No bitter blood between H’View and MoBay

first_img FINGERS CROSSED “It’s the first time in six seasons that it will be this challenging. We have been through it before, but this season it is different, so we are keeping our fingers crossed.” He noted that the squad is filled with inexperienced players while noting that the onus was now on the senior players like himself, Ronaldo Rodney, Ladale Richie, Jacomena Barrett and Keneil Kirlew, to guide the youngsters. Ambusley underlined that it was extremely important that the team achieved some level stability in the early rounds of the competition. “The aim is to blood the young players and see how they cope and set themselves up for the next stage, that would be victory for us. Our ambition is to always be challenging, but we are rebuilding and we have eight months to work on it. So we are looking for stability then we can look how far it can take us,” said Ambusley. “Some of the youths are very young, 17, 18, 19 (years-old) and some of them didn’t play for a traditional high school that was looking to win, so the onus is on the senior players to really help them through it, and that’s what we are trying to do.” He added that they have no fears going into the opening fixture against Harbour View. “We don’t usually win our first game, so we are not nervous. But we are MoBay and we will give our all. We will not give in,” Ambusley assured. Montego Bay United captain, Dwayne Ambusley, does not think the summer-transfer feud between Harbour View and the western Jamaica club over teenage standout Jourdain Fletcher and Dushane Beckford has heightened tensions ahead of the teams meeting in their opening Red Stripe Premier League (RSPL) game at Harbour View complex tomorrow at 7:00 p.m. However, he believes the former champions will face their most challenging season in six years as they are currently going through a rebuilding phase. “Not really (don’t think transfer feud will make game tense). It shouldn’t be that way, but football is about being comfortable and if they (Fletcher and Beckford) are not comfortable being here, then we have to work with it,” Ambusley stated. The experienced player is, however, bracing for what he expects will be the club’s most testing campaign in the competition.last_img read more

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Kerzner back with new hotel

first_imgAn outside view of the majestic One&Only Cape Town hotel overlooking the V&A waterfront. A luxury suite with a classical yet modern,contemporary feel. Each room at the hotel boasts a colourful ensemble of interesting décor. The giant sized pool can accommodate the needs of both social and avid swimmers. (Images: One&Only Resorts)Khanyi MagubaneHotel mogul Sol Kerzner is set to open the South African chapter of his One&Only international luxury hotel chain on 3 April.The hotel, the One&Only Cape Town at the V&A Waterfront, which cost about R1-billion (US$100-million) to build, will be officially opened at a glittering affair with about 400 hand-picked guests and celebrities in attendance.The hotel will be one of South Africa’s most expensive, with rates ranging between R6 000 ($600) and R50 000 ($5 000) a night.The hotel chain prides itself on offering pure opulence to guests, all of which naturally come at a price.For the grand opening of the One&Only Cape Town, Kerzner has left nothing to chance. Hotel staff uniforms have been designed by top South African fashion designer Jenni Button and are made of pure silk, to ensure that the standard of the hotel is maintained on all levels.A little piece of heavenThe hotel, designed by distinguished architectural firm, Dennis Fabian & Berman and Ruben Reddy, is a seven-storey construction of luxury. It will offer an exclusive wine selection that promises to satisfy even the most discerning wine lovers. The 6 000-bottle wine cellar is affectionately called The Wine Loft and boasts glass walls and designer trimmings.For avid swimmers, the hotel has a 350m² infinity-edge swimming pool.Other features include luxury suites – some of which have their own en-suite spa treatment rooms.All of the suites overlook either the V&A Waterfront marina or panoramic views across to Table Mountain, and are said to be generous in size – ranging from 63m² for a basic suite to 383m² for the presidential suite.Kerzner travelled to South Africa last week to supervise the finishing touches to his hotel, which is expected to attract a flurry of the rich and famous.A night to rememberIn traditional Kerzner-style, the opening ceremony for the One&Only Cape Town will be graced by some of the world’s most famous celebrities and influential business moguls.The star-studded event will be Kerzner’s first in 17 years in South Africa after he opened his grand R300-million ($30-million) Palace of the Lost City – an add on to the Sun City casino and resort in 1992.Speaking to journalists on his arrival, the tycoon said he was not all nervous about opening night, “There’s no pressure. Sure, this is by far one of the biggest events I’ve done in South Africa, but it doesn’t help to get nervous.”The guest list for the event, described as a cocktail party, will include US actors Sharon Stone and Robert De Niro. UK-based actress Thandie Newton and supermodel Naomi Campbell will also be in attendance.Each guest will be provided with a personal butler who will be at their back and call.This event will also be a much smaller one than the November 2008 extravaganza at the opening of Kerzner’s Atlantis hotel in Dubai.The one night celebration, co-ordinated by party planner to the stars Colin Cowie, will be a “relatively low-key” event.Guests at this year’s party will be treated to a feast created by 79 local and international chefs, who will be creating the scrumptious dishes from the hotel’s modern-state-of the-art kitchen.  A passion for the hotel industrySol Kerzner’s rise to the top of the hotel industry was not just one of luck, but of calculated risk and right timing.Often described as the “Sun King” or the Donald Trump of South Africa, Kerzner is secretive about how much his worth, and at one stage even claimed that he didn’t know the grand total of his fortune.Kerzner was born in Johannesburg on August 23 1935, the youngest and only son of four children to Russian parents who had immigrated to South Africa six years earlier.Although he grew up poor in the downtown suburb of Doornfontein in Johannesburg, Kerzner had a happy childhood, and love for classical music.After he graduated as a chartered accountant from the University of Witwatersrand, Kerzner quickly rose up the ranks of one of the largest accounting firms in Durban, and at the age of 26, he became partner.But his spirit was elsewhere. He found number crunching boring and it was then that he decided to turn his attention to the hotel trade. He leased a hotel, which he managed at night and on weekends, while still continuing with his day-job. His hard work paid off when it became a flourishing establishment.In 1963, with borrowed venture capital and no previous track record in the industry, he set out to build South Africa’s first five-star hotel, despite never having seen one or ever having travelled out of the country.Speaking of those trying times Kerzner says he remembers what it feels like to convince people to have confidence in him, “I had no capital of my own, no track record and many people were sceptical about what I was doing. I remember sitting around the reception rooms of finance houses, trying to convince them what I wanted to do was financially viable.”After a fact-finding mission in America, he started building the Beverly Hills Hotel.The hotel was a runaway success and he went on to build the 450-room Elangeni Hotel on Durban’s southern beachfront.His newfound success prompted him in 1969, to establish the Southern Sun hotel chain in partnership with South African Breweries.By 1983, the chain was operating 31 luxury hotels with more than 5 000 rooms.In 1979, he built Sun City in the North-West province, after striking what has been described as an allegedly controversial deal with Bophuthatswana homeland leader, Lucas Mangope, for exclusive gambling rights.After his success on home soil, Kerzner ventured overseas where he has built his One&Only hotel resorts in several countries including Mexico, The Bahamas, Mauritius, Maldives and Dubai.Speaking to UK newspaper, The Telegraph, Kerzner said he really loves his work, “I have always said that the thing that drives me is not the money – although there are obviously advantages to living like this – but it’s the excitement of the business, the thrill of creating.”And a rich lifestyle he does have.His properties include a private estate in Hout Bay, a R10.5-million ($1.5-million) four-bedroom penthouse he bought for his daughter, Beverly, in New York, a portfolio of residences in London’s posh Chelsea suburb and a villa set on 2.8ha of Mediterranean cliff side in Monaco, as well as a home in the south of France.Do you have any comments or queries about this article? Email Khanyi Magubane at: khanyim@mediaclubsouthafrica.comRelated articlesHolidays that save the world Life’s a beach in South Africa Tourism in South Africa SA tops for business travel Cape Town “best city in the world” Useful linksOne&Only resortsKerzner internationalSun City Southern Sun hotelslast_img read more

