be campaigning all night because this election is so important to our country. Just think if the mess that our country is in today. We have got the problems of debt and deficit. We’ve had the longest recession and the deepest recession since the War. When it comes to our society we’ve got more people growing up in homes where nobody works than anywhere else in Europe. And we have the mess, the complete mess of our politics with the shame of the expenses scandal and the fact that so many people are switched off and disillusioned with politics.
So as we go round the country in these last few hours, these last few days we have a very simple message; if you want to wake up on Friday morning with a new Government that has rolled up its sleeves, that is starting to clean up the mess then you have to vote Conservative. Any other vote and you could be stuck with what you’ve got now. Vote Labour and you’re definitely stuck with another five years of Gordon Brown, is that going to solve our problems? If you vote Liberal well what are you going to get? Who knows, Labour someone said, who knows what you’re going to get. One minute they said they would support Gordon Brown then they said well may be they’d support another Labour leader so vote Liberal and may be you get five years of Harriet Harman. May be, may be you get five years of Ed Balls, perhaps you’d even get five years of David Miliband. You might get a Prime Minister who wasn’t even in those television debates, if that is democracy, that’s people power I’m a banana. We’re not having that.

If you vote Conservative you get a new Government on Friday starting to clean up the mess. And let’s just look back at the campaigns we’ve seen from the other parties. What have we had from Labour, what have we had from Gordon Brown apart from the most negative campaign anyone has fought in the history of modern British politics? All he has ever said is talking about cuts this, cuts that and he has made up untruth after untruth. If this is the son of a preacher man I don’t know what we’re hearing. I was told he had a moral compass, I’ve seen the leaflets, they say we’re going to abolish Child Tax Credits, that’s not true. I’ve seen the leaflets saying we’re going to take away from pensioners their Winter Fuel Allowance or their free TV licence, that’s not true. He says these things knowing they are not true.
I was told he had a moral compass, where’s this moral compass been for the last four weeks? I reckon when he finds it will be spinning round so fast he could put it on the roof and it could be a ceiling fan. That’s the sort of moral compass our Prime Minister has got, it’s been the most disgraceful campaign. And I want to say to British people clearly and frankly this; if you are elderly, if you are frail, if you are poor, if you are needy a Conservative Government will always look after you. On the journey we need to take this country on no one will be left behind. And let me say very clearly to pensioners if you have a Conservative Government your Winter Fuel Allowance, your bus pass, your Pension Credit, your free TV licence all these things are safe. You can read my lips, that is a promise from my heart. Don’t believe the lies you’re being told by the Labour Party just because they’ve got nothing positive to say.

And then, and then there’s been the Liberal campaign. Well we’ve learnt a few things about Liberal policy that we didn’t know before, I’m not sure they knew all their policies before. But is it progress to say you’re going to put VAT on new homes and you’re going to take them out of the reach of young people desperate to buy a house? That’s not progress. Is it progress to say no more prison sentences under six months, is that progress? You’re going to say to the burglar and the mugger and the robber you don’t go to prison at all, is that progress? And is it progress when we don’t have control of immigration today to say you’ll give, give an amnesty to the nine hundred thousand people who are here illegally that they can all have a passport, access to benefits, access to council housing and able to bring their relatives here too, is that progress? A vote for the Liberal Democrats is not a vote for the change for the better it is a vote for change for the worse.

But I think my friends we can be proud of our campaign. We have fought a strong and energetic, a positive campaign making the big arguments about the future of this country. The big argument about the future of our economy; here we are in a high end manufacturing business desperate for a Government that wants to help business, wants to get behind business, wants to get our economy growing. And we’re the ones who say cut the wasteful spending this year so we don’t put up the National Insurance and the jobs tax next year. That jobs tax would be an economy killer, a recovery killer a jobs killer. We’ve been wining the big argument on the economy and I believe we’ve been winning the big argument about how we build a stronger society in our country. Yes we need change, and change isn’t just the Government passing laws and issuing regulations and spending money, change is when we recognise we’re all in this together and we’ll only change our country for the better when we involve everyone. We say to the great social enterprises and charities help us to tackle drug abuse. We say to the private training companies come in and train those people who need to work who could work and yes when we say to those who could work who are offered a job and don’t work you cannot go on claiming benefits in Britain under the Conservatives. That’s the message that we should be taking.

