Cameron speech: We are here to fight

 

David Cameron: "This is a battle for Britain's future"

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David Cameron has said the Conservatives have "never been more up for the task of turning our country around", at the party's spring conference in London.

The prime minister sought to reassure grassroots members about the party's direction after its defeat at last month's Eastleigh by-election.

The poll loss has prompted some Tories to demand a shift to the right.

Mr Cameron told party activists: "We are here to fight. We are here to win."

He said that with fewer than 1,000 days until the next general election, activists needed to get the party's message out and "win the majority our country desperately needs".

"Anyone in this party who is in any doubt who we should be fighting, what we should be debating, where our energies should be focused, I tell you - our battle is with Labour," he said.

Labour said the government needed to build a country where "prosperity is fairly shared" - but this would not happen under Mr Cameron.

'Battle for Britain'

Opening his speech, the prime minister said he had a "very clear message" for his party.

"We are people who love our country, who believe in Britain's greatness - and believe in restoring it," he said.

Analysis

David Cameron said plenty of things that warmed the hearts of the Tory activists who had gathered on this cold, wet Saturday.

The lines in his speech that received the biggest applause were about restoring rigour to the history curriculum, the return of competitive sport in schools and the speeding up of the adoption process.

And like any Tory leader feeling the heat, Mr Cameron dropped in a few references to Thatcher and Churchill.

Nothing focuses the mind like a deadline and so the prime minister also reminded his rank and file that there were fewer than 1,000 days until the next election.

He ended his speech with a predictably scathing attack on Labour but there was no mention of the Lib Dems, who many activists loathe, or of UKIP who many of them fear.

And just as the prime minister left, he was ambushed by a former parliamentary candidate who said she was defecting to UKIP.

"Just read my speech," he shouted as she was bustled out.

He said it was an "honour" and a "privilege" to serve the country in "its hour of need".

"This is a battle for Britain's future we are engaged in," he said.

"So let the message go out from this hall and this party: We are here to fight. We are here to win.

"And we have never been more up for the task of turning our country around."

Mr Cameron also outlined what he saw as the coalition's main achievements and told activists the party was giving people the "tools to succeed".

He said he was following the same Tory values of past prime ministers, such as Margaret Thatcher and Winston Churchill.

"We want people to climb up through their own efforts, yes, but in order to climb up they need the ladder to be there in the first place, the family that nurtures them, the school that inspires them, the opportunities there for them," he said.

"Great Conservatives down the generations have put those ladders in place: when Churchill invented the labour exchanges that helped people into work, when Macmillan built new homes, when Thatcher fired up enterprise so people could start their own businesses.

"That is what we're doing in the Conservative Party right now."

'Fat chance'

He said he also wanted to focus on what the party was doing for young people.

"We are building an aspiration nation, a country where it's not who you know or where you're from but who you are and where you're determined to go," he said.

Start Quote

We need to build a country where everyone has a stake and prosperity is fairly shared... Fat chance of that with David Cameron”

End Quote Michael Dugher Vice-chairman, Labour Party

Mr Cameron reflected on adoption rules, saying barriers to mixed-race adoption were "wrong" and would be changed.

On education, he said he wanted the system to be "like the pushiest, most sharp-elbowed, ambitious parent there is" and he wanted it to "be the norm" for every school leaver to start an apprenticeship or go to university.

He also pledged more help for people who want to own their own home.

On Labour's opposition to benefit cuts being rolled out as part of the deficit reduction programme, Mr Cameron said they were "patronising people, patting them on the head and putting a benefit cheque in their hands".

Michael Dugher, vice-chairman of the Labour Party, said Mr Cameron's leadership was "defined by failure and broken promises".

"When the Tories talk about aspiration, they mean looking after their friends at the top, whilst people on low and middle incomes can go whistle," he said.

"Cameron gives speeches claiming he's helping people, but he's actually delivering a tax cut for millionaires whilst asking millions of working people to pay more.

"We need a change of direction with a One Nation Labour government to build a country where everyone has a stake and prosperity is fairly shared. Fat chance of that with David Cameron."

 

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  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 62.

    who is he going to fight ? . is it the poor again or the disabled or the jobless ? it certainly will not be newspapers or bankers . a self serving government like this only deserves one term and hopefully only get one term . a lot of people will vote for minority partys as the present triumverate are useless

  • rate this
    -55

    Comment number 61.

    I dont want Labour running our economy again and cant see the liberals being capable of power , so I turn to Cameron and say this to him ... protect english innovation , create jobs , be protective of what we are good at .... explain yourself better to the electorate , choose your policies better and find better balance in them and be bolder to help the economy .