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The Human Factor

first_imgIn a merger completed just over a year ago joining two of the largest office supply product companies, Boise Office Solutions and OfficeMax, a lot of things changed, but one thing remained constant for the new organization’s loss prevention program—teamwork.According to John Voytilla, vice president of global loss prevention and chief security officer at the new OfficeMax, the most important component of the loss prevention department is its people.“Technology, auditing, and investigations, those are all very important mechanisms that support the work of loss prevention, but it’s our team that truly makes our LP program so successful,” Voytilla says.- Sponsor – Beginning with its hiring practices, the OfficeMax loss prevention team seeks out the best people and then works to keep them through employee development. By placing a premium on employee retention, the OfficeMax LP team has enjoyed a level of continuity that many other retailers don’t often experience.“Our team’s stability is a product of the program’s quality and comprehensiveness,” he says.Voytilla attributes the OfficeMax LP team’s success to five key areas: training and development, business integration, integrity, communication, and technologyTraining and Development—Building LP LeadersSince September 11 and the passing of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, competition to find qualified LP staff has increased as more companies have ramped up security efforts. Although finding qualified individuals is difficult, Voytilla does not budge on his hiring standards.“Team is the most important component of our loss prevention program. In fact, it is our differentiator. So we look for and develop people who can take ownership and lead the way in loss prevention. We want people who can ultimately help evolve our program,” says Voytilla.One of the reasons associates stay according to Voytilla is the LP program’s dedication to training and improving the team dynamic to achieve success.Their strategy includes setting up “think tank” meetings twice a year. The think tank groups discuss and debate organizational challenges, such as inventory shrink analysis and action, business assessment and visit planning, and improvement of store operational execution. The groups then develop a strategy based on their discussions. Loss prevention directors are on hand solely as facilitators.This type of brainstorming creates a sense of ownership says Voytilla. Follow-up through regular conference calls ensures that ideas won’t die before they are implemented and keeps teams focused on their core business objectives.Tracking Performance. Performance reviews and succession planning are other key elements of the OfficeMax LP training and development strategy. Twice a year, loss prevention management meets to discuss each team member’s performance. They debate strengths, opportunities, and growth potential, while discussing the needs of the individual and the organization.To assist in this process, OfficeMax’s LP program provides members with formal training and guidance regarding how to move up within the LP structure. The formal program includes a description of core technical and leadership skills required at each level of professional development.Team members, with the approval of their direct supervisors, complete an individual development plan (IDP). Supervisors evaluate the associates on an ongoing basis, providing feedback and suggesting changes to the individual’s IDP. Once a team member achieves the required core skills, they are evaluated for promotion.Directors find special opportunities to challenge top performers and encourage growth says Voytilla. Take Shannon Hunter, territory loss prevention manager in the Midwest, who was recently asked to temporarily fill the role of loss prevention director in the western territory—a role he has been in for more than ninety days.“You can’t simulate being a director,” says Hunter. “The challenge of running a territory loss prevention program plus communicating at a high level with our vice president has broadened my capabilities. It’s the best way to learn and grow.”Often, these opportunities cross over LP territory lines into other departments. Associates might be asked to write corporate policies or manuals, create reports for field use, develop new loss prevention programs, or test new equipment. “Every assignment builds and hones our team members’ experience,” says Voytilla.The OfficeMax LP team also supports a learn-by-doing approach. Senior team members are encouraged to mentor newer associates, and team members help train new district loss prevention managers (DLPMs).Building New Leaders. Voytilla points out that the OfficeMax LP team is not only interested in developing team members, but also leaders. OfficeMax LP management receives specialized training each year at an annual weeklong leadership summit designed to develop and harness their skills. Seminars include situational and results-based leadership, improving communication, and the Gallup StrengthsFinder® program, which focuses on personal development and honing leadership skills, interviewing and advanced phone interviewing, which LP field personnel used to close several cases in remote store locations without the expense of traveling.Training and development also is in full force on the frontlines at the store level. Using OfficeMax’s intranet web site, the LP team reaches employees by posting LP awareness materials, internal and external theft alert signals, and tools to assist with store training. DLPMs use the same material from the site to train personnel during store visits.Business Integration—Merchandising and Operations Welcome LPOfficeMax’s LP team has become an important partner with operations and merchandising. “Many companies’ LP teams can only dream of having a symbiotic relationship with their merchandising departments. We took a simple approach to the traditional battle; our answer was to become united,” says Voytilla. “We get involved with merchandising on the front end to devise plans and strategies around design and placement rather than on the back end after vital decisions have already been made.”Solving Sales Issues. Over the last two years, a main objective for OfficeMax merchandising was to place more ink cartridges and high-value electronics items, such as PDAs, digital cameras, and computer memory upgrades out on the floor. Previously, OfficeMax stored these items in a secure lock-upOther annual meetings offer technical and professional training, such as interviewing and interrogating skills, exception reports, and computer skills and planning led by WicklanderZulawski & Associates. Two important training seminars recently completed by the OfficeMax LP team covered behavioralWhile that helped prevent external theft, it also negatively impacted sales because products could not be easily viewed or accessed by customers.To come up with a solution, the LP team partnered with merchandising and operations to develop a win-win strategy that safely brought these items to the sales floor to grow sales while reducing theft.The first part of the strategy involved installing a new electronic article surveillance (EAS) system in certain stores to protect ink cartridges. The test ran several months while cycle counts of the ink were compiled monthly. When inventory counts were completed, shrink had decreased.The data from the EAS-enabled stores was then compared to the data in the non-EAS stores, and the results were indisputable. With EAS, stores could sell ink on their sales floors, and the extra revenue from the ink’s improved product placement could pay for more EAS equipment. In addition, the positive results from the test allowed the LP team to secure a capital appropriation to install EAS in the remaining OfficeMax stores during the first half of 2004.By putting a new EAS infrastructure in place, the LP team achieved several key objectives. First, the Office Max merchandising department contacted its electronics vendors, challenging them to begin source tagging. The request netted stunning results—all but a handful of OfficeMax’s electronics vendors’ SKUs are now source tagged, including ink cartridges.Second, the LP team purchased Spyder wraps from Alpha Security. All Office Max stores with a new EAS system received 200 Spyder wraps, which allowed merchandising to place more live product on sales floors.As a result of this success, the LP team now regularly reviews SKU profitability reports to assess vulnerability and shrinkage to determine whether LP programs need to be expanded to other SKUs.