Half a century ago, the amazing courage of Rosa Parks, the visionary leadership of Martin Luther King, and the inspirational actions of the civil rights movement led politicians to write equality into the law and make real the promise of America for all her citizens. .
We have the character of an island nation: independent, forthright, passionate in defence of our sovereignty. We can no more change this British sensibility than we can drain the English Channel. And because of this sensibility, we come to the European Union with a frame of mind that is more practical than emotional. .
After the Berlin Wall came down I visited that city and I will never forget it. The abandoned checkpoints. The sense of excitement about the future. The knowledge that a great continent was coming together. Healing those wounds of our history is the central story of the European Union. .
Today, hundreds of millions dwell in freedom, from the Baltic to the Adriatic, from the Western Approaches to the Aegean. And while we must never take this for granted, the first purpose of the European Union - to secure peace - has been achieved and we should pay tribute to all those in the EU, alongside Nato, who made that happen. .
The EU must be able to act with the speed and flexibility of a network, not the cumbersome rigidity of a bloc. We must not be weighed down by an insistence on a one size fits all approach which implies that all countries want the same level of integration. The fact is that they don't and we shouldn't assert that they do. .
I have no time for those who say there is no way Scotland could go it alone. I know first-hand the contribution Scotland and Scots make to Britain's success - so for me there's no question about whether Scotland could be an independent nation. .
I mean, I'm a conservative. I believe that, you know, if you borrow too much, you just build up debts for your children to pay off. You put pressure on interest rates. You put at risk your economy. That's the case in Britain. We're not a reserve currency, so we need to get on and deal with this issue. .
Let me completely condemn these sickening scenes; scenes of looting, scenes of vandalism, scenes of thieving, scenes of people attacking police, of people even attacking firefighters. This is criminality pure and simple and it has to be confronted. .
People feel that the EU is heading in a direction that they never signed up to. They resent the interference in our national life by what they see as unnecessary rules and regulation. And they wonder what the point of it all is. Put simply, many ask 'why can't we just have what we voted to join - a common market?' .
On the one hand we have got to ask, are there some areas of universal benefits that are no longer affordable? But on the other hand let us look at the issue of dependency where we have trapped people in poverty through the extent of welfare that they have. .
I am very sorry that Andy Coulson has decided to resign as my Director of Communications, although I understand that the continuing pressures on him and his family mean that he feels compelled to do so. Andy has told me that the focus on him was impeding his ability to do his job and was starting to prove a distraction for the Government. .
I came into politics because I love this country, I think its best days still lie ahead and I believe deeply in public service, and I think the service our country needs right now is to face up to our really big challenges, to confront our problems, to take difficult decisions, to lead people through those difficult decisions so that together we can reach better times ahead. .
This is going to be hard and difficult work. The coalition will throw up all sorts of challenges, but I believe together we can provide that strong and stable government that our country needs, based on those values, rebuilding family, rebuilding community, above all, rebuilding responsibility in our country. Those are the things I care about, those are the things that this Government will now start work on doing. Thank you very much. .
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