Fight through global economic storm, urges Cameron


Cameron: 'Our plan is right, our plan will work'

Prime Minister David Cameron has said the UK must not be "paralysed by gloom and fear" but show "some fight" to get through the global economic storm.

In his Tory conference speech he warned that the threat of global recession was as serious as it was in 2008.

But he urged a "can-do" attitude and the "spirit of Britain" to see the country through to better times.

Labour accused him of "squeezing living standards and choking off the economic recovery" as UK growth was downgraded.

Mr Cameron's speech to the Conservative Party conference in Manchester was delivered as official figures showed slower UK economic growth than had been thought and amid the worsening eurozone crisis.

Part of the speech was re-written at a late stage to remove a call for households to pay off credit card debts amid Downing Street fears Mr Cameron would appear out-of-touch with ordinary voters.

'Slowly, but surely'

During the 50-minute address, he told party activists that "nobody wants false optimism" about the state of the economy and acknowledged it was an "anxious" time for many people, with rising prices, job losses and a shortage of affordable housing.

"As we meet here in Manchester, the threat to the world economy - and to Britain - is as serious today as it was in 2008 when world recession loomed.

Start Quote

Let's summon the energy and the appetite to fight for a better future for our country, Great Britain”

End Quote David Cameron

"The eurozone is in crisis, the French and German economies have slowed to a standstill; even mighty America is being questioned about her debts," he said.

But Mr Cameron rejected Labour calls for a slowdown in deficit reduction and to introduce short-term tax cuts to boost growth, telling party members: "Our plan is right and our plan will work.

"I know you can't see it or feel it yet. But think of it like this: the new economy we're building, it's like building a house. The most important part is the part you can't see - the foundations that make it stable.

"Slowly, but surely, we're laying the foundations for a better future. But this is the crucial point: it will only work if we stick with it."

Mr Cameron struck a self-consciously upbeat tone during much of the speech as he invoked what he called "the British spirit".

He said that "we don't have to accept that success in this century belongs to others" and urged the UK to "show the world some fight".

And he repeatedly stressed that only he could provide the leadership the country needs in "difficult times" - as demonstrated, he said, by his decision to go to war in Libya.

'Can-do optimism'

He rejected claims that the government was doing nothing to boost growth, saying the only way to deal with Britain's "debt crisis" was to pay off its debts.

He pointed to planning reforms and cutting red tape as examples of how the government was boosting growth - but vowed not to repeat the mistakes of the past on bank regulation when building the "new" economy.

Mr Cameron said it would be down to the British people - and British industry - to make growth happen: "Let's reject the pessimism. Let's bring on the can-do optimism. Let's summon the energy and the appetite to fight for a better future for our country, Great Britain."

And he had a tough message for critics of controversial planning reforms: "To those who just oppose everything we're doing, my message is this: Take your arguments down to the job centre. We've got to get Britain back to work."

Start Quote

Our economic difficulties have gone well past the point where can-do optimism can make a difference”

End Quote Brendan Barber TUC

There were few new policies - apart from an announcement that 90,000 young people would take part in the third year of the National Citizen Service and plans to increase the adoption rate for children in care.

And he got a round of applause for announcing a consultation on legalising gay marriage.

His jibe that his party does not "boo" its former leaders - a reference to the heckling of Tony Blair's name at Labour's conference last week - went down very well in the hall.

His vow to keep Britain out of the euro and avoid eurozone bail outs also got good rounds of applause - as did his promise never let Labour anywhere near the British economy again.

'Action not rhetoric'

He ended with a direct message to the nation: "We have the people, we have the ideas and now we have a government that's freeing those people, backing those ideas.

"So let's see an optimistic future. Let's show the world some fight. Let's pull together, work together. And together lead Britain to better days."

For Labour, shadow business minister Chuka Umunna said his party had set out a five-point plan to create jobs, while Mr Cameron continued to offer "nothing but platitudes and more of the same".

"This morning David Cameron was lecturing families about the need to pay off credit card bills. By the afternoon he had been forced to drop the offending language, but his policies are still squeezing living standards and choking off the economic recovery," he added.

Trades Union Congress general secretary Brendan Barber said: "Our economic difficulties have gone well past the point where can-do optimism can make a difference.

"We need policies for jobs and growth and help for families suffering the biggest fall in living standards in a generation."

Federation of Small Businesses chairman John Walker welcomed the prime minister's "vision of a deregulated economy" but said there must now be "clear action to match the rhetoric."



This entry is now closed for comments

Jump to comments pagination
  • rate this

    Comment number 488.


    'You pay off your credit cards, to the banks. Its all profit to them, given the sky high rates they charge. That's more money to the banks, more bonuses'

    Don't get a credit card then if you feel that strongly about it

  • rate this

    Comment number 487.