“The LP team’s successes with merchandising illustrates that it’s not about saying we can’t do something, it’s about finding a way we can do it, and do it profitably,” says Voytilla. “This approach has been successful because our corporate team gives us the resources we need, and they challenge us to continually improve our operations.” In the summer of 2004, the LP team conducted another test, placing digital memory upgrades into merchandise display boxes also known as Alpha keeper boxes. The new display boxes, made of polycarbonate material, are used to display high-theft electronics items on the sales floor. Each box houses a coil that triggers the EAS alarm system if the item is stolen.Similar to the ink test, the results demonstrated to OfficeMax’s merchandising department that it could safely place high-theft electronics on the sales floor, thereby increasing sales and decreasing shrink. Feeling confident with the EAS infrastructure in place, OfficeMax merchandising used the LP team’s findings and rolled out floor displays for the digital memory upgrades in fall 2004.LP Part of OfficeMax Fabric. Loss prevention at OfficeMax is woven into the fabric of the company’s business at all levels. LP team members are involved in hiring and promotion decisions for district and store managers as well as offering performance review feedback for retail associates.The high degree of LP integration at OfficeMax means that key initiatives, such as training, merchandise display standards, EAS, and awareness programs, share the spotlight in store business plans. During store visits, LP team members partner with district managers to review these important areas.“When district managers or operations deliver the same message as the LP department, it becomes that much clearer,” says Voytilla. Ultimately, he’d like to see stores become “LP self-sufficient, so that the LP team becomes a problem-solver and a developer of people instead of an auditor.”Cross-Training the LP Team. Part of the OfficeMax LP team’s success comes from its emphasis on cross-training its members to gain stability and flexibility by testing their skills in new environments.Recently, long-time LP director, Ulysses Williams, was offered a director position in human resources. Williams took the job, saying it strengthens his overall development as a retail professional.“My loss prevention experience has served as the foundation for my success,” says Williams. “For example, in loss prevention, team members are constantly faced with the questions of who, what, where, when, why, and how. Learning to find answers to these questions first and foremost helps to provide permanent solutions rather than quick or easy fixes. I still use that approach in my current job.”“Seeing one of our team members that is well-rounded enough to make that kind of transition makes us proud,” says Voytilla. “It also gives the OfficeMax human resources department a loss prevention perspective.”In another example of cross-functional talent, the OfficeMax LP team gained the services of Gerald Smith, formerly a district manager in the San Francisco Bay area, who now serves as director of LP for the western territory.“I sought to broaden my experience in retail loss prevention by integrating my operational expertise,” explains Smith. “During my short tenure in this new role, I have enjoyed the intense training, various challenges, and continual support from other LP team members. It’s also rewarding to be able to interject new ideas from my operational background into processes and plans that make our team more effective in the field.”Voytilla never passes up an opportunity to bolster his team’s experience by promoting from within his ranks. At the end of 2004, Perry Resnick, previously the LP director of the southwest territory, moved into the role of vice president, field loss prevention, retail. In his new capacity, Resnick drives loss prevention strategies and execution in the field.In addition, Nancy Erickson was promoted to senior director, logistics loss prevention, where she oversees loss prevention activities throughout OfficeMax’s entire supply chain.“People like Gerald, Perry, and Nancy are what we look for—talented individuals who possess great leadership skills. Experience is one thing, but finding people with a knack for leadership takes our department from good to great,” says Voytilla.Open Communication and IntegrityVoytilla says the OfficeMax LP team maintains direct and honest communication lines between field and corporate levels, district manager partners, territory partners, and corporate partners. The team schedules regular business meetings to discuss objectives and exchange feedback. Continual two-way communication helps the team make sound business decisions.“The organization won’t improve if we just tell people what they want to hear. Executives are looking for real feedback to improve the business,” says Voytilla.One of OfficeMax’s core values is integrity, and that is reflected in the LP department.“We empower team members to say what they believe in,” says Voytilla. “We are expected to deliver brutal loss prevention facts to our partners, peers, supervisors, and subordinates in a professional manner with the ultimate goal of benefiting the company.”High-Tech Loss PreventionTechnology gives OfficeMax loss prevention faster and more complete reporting options, and helps the department keep up with, or even stay ahead of, new theft tactics.Exception Reporting. A DLPM can run a report for an entire district to immediately determine what stores are completing the most inventory adjustments, or known theft. Thanks to a partnership with OfficeMax’s IT department, exception reporting created in the SAP system is specifically designed for the LP field team to analyze. Now, when LP identifies problem stores, team members can drill down to when adjustments were made and what SKUs caused the majority of the loss. This information allows the LP team to start investigations. After stores take inventory, the LP team generates category and article shrink reports that zero in on the exact causes of the shrink. These reports are used at the store, district, and territory levels to create future shrink action plans.Field members are equipped with state-of-the-art laptops and use Aspect Loss Prevention’s point-of-sale investigation software program that reviews sales and refund data to identify unusual transactions or trends. LP members use the program to run exception reports, and initiate and resolve cases. These reports are then analyzed on a weekly and monthly basis.“Thirty-seven percent of OfficeMax’s shrink cases in 2004 were identified using the Aspect program,” says Voytilla.Public View and Digital CCTV. Technology is not limited to providing better reporting. It also helps the LP team become more efficient at the store level. “Public view is used to deter shoplifting by having visible TV monitors in the live ink cartridge aisle and near store’s front entrances,” says Voytilla. “Our stores used VCR and multiplexer technology for their CCTV systems. Now we’ve implemented digital CCTV in several stores and we’re conducting further testing in additional markets.” The biggest reason for the switch to digital? “We can now monitor our stores remotely and link the digital CCTV feed with point-of-sale and exception reporting.”Radio Headsets. Store-level technology also benefits from OfficeMax’s “boundless service” culture. Every store associate uses a radio headset. Then, each store’s sales leader communicates with associates on a regular basis, directing them to customers who need help, suggesting add-ons to purchase, offering selling tips, and observing the store overall.Loss prevention uses the radio headsets to help deter shoplifting and reduce the chance of losing a customer who may need assistance. The headsets also are used to communicate monthly shrink topics, track suspicious customers, and assist with front-end procedures.The LP team’s success with these types of technological advancements creates opportunities to conduct more tests and broaden their expertise. Currently, they are looking at special software that links to the EAS system to remotely monitor program execution, review exceptions, high alarm activity, and assess training issues.One Step AheadIn 2005 and beyond, OfficeMax will continue to place a high priority on loss prevention. An emphasis on hiring, training, development, and retention continues to give the OfficeMax LP program an edge over its competition. It also helps OfficeMax stay one step ahead of internal and external theft. Stay UpdatedGet critical information for loss prevention professionals, security and retail management delivered right to your inbox.  Sign up nowlast_img read more

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13 players show up as Gilas opens World Cup qualifiers buildup

first_imgMOST READ Hotel says PH coach apologized for ‘kikiam for breakfast’ claim Malditas save PH from shutout Herndon motivated to play alongside league’s top guards at Star The Fatted Calf and Ayutthaya: New restos worth the drive to Tagaytay June Mar Fajardo. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/ INQUIRER.netThirteen players were present in the first day of the Smart Gilas Pilipinas’ training camp for the first leg of the 2017 Fiba World Cup qualifiers later this month.Four-time PBA Most Valuable Player June Mar Fajardo, Jayson Castro, and Calvin Abueva spearheaded the attendees at Meralco Gym on Friday night.ADVERTISEMENT LATEST STORIES Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. After 30 years, Johnlu Koa still doing ‘hard-to-make’ quality breads Palace: Robredo back to ‘groping with a blind vision’ View comments Also present were longtime national team members Japeth Aguilar and Gabe Norwood, mainstays Troy Rosario, Raymond Almazan, and Allein Maliksi, as well as cadets Roger Pogoy, Matthew Wright, Jio Jalalon, Mac Belo, and Carl Bryan Cruz.Assistant coaches Jong Uichico, Jimmy Alapag, Josh Reyes, and Ryan Betia assisted Head Coach Chot Reyes in the session.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSBoxers Pacquiao, Petecio torchbearers for SEA Games openingThe Philippines is preparing for its game against Japan in Tokyo on November 24, before going back home where it will take on Chinese Taipei at Smart Araneta Coliseum on November 27. MRT 7 on track for partial opening in 2021 ‘A complete lie:’ Drilon refutes ‘blabbermouth’ Salo’s claims Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Gameslast_img read more