But you know what? In the end this election isn’t about individual politicians it isn’t about even individual policies it’s about what you’re fighting for and we’re not really fighting Gordon Brown or Nick Clegg, we’re certainly not fighting Alex Salmond he’s not even standing in this election, that is a point to remember; the SNP are not standing to be in Government they’re standing to be in opposition. And we should say to everyone in Scotland fight to be in the Government of our country making positive decisions about our future.

But we’re not, we are not fighting these other parties what we are fighting is disadvantage, is poverty, is unfairness, is the fact that opportunity is blocked in our country. We’re fighting the fact that people who do the right thing, who work hard, who save, who play by the rules get hit by the system rather than hurt by the system. We in this election are fighting for people, we are fighting for the children growing up in homes where nobody works. We’re fighting for the couple that want to buy a home but can’t afford it. We want to help them. We’re fighting for the parents who want to find a good school for their child and are so frustrated the system won’t deliver it. We’re fighting for the businesses desperate to get their head above water to start making money and start employing people again. We are fighting for the doctor, for the nurse for the teacher covered in red tape who’ve got a great, great vocation and they want to do the job that they love. That’s who we’re fighting for, that’s who we’ve got to win it for.

And we are fighting for the pensioners who are worried to walk the streets, for the people who don’t want to have to sell their homes to pay for care, who’ve done the right thing all their lives and want a Government that backs them. That’s what we’re fighting for. We’re fighting for all of those people, people who are crying out for change after thirteen years of a Government that has wrecked so much of our country. Thirteen years of a Government that sold the gold, that wrecked the pension system, that complicated the tax system, that condemned people to a life on benefits, that doubled the national debt, that gave us record youth unemployment, that boasts that it knows how to run an economy but has brought our economy to its knees.

So as you go out in these last few hours remember who we’re fighting for; all those people who’ve been let down by Labour, all those people who want a Government that just believes in some simple principles. The principle of aspiration: that you should be able to make whatever you can of your talents in this country. The principle of responsibility; that we’re all in this together and we’ll never have a stronger society unless we live up to our own responsibilities. And the principle of giving people power and control over their lives; people in our country are fed up with being bossed and bullied and interfered with by such a top down Government, we say give people more power and control over their lives and they will respond by helping us to build a stronger society. That is what we are fighting for.

This election is not yet decided. There are millions of people up and down this country still making up their mind about which box to put their cross in and we’ve got to say to them if you want change that you know will work, if you want change that can be guaranteed. If you want to take this country in a different direction, if you want to wake up on Friday morning certain that you haven’t got another five years of Gordon Brown and certain you’ve got a new team, a new Prime Minister, a new bunch of leaders, people with the right values, with the right energy, with the right oomph to get our country going, people who can start to clean up the mess on day one on Friday then get out there and vote Conservative, vote for a better Britain, vote for the United Kingdom, vote to keep us together, vote Conservative and we can start the work of rebuilding our economy, our society and cleaning up our political system. Let’s get out there and do it.”

Gordon Brown's speech

Fighting for your future - Gordon Brown

Gordon Brown, Prime Minister and Leader of the Labour Party said:

"You know, it’s been pretty relentless. Non-stop, on the go, never a moment’s let up, working round the clock.

I don’t mean the last four weeks…. I mean the last 13 years. Because we’ve been busy.

Busy changing lives. Busy changing communities. Busy changing this country for the better and forever.

On May the 2nd 1997 we set to work – and we’ve been working ever since. And just think the battles we have fought and won.

The minimum wage first enacted in 1997.

First £3.60 an hour, now £5.80 an hour and now, in Labour’s manifesto, a minimum wage set to rise in the coming parliament not to £6 an hour – but to £7 an hour.

Britain’s minimum wage is one of New Labour’s proudest achievements. But it’s not my achievement or Tony’s achievement – great as Tony was.

No – it is not our achievement – it is your achievement.

And it’s the achievement of the people of Britain.

And it shows what good men and women of conviction can achieve when they work together for the common good.

And I’ll tell you what else we’ve done together. On the first day of this campaign, I met a teacher. This isn’t one of those David Cameron type stories – I really did meet her, and she really was a teacher…

And do you know what she said to me about the difference we had made? That back under the Tories she used to teach with a bucket beside her desk because she never knew when the classroom would leak and the kids would have to learn in their coats.

