Blair: nothing good comes easy…

Tony Blair opened his speech to the Labour party conference with Northern Ireland.

Amid all the change and progress since our first election victory, it was interesting to see in the film there the pictures of the Good Friday Agreement in April 1998, and then finally, yesterday, the completion of IRA decommissioning.

It has taken many years, and a lot of hard work, but every minute of every hour of every all-night negotiation will have been worth it if it brings lasting peace to Northern Ireland.

And there is a lesson from Northern Ireland. Nothing good comes easy. And in Government, whatever the noise around you, you just have to persevere with the things that really matter.