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Theresa May tells Conservatives its time to embrace a new centre ground

first_img Close Theresa May tells Conservatives its time to embrace a new centre ground IBTimes VideoRelated VideosMore videos Play VideoPlayMute0:00/0:00Loaded: 0%0:00Progress: 0%Stream TypeLIVE0:00?Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedSubtitlessubtitles settings, opens subtitles settings dialogsubtitles off, selectedAudio TrackFullscreenThis is a modal window.The media could not be loaded, either because the server or network failed or because the format is not supported.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window. COPY LINKAD Loading …center_img Theresa May closed the Conservative conference in Birmingham today (5 October) with a pitch to put the party in the centre ground of British politics.The Tory premier claimed Labour had abandoned the moderate position, while arguing that her government would step up and engineer an economy that works for everybody. Notably, May branded Labour as the nasty party, a slogan once used against the Conservatives.When we came to Birmingham this week, some big questions were hanging in the air.Do we have a plan for Brexit? We do.Are we ready for the effort it will take to see it through? We are.Can Boris Johnson stay on message for a full four days? Just about.But I know theres another big question people want me to answer.Whats my vision for Britain? My philosophy? My approach?Today I want to answer that question very directly.I want to set out my vision for Britain after Brexit.I want to lay out my approach – the things I believe.I want to explain what a country that works for everyone means.I want to set our party and our country on the path towards the new centre ground of British politics…built on the values of fairness and opportunity…where everyone plays by the same rules and where every single person – regardless of their background, or that of their parents – is given the chance to be all they want to be.And as I do so, I want to be clear about something else: that a vision is nothing without the determination to see it through.No vision ever built a business by itself. No vision ever clothed a family or fed a hungry child. No vision ever changed a country on its own.You need to put the hours in and the effort too.But if you do, great things can happen. Great changes can occur.And be in no doubt, thats what Britain needs today.Because in June people voted for change. And a change is going to come.BRITAINS QUIET REVOLUTIONChange has got to come because as we leave the European Union and take control of our own destiny, the task of tackling some of Britains long-standing challenges – like how to train enough people to do the jobs of the future – becomes ever more urgent.But change has got to come too because of the quiet revolution that took place in our country just three months ago – a revolution in which millions of our fellow citizens stood up and said they were not prepared to be ignored anymore.Because this is a turning point for our country.A once-in-a-generation chance to change the direction of our nation for good.To step back and ask ourselves what kind of country we want to be.Lets be clear: we have come a long way over the past six years.Weve brought the deficit down.Got more people into work than ever before.Taken the lowest paid out of income tax.Established a new National Living Wage.Helped nearly a million new business to set up and grow.Got almost one and a half million more children into good or outstanding schools.Put record investment into the NHS.Created nearly 3 million new apprenticeships.And brought crime down by more than a quarter to its lowest ever level.Thats a record of which we should all be proud.And this morning its right that we pause to say thank you to the man who made that possible. A man who challenged us to change and told us that if we did then we would win again.And he was right. We did change. We did win. The first majority Conservative Government in almost 25 years.A great leader of our party – a great servant to our country.David Cameron, thank you.But now we need to change again. For the referendum was not just a vote to withdraw from the EU. It was about something broader – something that the European Union had come to represent.It was about a sense – deep, profound and lets face it often justified – that many people have today that the world works well for a privileged few, but not for them.It was a vote not just to change Britains relationship with the European Union, but to call for a change in the way our country works – and the people for whom it works – forever.Knock on almost any door in almost any part of the country, and you will find the roots of the revolution laid bare.Our society should work for everyone, but if you cant afford to get onto the property ladder, or your child is stuck in a bad school, it doesnt feel like its working for you.Our economy should work for everyone, but if your pay has stagnated for several years in a row and fixed items of spending keep going up, it doesnt feel like its working for you.Our democracy should work for everyone, but if youve been trying to say things need to change for years and your complaints fall on deaf ears, it doesnt feel like its working for you.And the roots of the revolution run deep. Because it wasnt the wealthy who made the biggest sacrifices after the financial crash, but ordinary, working class families.And if youre one of those people who lost their job, who stayed in work but on reduced hours, took a pay cut as household bills rocketed, or – and I know a lot of people dont like to admit this – someone who finds themselves out of work or on lower wages because of low-skilled immigration, life simply doesnt seem fair.It feels like your dreams have been sacrificed in the service of others.So change has got to come.Because if we dont respond – if we dont take this opportunity to deliver the change people want – resentments will grow. Divisions will become entrenched.And that would be a disaster for Britain.Because the lesson of Britain is that we are a country built on the bonds of family, community, citizenship.Of strong institutions and a strong society.The country of my parents who instilled in me a sense of public service and of public servants everywhere who want to give something back.The parent who works hard all week but takes time out to coach the kids football team at the weekend.The local family business in my constituency thats been serving the community for more than 50 years.The servicemen and women I met last week who wear their uniform proudly at home and serve our nation with honour abroad.A country of decency, fairness and quiet resolve.And a successful country – small in size but large in stature – that with less than 1% of the worlds population boasts more Nobel Laureates than any country outside the United States… with three more added again just yesterday – two of whom worked here in this great city.A country that boasts three of the top ten universities in the world. The worlds leading financial capital. And institutions like the NHS and BBC whose reputations echo in some of the farthest corners of the globe.All possible because we are one United Kingdom – England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland – and I will always fight to preserve our proud, historic Union and will never let divisive nationalists drive us apart.Yet within our society today, we see division and unfairness all around. Between a more prosperous older generation and a struggling younger generation. Between the wealth of London and the rest of the country.But perhaps most of all, between the rich, the successful and the powerful – and their fellow citizens.Now dont get me wrong. We applaud success. We want people to get on.But we also value something else: the spirit of citizenship.That spirit that means you respect the bonds and obligations that make our society work. That means a commitment to the men and women who live around you, who work for you, who buy the goods and services you sell.That spirit that means recognising the social contract that says you train up local young people before you take on cheap labour from overseas.That spirit that means you do as others do, and pay your fair share of tax.But today, too many people in positions of power behave as though they have more in common with international elites than with the people down the road, the people they employ, the people they pass in the street.But if you believe youre a citizen of the world, youre a citizen of nowhere. You dont understand what the very word citizenship means.So if youre a boss who earns a fortune but doesnt look after your staff…An international company that treats tax laws as an optional extra…A household name that refuses to work with the authorities even to fight terrorism…A director who takes out