But now – after 3,700 schools have been rebuilt or refurbished with Labour – teachers know that we not only fixed the roof when the sun was shining but built hundreds of wholly new schools – and now it’s not old buckets in the classroom but new laptops, new whiteboards and new teaching assistants.

That’s not my achievement or Tony’s achievement.

That’s your achievement and the achievement of every single person who has voted Labour and joined our fight for fairness.

And do you know what else we’ve achieved by fighting?

- the shortest NHS waiting times in history

- three million more operations a year

- over 44,000 more doctors

- 90,000 more nurses

- GPs open into the evenings and at weekends

- free cancer prescriptions

- a two-week maximum wait to see a cancer specialist

- over 100 new hospitals

- the Winter Fuel Allowance

- free TV licences and free bus passes for pensioners

- the Pension Credit

- the New Deal for the Unemployed

- full-time rights for part-time workers

- the Social Chapter

- record maternity pay

- for the first time in history the right to paternity leave

- the biggest programme of council house building for 20 years

- the Disability Discrimination Act

- the Racial and Religious Hatred act

- the Equalities Act

- the first black cabinet minister

- the first Muslim minister

- the first black woman minister to speak at the Commons despatch box

- civil partnerships, gay adoption, the repeal of Section 28 and yes the right to book into a bed and breakfast

- devolution: a Scottish Parliament, a Welsh Assembly and, yes, even a Mayor for London

- the transformation of our great cities with bright new dawns for Leeds, Sheffield, Birmingham, Newcastle, Bristol, Glasgow, Edinburgh and Manchester

- the Human Rights Act

- crime down by a third

- the hand gun ban

- domestic violence cut by two thirds and rape convictions up by half

- more police than ever on our streets

- the world’s first ever Climate Change Act

- beating the Kyoto emissions targets

- the tripling of overseas aid

- the cancelling of debt of the poorest countries

- the ban on cluster bombs

- peace in Northern Ireland

- a Britain in Europe’s mainstream not in Europe’s slipstream

- free swimming for kids

- free museum entry

- the right to roam

- banning fox hunting

- the Olympics for London

- half a million children out of poverty

- extended schools

- 42,000 more teachers

- the best ever exam results in schools

- Education Maintenance Allowances

- record numbers of students – and for the first time the majority of students are women

- a doubling of apprenticeships

- a Child Trust Fund for every newborn child

- Sure Start children’s centres

- free nursery places

- and Child Tax Credits that this Labour government brought in and which a Tory government would cut because they just do not get it, never have, never will.

So when people say that politics can’t change anything – we reply it can – it has – and it will.

And let us never forget that for the advancement of so many of these great causes we had to fight not just the Tories – but the Liberal Democrats too. And let’s never forget the most important lesson of these days – a lesson that is today more relevant than ever. And what is it?

It’s simple; when we fight, when we never give up on the fight, when we fight and fight and fight – we win.

And that’s why we can say today that our Labour Party – our movement of fighters and believers - is the greatest fighting force for fairness our country has ever known.

And why? Because we are men and women who know that we cannot be wholly comfortable while others go without comfort. Who cannot be fully at ease while millions are ill at ease? Who cannot be totally secure, when others are insecure.

These are not for us matters of calculation, but commands of conscience. For whenever we see injustice, we want to end it. Whenever we see suffering, we want to relieve it. Whenever we see unfairness, we want to rectify it.

These are Britain’s values and these are Labour values – not the values that spring from markets, but the values that spring from our hearts.

So it is no condemnation of wealth to say that our first duty is to help the not so wealthy. It is no criticism of success to say we must reach out not just to those who succeed but to those who have never had a chance of success. It is no criticism of those of aspiration to say we must celebrate not only those who aspire but also lift up those who have never been able to reach higher. And I say to you today it is no attack on good private services to say a good society depends on good public services universal to all.

Because whether the adjective the Tories apply is big or small there is still no such thing as society if it leaves too many services cut, too many people on their own, isolated, defenceless, and vulnerable without a guarantee that if they strive to move forward they will not be condemned to be left behind.

And in this election we are fighting for causes every bit as big as any in 1997.

Because we are in a new world now, and while the yearning for fairness is the enduring rock of ages, its application must change with every age.

