“My hero, the leader of our Labour Party, Prime Minister Gordon Brown.”Introduced by his wife Sarah, Gordon Brown delivered a defiant speech at the ruling Labour Party’s annual conference in Brighton. Rattled by polls suggesting they are heading for a massive election defeat next year, Britain’s prime minister attempted to boost the morale of party activists. “The Conservative party want people to believe that the ballot paper has an option marked: ‘Change without consequence’, that it’s only a change of the team at the top, they have deliberately held their cards close to their chest, they have done their best to conceal their policies and their instincts, but the financial crisis forced them to show their hand, and they showed they had no heart. “Now is not the time to give in, but to reach inside ourselves for the strength of our convictions, because we are the Labour party and our guiding duty is to stand, to fight, to win and to serve.” Political rivals derided the prime minister’s performance as “tired” and “lacking vision”. But the keynote speech contained a range of initiatives designed to woo middle-class voters deemed likely to desert the Conservatives.