massive dividends while knowing that the company pension is about to go bust…Im putting you on warning. This cant go on anymore.A change has got to come. And this party – the Conservative Party – is going to make that change.BELIEVING IN THE GOOD THAT GOVERNMENT CAN DOSo today, I want to set out my plan for a Britain where everyone plays by the same rules and every person has the opportunity to be all they want to be.Its a plan to tackle the unfairness and injustice that divides us, so that we may build a new united Britain, rooted in the centre ground.A plan that will mean government stepping up. Righting wrongs. Challenging vested interests. Taking big decisions. Doing what we believe to be right. Getting the job done.Because thats the good that government can do. And its what Im in this for. To stand up for the weak and stand up to the strong.And to put the power of government squarely at the service of ordinary working-class people.Because too often that isnt how it works today.Just listen to the way a lot of politicians and commentators talk about the public.They find your patriotism distasteful, your concerns about immigration parochial, your views about crime illiberal, your attachment to your job security inconvenient.They find the fact that more than seventeen million voters decided to leave the European Union simply bewildering.Because if youre well off and comfortable, Britain is a different country and these concerns are not your concerns. Its easy to dismiss them – easy to say that all you want from government is for it to get out of the way.But a change has got to come. Its time to remember the good that government can do.Time for a new approach that says while government does not have all the answers, government can and should be a force for good;that the state exists to provide what individual people, communities and markets cannot;and that we should employ the power of government for the good of the people.Time to reject the ideological templates provided by the socialist left and the libertarian right and to embrace a new centre ground in which government steps up – and not back – to act on behalf of us all.Providing security from crime, but from ill health and unemployment too.Supporting free markets, but stepping in to repair them when they arent working as they should.Encouraging business and supporting free trade, but not accepting one set of rules for some and another for everyone else.And if we do – if we act to correct unfairness and injustice and put government at the service of ordinary working people – we can build that new united Britain in which everyone plays by the same rules, and in which the powerful and the privileged no longer ignore the interests of the people.Only we can do it. Because the main lesson I take from their conference last week is that the Labour Party is not just divided, but divisive.Determined to pit one against another. To pursue vendettas and settle scores. And to embrace the politics of pointless protest that simply pulls people further apart.Thats what Labour stands for today. Fighting among themselves. Abusing their own MPs. Threatening to end their careers. Tolerating anti-Semitism and supporting voices of hate.You know what some people call them?The nasty party.And with Labour divided, divisive and out-of-touch, we have a responsibility to step up, represent and govern for the whole nation.So where Labour build barriers, we will build bridges.That means tackling unfairness and injustice, and shifting the balance of Britain decisively in favour of ordinary working class people.Giving them access to the opportunities that are too often the preserve of the privileged few.Putting fairness at the heart of our agenda and creating a country in which hard work is rewarded and talent is welcome.A nation where contribution matters more than entitlement. Merit matters more than wealth.A confident global Britain that doesnt turn its back on globalisation but ensures the benefits are shared by all.A country that is prosperous and secure, so every person may share in the wealth of the nation and live their life free from fear.Thats what I mean by a country that works for everyone.A GLOBAL BRITAINAnd if we believe in the good that government can do, its important for people to trust us to deliver the change they need.We can start – as I said on Sunday – by doing something obvious. And that is to stop quibbling, respect what the people told us on the 23rd of June – and take Britain out of the European Union.Because it took that typically British quiet resolve for people to go out and vote as they did: to defy the establishment, to ignore the threats, to make their voice heard.So let us have that same resolve now.And lets be clear about what is going to happen.Article Fifty – triggered no later than the end of March.A Great Repeal Bill to get rid of the European Communities Act – introduced in the next Parliamentary session.Our laws made not in Brussels but in Westminster.Our judges sitting not in Luxembourg but in courts across the land.The authority of EU law in this country ended forever.The people told us they wanted these things – and this Conservative Government is going to deliver them.It is, of course, too early to say exactly what agreement we will reach with the EU. Its going to be a tough negotiation, it will require some give and take. And while there will always be pressure to give a running commentary, it will not be in our national interest to do so.But let me be clear about the agreement we seek.I want it to reflect the strong and mature relationships we enjoy with our European friends.I want it to include cooperation on law enforcement and counter-terrorism work.I want it to involve free trade, in goods and services.I want it to give British companies the maximum freedom to trade with and operate within the Single Market – and let European businesses do the same here.But lets state one thing loud and clear: we are not leaving the European Union only to give up control of immigration all over again. And we are not leaving only to return to the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice. Thats not going to happen.We are leaving to become, once more, a fully sovereign and independent country – and the deal is going to have to work for Britain.And that Britain – the Britain we build after Brexit – is going to be a Global Britain.Because while we are leaving the European Union, we will not leave the continent of Europe. We will not abandon our friends and allies abroad. And we will not retreat from the world.In fact, now is the time to forge a bold, new, confident role for ourselves on the world stage.Keeping our promises to the poorest people in the world.Providing humanitarian support for refugees in need.Taking the lead on cracking down on modern slavery wherever it is found.Ratifying the Paris Agreement on Climate Change.Always acting as the strongest and most passionate advocate for free trade right across the globe.And always committed to a strong national defence and supporting the finest Armed Forces known to man.And this week, our excellent Defence Secretary, Michael Fallon, proved not only that we will support them with our hearts and souls. Not only will we remain committed to spending two per cent of our national income on defence.But we will never again – in any future conflict – let those activist, left-wing human rights lawyers harangue and harass the bravest of the brave – the men and women of Britains Armed Forces.AN ECONOMY THAT WORKS FOR EVERYONEIts about restoring fairness – something that must be at the heart of everything we do. Supporting those who do the right thing, who make a contribution.Helping those who give something back.And thats at the heart of my plan for our economy too.An economy thats fair and where everyone plays by the same rules.That means acting to tackle some of the economys structural problems that hold people back.Things like the shortage of affordable homes. The need to make big decisions on – and invest in – our infrastructure. The need to rebalance the economy across sectors and areas in order to spread wealth and prosperity around the country.Politicians have talked about this for years. But the trouble is that this kind of change will never just happen by itself. If thats what we want, we need the vision and determination to see it through.Thats why Philip Hammond and Greg Clark are working on a new industrial strategy to address those long-term structural challenges and get Britain firing on all cylinders again.Its not about picking winners, propping up failing industries, or bringing old companies back from the dead.Its about identifying the industries that are of strategic value to our economy and supporting and promoting them through policies on trade, tax, infrastructure, skills, training, and research and development.Its about doing what every other major and growing economy in the world does.Not just sitting back and seeing what happens – but putting in place a plan and getting on with the job.So we will identify the sectors of the economy – financial services, yes, but life sciences, tech, aerospace, car manufacturing, the creative industries and many others – that are of strategic importance to our economy, and do everything we can to encourage, develop and support them.And we will identify the places that have the potential to contribute