And that is why today, in this first election of a post crisis world, we are fighting for what we will be able to look back on, list, and commend in five years time. Because even as we act to cut the deficit, if we make the right decisions now, it will mean by 2015;

- cancer tests within not two weeks but one week

- free health check ups for the over 40s

- a restored link between pensions and earnings

- one million new skilled jobs

- broadband access for all

- a national care service

- a Post Office people’s bank

- more free nursery places

- a father’s month of leave for new dads

- a new toddler tax credit

- 10 thousand new council homes a year

- protection of local pubs and post offices

- an independent and thriving BBC

- low carbon energy and thousands of new green jobs

- a referendum on electing the Lords and changing the voting system

- and yes I can say today for more than a minimum wage – a rising minimum wage – every year a rising minimum wage

That is the offer of a Labour government – that’s the change we choose.

And you know everywhere I’ve gone in the last four weeks people say to me you look better than on TV.

Thank goodness.

But let me be blunt: if you want the guy whose hair is always perfect, whose tie is always straight, whose slogan is always snappy, you have a choice … the other two.

And my case against them isn’t their youth, inexperience or background. It’s their poor judgement and as with Child Tax Credits, their shared policies which are so unfair.

So if you want someone with judgement, and the right values, then I ask you to stick with me. Because the real X factor is putting an X on the ballot paper beside the person who will secure your future.

And how can you put a cross against a question mark? Because at the heart of this election is a fundamental question about values that Mr Cameron cannot resolve.

How can it be fair, at one and the same time, to cut the Child Tax Credit and the Child Trust Fund, while offering an Inheritance Tax Cut worth on average £200,000 for each of the 3,000 wealthiest estates in the country? How can it be fair when times are tough, not to protect you – but to protect the few?

In last week’s debate five times I asked Mr Cameron this question. Five times he did not answer.

I suppose he could have phoned a friend. He could have asked the audience. He could even have gone 50/50 with Nick Clegg.

But nothing.

And why? Because he’s ok at question time. Not so good at answer time.

And why? Because he’s defending the indefensible – an unfairness that would give the most to those who have the most, and not provide the greatest help to those who are the most in need.

And everybody knows that when the Conservatives were faced with the economic call of the century – they called it wrong.

Wrong on Northern Rock.

Wrong on help for homeowners, wrong on help for businesses, wrong on help for the unemployed.

And wrong today on the need to maintain support to the economy now.

Wrong, wrong, wrong.

And now that Kenneth Clarke has admitted that they got it wrong on Northern Rock, and tonight has been slapped down for his pains, it’s clear that there are only two people left in Britain who think they were right – one is hoping to be your Chancellor by Friday, and the other your Prime Minister.

Those who don’t learn from their mistakes are bound to repeat them – and that’s why I say, Cameron-Osborne economics is a risk too far.

Their approach to the crisis and the recession has mixed the worst of the 1930’s, with the worst of the 1980’s, and it has exposed a difference between the parties that is as clear as it is fundamental.

We have helped the unemployed, they believe unemployment is a price worth paying.

We have stopped small businesses going to the wall, they said just let the recession run its course.

We have supported people to stay in their family homes, they said just let you sink or swim.

We are on your side, they are passing by on the other side – and so we can never allow them to risk our country’s future, or yours.

And so never let anybody tell you there are no real differences between the parties any more, that it doesn’t matter who you vote for, the outcome will be the same.

And I speak to you tonight about the economy because I have some understanding of the risks. Asian banks are vulnerable. The whole banking system is yet to complete its restructuring. Some European economies are facing market pressure. Europe itself is barely growing. Unless we can persuade the rest of the world to grow faster then Britain’s new growth will be affected too.

To shrink the economy by six billion now, as the Tories propose in the name of a right-wing ideology, simply means lost jobs, lost homes, lost businesses and lost growth and would threaten every family on a middle or modest income in this country.

So we need a Government that understands the importance of European cooperation, international action, and policies for growth. Never so clearly have two economic philosophies confronted each other so directly.

And ours says we will support you to achieve jobs – and the other says we will leave you isolated and on your own.

And it’s not just your family finances David Cameron has in his sights – but the public services your family rely on too.

The public services we rely on are more than the hospital, the school, the police station, the Sure Start – they are our hospitals, our schools, our police stations, our Sure Starts – because they are woven through the fabric of our lives.

And they are not just places in our communities; they are places in our hearts - places where life begins and lives are saved; where our children learn and grow; where we gather to sustain each other and give of ourselves; where help comes to us when hopes are dark and homes or neighbourhoods are in danger.