    457 strangely enough spells many names, its one of the most ubiquitous words in the language. Pity its not very mature

  • rate this

    Comment number 486.

    That's another fine mess you've gotten us into!

  • rate this

    Comment number 485.

    So Cameron wants us to pay off credit card debt AND keep spending to boost the economy. Choose one. We can pay off debts ( which i suspect most people are doing anyway) but that will cost millions of jobs and a massive welfare bill to match as the economy collapses or we can spend and get into debt as wage rises fail to keep up with spiralling prices. He`s floundering that`s for sure.

  • rate this

    Comment number 484.

    People borrow because their incomes are insufficient. Wake up Dave.

  • rate this

    Comment number 483.


  • rate this

    Comment number 482.

    Hmmm...reducing debt...may prove problematic for his upper class chums in their inherited castles and mansions and their huge overdrafts.

  • rate this

    Comment number 481.

    Oh I really do love being patronised and lectured about my assumed profligacy by some privileged, nose in the air toff type! Flashman should really ease up on the condescension if he wants another term at the helm. I seriously doubt that he'll get it though he's just such an utter "twit" plus he's managed to alienate the female vote which is what put him in power in the 1st place, what an idiot.

  • rate this

    Comment number 480.

    There are many reasons why most of us are all in debt however the nation is in severe debt because the previous government decided to nuke their AAA mega credit card and employ millions of people on new projects into the public sector and throw money all over the place. This is what bust our economy and that of Greece, Italy, Portugal, Spain and Ireland...

  • rate this

    Comment number 479.

    jimbob squarepants "Whether you realise it or not, this is a global problem, not localised to us."

    There is no such thing as global , only individuals and they behave individually .

  • rate this

    Comment number 478.

    In the US every family owes an estimated half million dollars if they are to be held responsible for the banker created debt - that is how large the treasury black hole is over there. The real debt, the banker debt has been created with fiat currency, money that does not exist but we are being expected to pay for in taxes and bail outs to bankers who then loan it us back at 28%. Thumb down fools.

  • rate this

    Comment number 477.

    Cameron should be sensibly advising that "households - who are in a position to - should be rebalancing their books and paying off the credit card and store card bills". Of course, the sensitivity is that an increasing number of people are not in this position. "all of us", "we're in this together" type comments are going to be inflammatory if there is no credible plan for growth and jobs.

  • rate this

    Comment number 476.

    Where exactly do governments borrow their billions from and how did they get hold of it all in the first place ?

  • rate this

    Comment number 475.

    I suggest the smug ones who are not in debt and know how to manage their finances, buy some real money before they find out that perhaps they do not know how to manage their wealth. Price means nothing, value means everything. Go figure, or get wiped out. You have been warned.

  • rate this

    Comment number 474.

    Boffin, I think you'll find the bad state of the economy is down to the previous poor government and a certain Mr Brown. The Government spending needs to be sorted and fast or we will end up a Greece!
    And Im sure the compulsory redundancies at BAE can be sorted with some more strikes. If we didnt live in such a state dependant country things may be a lot different!

  • rate this

    Comment number 473.

    9 Minutes ago
    Bring back "Debtors prisons" those fine Victorian Institutions that properly punished those who wasted other peoples money.

    So that's where we should put all the bankers then?

  • rate this

    Comment number 472.

    Do you remember his (or any of the others) speech last year? So, who's to say this one will be any more relevant or important.

    Let the 'BLAAHHHH' roll on!

  • rate this

    Comment number 471.

    You pay off your credit cards, to the banks. Its all profit to them, given the sky high rates they charge.
    That's more money to the banks, more bonuses.
    Meanwhile, most of us have stopped spending on anything not essential (petrol consumption has plummeted), meaning less on stuff to grow the economy.
    Add to that the growing unemployment, so no jobs for the redundant public sector.
    Where next?

  • rate this

    Comment number 470.

    Mobiles, ipads, adidas trainers, starbucks, designer clothes, cars, expensive bicycles. We used to watch the gadget show because it was entertaining, but then it just made us anxious. Too much. It’s as if they want to make you feel that without all that, you’re inadequate. I don’t care that I still only have a (work) laptop, a 3 year old nokia mobile and an mp3 player that’s not an ipod.

  • rate this

    Comment number 469.

    the mess the UK now finds itself in is not actually David Cameron's or this present governments fault sadly they've had to take the unenviable hard line to clear up the mess created by easily led Brits listening to the Blair/Brown claptrap that kept voting them into government. Time to take responsibility not only for your debts Britain but also your bad choices of previous government!


Page 16 of 40


More Politics stories



BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.