to economic growth and become the homes to millions of new jobs.That means inspiring an economic and cultural revival of all of our great regional cities.We have made a start.Thanks to George Osbornes Northern Powerhouse, over the past year, foreign direct investment in the North has increased at double the rate of the rest of the country.Here in Birmingham, thanks to the incredible Jaguar Land Rover, the West Midlands is the only part of the country to run a trade surplus with China.And across the region, the Midlands Engine is on track to deliver 300,000 more jobs by 2020.Now its time to build on that success – in Birmingham and Manchester and in other cities across the country.And as we are here in Birmingham this week, let us show our support for the Conservative Partys candidate for next years mayoral election.A success in business running John Lewis. An action man in Birmingham, playing his part in transforming this city. A man to get things done, the future Mayor of the West Midlands – Andy Street.MAKING MARKETS WORK FOR WORKING PEOPLEAn economy that works for everyone is an economy where everyone plays by the same rules.I understand the frustration people feel when they see the rich and the powerful getting away with things that they themselves wouldnt dream of doing. And they wouldnt get away with if they tried.I understand that because I feel it too.Theres always an excuse – a reason why something cant be done – but when that is used as a basis for inaction, faith in capitalism and free markets falls.The Conservative Party will always believe in free markets. And thats precisely why its this party that should act to defend them.From Edmund Burke onwards, Conservatives have always understood that if you want to preserve something important, you need to be prepared to reform it. We must apply that same approach today.Thats why where markets are dysfunctional, we should be prepared to intervene.Where companies are exploiting the failures of the market in which they operate, where consumer choice is inhibited by deliberately complex pricing structures, we must set the market right.Its just not right, for example, that half of people living in rural areas, and so many small businesses, cant get a decent broadband connection.Its just not right that two thirds of energy customers are stuck on the most expensive tariffs.And its just not right that the housing market continues to fail working people either.Ask almost any question about social fairness or problems with our economy, and the answer so often comes back to housing.High housing costs – and the growing gap between those on the property ladder and those who are not – lie at the heart of falling social mobility, falling savings and low productivity.We will do everything we can to help people financially so they can buy their own home. Thats why Help to Buy and Right to Buy are the right things to do.But as Sajid said in his bold speech on Monday, there is an honest truth we need to address. We simply need to build more homes.This means using the power of government to step in and repair the dysfunctional housing market.It means using public sector land for more and faster house building.It means encouraging new technologies that will help us to get more houses built faster. And putting in more government investment too.It means stepping up and doing whats right for Britain.Making the market work for working people.Because thats what government can do.And something else we need to do: take big, sometimes even controversial, decisions about our countrys infrastructure.Because we need to get Britain firing in all areas again.It is why we will press ahead with plans for High Speed 2, linking London and Birmingham and, eventually, towns and cities in the North.Why we will shortly announce a decision on expanding Britains airport capacity.And why – having reviewed the evidence and added important new national security safeguards – we signed up to Hinkley Point.We will take the big decisions when theyre the right decisions for Britain.Because thats what government can do.And we can make these big decisions because our economy is strong and because of the fiscal discipline we have shown over the last six years.And we must continue to aim for a balanced budget.But to build an economy that works for everyone, we must also invest in the things that matter, the things with a long-term return.That is how we will address the weaknesses in our economy, improve our productivity, increase economic growth and ensure everyone gets a fair share.And thats not the only reason.Because while monetary policy – with super-low interest rates and quantitative easing – provided the necessary emergency medicine after the financial crash, we have to acknowledge there have been some bad side effects.People with assets have got richer. People without them have suffered. People with mortgages have found their debts cheaper. People with savings have found themselves poorer.A change has got to come. And we are going to deliver it.Because thats what a Conservative Government can do.A FAIRER ECONOMYThis party will always be the party of businesses large and small.But we must acknowledge that the way a small number of businesses behave fuels the frustration people feel.Its not the norm. I know that most businesses and the people who run them are hardworking, entrepreneurial and public spirited at heart.But the actions of a few tar the reputations of the many.So the party that believes in business is going to change things to help support it.Too often the people who are supposed to hold big business accountable are drawn from the same, narrow social and professional circles as the executive team.And too often the scrutiny they provide is not good enough.A change has got to come.So later this year we will publish our plans to have not just consumers represented on company boards, but workers as well.Because we are the party of workers. Of those who put in the effort. Those who contribute and give of their best.Thats why we announced on Saturday that were going to review our laws to make sure that, in our modern and flexible economy, people are properly protected at work.Thats right.Workers rights – not under threat from a Conservative government.Workers rights – protected and enhanced by a Conservative government.And let me say something about tax.Were all Conservatives here. We all believe in a low-tax economy. But we also know that tax is the price we pay for living in a civilised society.Nobody, no individual tycoon and no single business, however rich, has succeeded on their own.Their goods are transported by road, their workers are educated in schools, their customers are part of sophisticated networks taking in the private sector, the public sector and charities.Weve all played a part in that success.So it doesnt matter to me who you are.If youre a tax-dodger, were coming after you.If youre an accountant, a financial adviser or a middleman who helps people to avoid what they owe to society, were coming after you too.An economy that works for everyone is one where everyone plays by the same rules.So whoever you are you – however rich or powerful – you have a duty to pay your tax.And were going to make sure you do.A SOCIETY THAT WORKS FOR EVERYONEThis is a big agenda for change. But it is necessary and essential.It is a programme for government to act to create an economy that works for everyone – an economy thats on the side of ordinary working class people.And an economy that can support the vital public services and institutions upon which we all rely – to invest in the things we hold dear.Like the NHS – one of the finest health care systems anywhere in the world, and a vital national institution.An institution that reflects our values, our belief in fairness, and in which we all take enormous pride.And I mean all.Because there is complete cross-party support for the NHS.For its status as a provider of free-at-the-point-of-use health care. For the thousands of doctors and nurses that work around the clock to care for their patients.We all have a story about the nurse who cared for a loved one, or a surgeon who saved the life of a friend.So let us take this opportunity to say to those doctors and nurses – thank you.The NHS should unite us. But year after year, election after election, Labour try to use it to divide us.At every election since it was established, Labour have said the Tories would cut the NHS – and every time we have spent more on it.Every election, they say we want to privatise the NHS – and every time we have protected it.In fact, the party that expanded the use of the private sector in the NHS the fastest was not this party, but the Labour Party.The only party to ever cut spending on the NHS is not this party, but the Labour Party – thats what they did in Wales.And at the last election, it wasnt the Labour Party that pledged to give the NHS the money it asked for to meet its five-year plan – it was this party, the Conservative Party…investing an extra £10 billion in the NHS – more than its leaders asked for…and this year more patients are being treated, and more operations are being carried out, by more doctors and more nurses than ever before.Thats a tribute to everyone who works in the NHS.But also to one man – Jeremy Hunt – who is one of the most passionate advocates for patients and for the doctors, nurses