Public services – these are services we cannot provide on our own, magicked up by some big society, these public services are what we choose to provide together, and not just for ourselves, for some, but for all.

Again and again I ask myself why the Conservatives are so against the guarantees we give to patients and parents and citizens about the availability and quality of their personal and public services.

And I am finally working it out.

In their minds, and for their money, there is always an escape route.

So what does it matter to them whether or not there’s a one-to-one tuition guarantee so all children can find their potential and expand their world. But I tell you – it matters to me, and it matters to the British people.

And if some can afford a gated community with 24 hour security, what does it matter to them whether or not there’s a policing guarantee to make the streets safer for everyone else, every hour of the day. But I tell you – it matters to me, and it matters to the British people.

And if some can afford private healthcare and to see a doctor any time you want for any reason that you want, what does it matter to them whether or not there’s a cancer guarantee on the NHS when someone else needs to see a doctor for the gravest of reasons. But I tell you – it matters to me, and it matters to the British people.

Because for most people the NHS has not been, as the Conservative MEP called it, a sixty year mistake, but a sixty year liberation.

So in this election, for all the millions of pounds they have spent, the Conservative Party have not proved to anyone’s satisfaction that they can ever be trusted with our NHS, our schools, and even with the law and order of our country.

So this is the fundamental difference between our parties; we want public services that serve the whole public for the public good. And if the Conservatives really understood the lives and the aspirations of middle and modest income Britain, they would stop living a lie.

Stop living the lie that you won’t hurt middle class Child Tax Credits when you’ve already banked the money from axing them.

Stop living the lie that nursery education will be free when your secret documents show you’ve already planned the top up fee for toddlers.

Stop living the lie that your billions of cuts will make no difference to the jobs of teachers and teaching assistants - and tell us the full truth that within weeks the public services will be hit.

Stop living the lie that you’re all for maintaining our police numbers when you know within months you’ll be sending PCs their P45s.

Stop living the lie that the NHS is safe in your hands when your first act will be to remove people’s right to see a cancer specialist within two weeks.

Let me say people remember what happened the last time – the poll tax, the mass unemployment, the record interest rates, the porta-cabin classrooms, and the NHS on its knees. And despite the warm words scratch the surface – the Tories might have changed their tune, but they haven’t changed their minds…

I have never known so many undecided voters as we have seen in this election. Because most people do not live inside the political bubble. You are getting on with your lives, trying to balance work and family, saving for a holiday or a car, dealing with the everyday realities of the life you live.

You think about politics when you have to. And what is clear to me as I go around the country is that you really are thinking this election through.

I know what it is like to make a big decision. You think about it. You worry about it. You weigh up the pros and the cons. You consult your friends, family and colleagues. You take the time you need. But then you decide.

Tonight, tomorrow, and Thursday, millions of our fellow citizens are making a big decision, thinking about it, talking about it, worrying about whether you are doing the right thing.

In its own way, it is as big a decision as any because the future direction of the country we all love depends upon it.

The stakes are that high.

Not for us the arrogance of those already taking victory for granted. For us the humility of knowing there are many who have doubts.

I say this to the many undecided voters - you are right to reflect.

Our challenge is to meet you, see you, talk to you, not take you for granted but assure you we have a record to be proud of. And we will protect it.

We have a plan for the future. And we will implement it fairly if you give us your support.

And know that when an opposition party says it is time for a change, you deserve to know what that change would mean.

If its style before substance, they win. If it’s recovery or risk, we win.

A thought through plan for the future, or sums that don't add up. We win with the plan.

A team or a one man band. We win.

Above all - fairness in our DNA. Or privilege. We win again.

So I want to say to those who have decided to support us. Thank you. Now persuade the undecided among your family, your friends, your colleagues.

And I want to say to those who have yet to decide - listen to what we have to say. When the last 48 hours of this campaign has passed, in that one minute in the polling place, vote for the kind of country you believe in and come home to Labour.

Because I want what you want - a country where those in the middle can reach higher, where those left behind are never written off, where we all move forward together - a land of progress not privilege, not austerity, but prosperity for all.

And so what is this election about?

A record to be proud of. We fight to protect it.

The Tory risk. We fight to prevent it.

Our plan for the future. We fight for the right to make it happen. Because I say to the British people - it is a fight not for me, it is a fight for you - for your jobs, your living standards, your tax credits, your schools and your hospitals.

That is our fight, and it’s a fight we have to win."