and others who work in our health service that I have ever known.So lets have no more of Labours absurd belief that they have a monopoly on compassion.Lets put an end to their sanctimonious pretence of moral superiority.Lets make clear that they have given up the right to call themselves the party of the NHS, the party of the workers, the party of public servants.They gave up that right when they adopted the politics of division. When their extreme ideological fixations led them to simply stop listening to the country.When they abandoned the centre ground.And let us take this opportunity to show that we, the Conservative Party, truly are the party of the workers…the party of public servants…the party of the NHS.Because we believe in public service. We believe in investing in and supporting the institutions that make our country great.We believe in the good that government can do.Government cannot stand aside when it sees social injustice and unfairness. If we want to make sure Britain is a country that works for everyone, government has to act to make sure opportunity is fairly shared.And I want us to be a country where it doesnt matter where you were born, who your parents are, where you went to school, what your accent sounds like, what god you worship, whether youre a man or a woman, gay or straight, or black or white.All that should matter is the talent you have and how hard youre prepared to work.But if were honest well admit thats simply not the case for everyone today.Advancement in todays Britain is still too often determined by wealth or circumstance.By an accident of birth rather than talent.By privilege not merit.Rebalancing our economy is a start, but if were serious about overturning some of the longstanding injustices and barriers that stop working people from getting on, we need that economic reform to be allied with genuine and deep social reform too.Because a society that works for everyone is a society based on fairness. And only genuine social reform can deliver it.Genuine social reform means helping more people onto the housing ladder. It means making sure every child has access to a good school place.It means never writing off people who can work and consigning them to a life on benefits, but giving them the chance to go out and earn a living and to enjoy the dignity that comes with a job well done.But for those who cant work, we must offer our full support – which is why it was so important that Damian Green announced on Saturday that we will end the mandatory retesting of those with chronic health conditions that only induces stress but does nothing at all to help.And genuine social reform means addressing historic injustices that hold too many people back.Some of my proudest moments as Home Secretary came when we began to tackle deep-seated and long-standing problems that few had dared to tackle before.I introduced the first ever Modern Slavery Act, bringing in tough new penalties to put slave masters behind bars, with life sentences for the worst offenders.I cut the polices use of stop and search by almost two thirds and reduced the disproportionate targeting of young, black men.And I know our impressive new Home Secretary Amber Rudd is committed to carrying on that work.But injustices remain.If you are from a black Caribbean background, you are three times more likely to be permanently excluded from school than other children.If you are a black woman, you are seven times more likely to be detained under mental health legislation than a white woman.People in ethnic minority households are almost twice as likely to live in relative poverty as white people.But it is not just those from minority backgrounds who are affected.White working class boys are less likely to go to university than any other group in society.We cannot let this stand – not if a country that works for everyone is the principle that binds us all together.Thats why I have launched an unprecedented audit of public services to shine a light on these racial disparities and let us do something about them.Because they are all burning injustices, and I want this government – this Conservative Government – to fight every single one of them.A society that works for everyone is one of fairness and opportunity. A society in which everyone has the chance to go as far as their talents will take them.Thats why in one of the first speeches I gave as Prime Minister I set out my plans to transform Britain into a Great Meritocracy.And that starts in our schools.I want Britain to be a country in which every child has access to a good school place thats right for that individual child.Because Britain after Brexit will need to make use of all of the talent we have in this country.We have come a long way.Thanks to the free schools and academies programme and the efforts of teachers, heads and governors, there are now 1.4 million more children in good and outstanding schools compared with 2010.But we need to go further. Because there are still one and a quarter million children in schools that are just not good enough.And if you live in the Midlands or the North, you have less chance of attending a good school than children in the South.This simply cannot go on.Thats why Justine Greening and I have set out a new package of reforms, building on Michael Goves success, to increase the number of good school places across the country…so theres not just a school place for every child, but a good school place for every child. A school place that suits the skills, interests and abilities of every single pupil.That is why we want more of our great universities to set up or sponsor schools in the state sector – just as the University of Birmingham has done, a few miles from here.Its why we are saying to the great private schools that – in return for their charitable tax status – we want them to do more to take on children without the means to pay, or set up and sponsor good state schools.It is why we want more good faith schools for parents and pupils who want them.And it is why we have said – where there is demand from parents, where they will definitely take pupils from all backgrounds, where they will play a part in improving the quality of all schools in their area – we will lift the ban on establishing new grammar schools too.And here we see the challenge.Because for too long politicians have said to people and communities who are crying out for change that they cant have what they want.Theyve said we dont think you should have it, even though we might enjoy those very same things for ourselves.And you end up in the absurd situation where you stop these good, popular, life-changing schools from opening – by law.Imagine. Think of what that says.If youre rich or well off, you can have a selective education for your child. You can send them to a selective private school. You can move to a better catchment area or afford to send them long distances to get the education you want.But if youre not, you cant.I can think of no better illustration of the problem – why ordinary working class people think its one rule for them, and another for everyone else.Because the message we are sending them is this: we will not allow their children to have the same opportunities that wealthier children enjoy.That is a scandal and we – the Conservative Party – must bring it to an end.A COUNTRY THAT WORKS FOR EVERYONESo my vision is for Britain to be a Great Meritocracy.Thats what Ive always believed in. The cause that everything I have ever done in politics has been designed to serve.Because a country based on merit not privilege, is a country thats fair. And when we overcome unfairness and injustice, we can build that new united Britain that we need.And united, we can do great things.We saw that in the summer in Rio. We saw how individual success was powered by collective effort. How the dedication and talent of one was supported by a united team.And how a governments determination – John Majors Conservative Governments determination – to step up and back Britains sporting success contributed to such a remarkable result.We were honoured to welcome four members of the team – Helen Richardson-Walsh, Dame Sarah Storey, Vicky Thornley and Andrew Triggs-Hodge – to our conference on Monday.And to them – and to every athlete and every member of Team and Paralympics GB – we say, thank you. You did your country proud.It was a memorable summer for British sport, but one moment stood out for me above all other.It was not from Rio. It happened later. Just a couple of weeks ago on the sun-drenched streets of Cozumel in Mexico.There, our celebrated triathlon champion Jonny Brownlee was heading for glory, the finishing line in sight, when he faltered. Stopped. And was falling exhausted to the ground.And just behind him, his brother Alistair – a tough competitor who typically yields to no one – had the chance to run on and steal the prize.But seeing his brothers struggle, he didnt pass on by. As other competitors ran past, he stopped. Reached out his hand. And gently carried him home.And there in that moment, we saw revealed an essential truth. That we succeed or fail together. We achieve together or fall short together.And when one among us falters, our most basic human instinct is to put our own self-interest aside, to reach out our hand and help them over the line.Thats why the central tenet of my belief is that there is more to life than individualism and self-interest.We form families, communities, towns, cities, counties and nations. We have a responsibility to one another.And I firmly believe that government has a responsibility too.It is to act to encourage and nurture those relationships, networks and institutions – and to step up to correct injustices and tackle unfairness where it can – because these are the things that can drive us apart.Thats why I say today – as I have always said – that my mission – and the mission of this party – is to build a country that truly works for everyone, not just the privileged few.Its why when I stood on the steps of Number 10 for the first time as Prime Minister 84 days ago, I said that the Government I lead will be driven not by the interests of the rich and powerful, but by the interests of ordinary, working class people.And this week, we have shown the country that we mean business.Not just protecting, but enhancing workers rights.Building an economy thats fair, where everyone plays by the same rules.Getting more houses built. More doctors in the NHS.Investing in things that will make our economy grow.Hundreds of great new schools. Universities and fee-paying schools helping state schools to improve.And yes, where parents want them and where theyll improve standards for children of whatever background – the first new grammar schools to open in England for fifty years.A DEMOCRACY THAT WORKS FOR EVERYONEThis is a bold plan to bring Britain together. To build a new united Britain, rooted in the centre ground.An agenda for a new modern Conservatism. That understands the good government can do. That will never hesitate to face down the powerful when they abuse their positions of privilege.That will always act in the interests of ordinary, working class people.Thats what governments about: action. Its about doing something, not being someone.About identifying injustices, finding solutions, driving change. Taking, not shirking, the big decisions. Having the courage to see things through.Its not always glamorous or exciting, but at its best its a noble calling.And where many just see government as the problem, I want to show it can be part of the solution too.And I know this to be true.For as I leave the door of my office at Number 10, I pass that famous staircase – the portraits of prime ministers past lined up along the wall.Men – and of course one woman – of consequence, who have steered this country through difficult times – and changed it for the better too.Theres Disraeli, who saw division and worked to heal it. Churchill, who confronted evil and had the strength to overcome. Attlee, with the vision to build a great national institution. And Lady Thatcher who taught us we could dream great dreams again.Those portraits remind me of the good that government can do.That nothing good comes easy.But with courage and vision and determination you can always see things through.And as I pass them every day, I remember that our nation has been shaped by those who stepped up to be counted when the big moments came.Such opportunities are rare, but we face such a moment today.A moment that calls us to respond and to reshape our nation once again.Not every generation is given this opportunity.Not every generation called to step up in such a way.But this is our generations moment.To write a new future upon the page.To bring power home and make decisions… here in Britain.To take back control and shape our future… here in Britain.To build an outward looking, confident, trading nation… here in Britain.To build a stronger, fairer, brighter future… here in Britain.That is the opportunity we have been given.And the responsibility to grasp it falls upon us all.So to everyone here this morning – and the millions beyond whether leavers or remain – I say:Come with me and well write that brighter future.Come with me and well make that change.Come with me as we rise to meet this moment.Come with me and together lets seize the day.last_img read more

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Bengal Panchayat polls HC asks poll panel to announce fresh schedule

first_imgKolkata: The Calcutta High Court on Friday ordered the West Bengal State Election Commission (SEC) to make a fresh announcement extending the deadline for filing of nominations, and finalise a new election schedule for the Panchayat polls.A single bench of the court quashed the SEC’s April 10 order that had cancelled the extension for filing nominations which the poll panel had announced on April 9.Justice Subrata Talukdar directed the Commission to issue a fresh deadline extending the day for filing nominations in consultation with the state and other important stakeholders. Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flightsIn his 35-page order, the judge said the Commission would then reschedule the other dates for the election process as per the rules.As the rules provide for 21 days time between the last date of nomination and the first day of polling, the original polling dates of May 1, 3 and 5 would change, as per the court order.Justice Subrata Talukdar also lifted the stay on the election process.Opposition parties — Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M), the Congress and the Party of Democratic Socialism (PDS) — had moved the court, accusing the Trinamool of unleashing massive pre-poll violence against their party workers to prevent them from filing nominations for the polls ever since the process began on April 2. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Merc, 2 B’deshi bystanders killedThe parties were also aggrieved with the SEC after the poll panel on April 10 withdrew its order issued on April 9 night extending the filing of nominations by a day.The SEC had said it withdrew the April 9 notification following a letter of legal advice by Additional Chief Secretary of the West Bengal government Saurabh Kumar Das and Trinamool Congress vice president Kalyan Banerjee that the notification for extension was a violation of the Panchayat Act 46(2). On Friday, Justice Talukdar rejected the state government’s legal advice, saying once the election dates were announced, the state had no role in the election process.As the opposition parties knocked on the doors of the judiciary, Justice Talukdar had on April 12 stayed the Panchayat election process. The Trinamool and the SEC challenged the stay, but a High Court division bench on April 16 refused to interfere in the case, and asked the single bench to hear the case.last_img read more

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TensorFlow 190rc2 releases

first_imgAfter the 1.9.0-rc0 release early last month, the TensorFlow team is out with another update 1.9.0-rc2, unveiling major features and updates. The new release includes latest improvements, bug fixes, and other changes. Let’s have a look at the noteworthy features in TensorFlow 1.9.0-rc2: Key features and improvements Docs for tf.keras namely the new Keras-based ‘get started’ page and the programmers guide page have been updated. Layers tf.keras.layers.CuDNNGRU and tf.keras.layers.CuDNNLSTM have been added. Python interface for TFLite Optimizing Converter is expanded. Command line interface (AKA: toco, tflite_convert) is added in the standard pip installation again. Data loading and text processing has improved with: Tf.decode_compressed, tf.string_strip, and  tf.strings.regex_full_match Headers used for custom apps have moved from site-packages/external into site-packages/tensorflow/include/external. On opening empty variable scopes; replace variable_scope(”, …) by variable_scope(tf.get_variable_scope(), …). Bug Fixes tfe.Network has now been deprecated. You can now inherit from tf.keras.Model. The layered variable names have changed for the conditions mentioned below: using tf.keras.layers with custom variable scopes using tf.layers in a subclass of tf.keras.Model class. In tf.data, DatasetBase::DebugString() method is now const. The tf.contrib.data.sample_from_datasets() API for randomly sampling from multiple datasets has now been added. In tf.contrib, tf.contrib.data.choose_from_datasets() is added and tf.contrib.data.make_csv_dataset() will now support line breaks in quoted strings. From make_csv_dataset, two arguments were removed.The tf.contrib.framework.zero_initializer supports ResourceVariable. “Constrained_optimization” is added to tensorflow/contrib. Other changes GCS Configuration Ops has been added. The signature of Makelterator has been changed to enable propagation of error status. The bug in tf.reduce_prod gradient has been fixed for complex dtypes. Benchmark for tf.scan has been updated in order to match ranges across eager and graph modes. Optional args argument added to Dataset.from_generator(). Ids in nn.embedding_lookup_sparse have been made unique which helps reduce RPC calls that are made for looking up the embeddings in case there are repeated ids in the batch. tf.train.Checkpoint is added for reading/writing object-based checkpoints. To get more information on the new updates and features in the latest TensorFlow 1.9.0-rc2 release, check out the official release notes. Read Next Use TensorFlow and NLP to detect duplicate Quora questions [Tutorial] TensorFlow.js 0.11.1 releases! Build and train an RNN chatbot using TensorFlow [Tutorial]last_img read more

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