  • rate this
    -4

    Comment number 60.

    The Tories really need to get their finger out and start delivering instead of talking.

    There are a huge number of critics on every cut the Tories are making - try asking your Labour MP to guarantee they will reverse every one of them - somehow I suspect Miliband, Balls et al will avoid answering that one (they wont reverse anything and then say it wasn't them).

    UKIP - get ready to be elected...

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 59.

    Here to fight, fight for the every man for himself, grab all you can wealth for a fortunate few. Wealth for a few by privatising public sector everything. The only flaw is not all can be wealthy or there wouldn't be enough folk to exploit to become wealthy off. As we make nothing and don't invest doing so opportunities are scant unless your fathers rich.Just more rhetoric like all politicians.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 58.

    Referendum and Europe. Just face it your policys have failed and the country is in a worse position than ever. All you have done is attack the poor and the infirm whilst ensuring the wealth of the top 1%. I hope UKIP cut yoiur vote in half come the next election a good riddance to you and your miserable party forever. For gods sake just call a general election now.

  • rate this
    -2

    Comment number 57.

    Nothing this lot says will ever make me vote for them,nasty party by name,nasty by nature!
    ---

    Nasty, even evil could describe the Tories

    Stupid and corrupt could safely describe the Labour party


    My own philosophy is save yourself before it's too late, because our politicians are simply not up to the task

    At Local level they are even worse... if that were possible

  • rate this
    +5

    Comment number 56.

    They are not interested in coming up with policies that will help the country out of the mess we are in, he and all politicians are just looking to say things that will keep them in power,There is no difference between any of them anymore Con, Lab or Lib.

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 55.

    Bless, good ol' Dave claiming to possess the same fighting "spirit" as Churchill.

    I doubt my senior who served in the RAF, almost captured by the Nazis and worked for British Rail, which was the pride of the nation during it's time, 'til the Thatcherites/Major sold it off, shares the same views of him.

    As for his speech, never heard so much rubbish in my life.

    He is a mediocre leader and PM.

  • rate this
    -3

    Comment number 54.

    What are the alternatives?
    Labour are the party that set fire to the house and ends up abusing the firemen who come to the rescue - they are utterly honour and clueless. Cant see many other options.

  • rate this
    +63

    Comment number 53.

    "We are building an aspiration nation, a country where it's not who you know or where you're from but who you are and where you're determined to go."

    This rubbish from the person who got helped out by his family connections at his fathers stockbrokers as an intern and pulled strings for his friends to get internships. Hypocrisy of the highest order.

  • rate this
    +4

    Comment number 52.

    You can not be trusted. You may well be the least bad of the bunch of parties available but do not deceive yourselves you are good or doing things right. You came in doing some good, destroying ID cards big brother Labour system, banning runways & eco towns, starting to cut spending a little bit. Yet you went on to feather the nests of land owners & developers permitting building on green field.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 51.

    With poor old Norman Collier dying yesterday its nice to see David trying to fill his boots !! what a load of tosh ; we the British people have been let down badly by this government , 2015 will be Cameron`s nemesis aaaggghhhh

  • rate this
    +5

    Comment number 50.

    These establishment parasites will fight tooth and nail to protect what they perceive as theirs.

    Unfortunately, what they perceive as theirs is everything.

  • rate this
    +4

    Comment number 49.

    Churchill made fine speeches, but lost the election. Action is what's needed, with a sence of direction .
    I agree that Labour got us into the mess, and lib Dems are just hungers on.
    So if the PM can start to deliver then the British People will follow him.
    Red Ed and dithering Nick will need to show how they expect to pay the National debt and spend on services , what's borrowed must be paid back

  • rate this
    +4

    Comment number 48.

    This appears to be a pre-election speech... you know, the one where the 'party' is ready for a fight and all that. Does this mean that Dave is admitting that he's going before the term is up?
    If so, can we have a statesman to lead the Tories, a grown-up to lead the Labour, and a real man to lead the Lib-Dems. Otherwise it's UKIP, Respect or Green to take seats willy-nilly!

  • rate this
    +6

    Comment number 47.

    Sorry Mr. Cameron but nothing you have said inspires me!
    I believe in 'fighting for Britain's future' but not for Syria's.
    If you are serious then for goodness sake keep out of the internal affairs of other Countries and concentrate on getting this Country moving again.

  • rate this
    +6

    Comment number 46.

    I don't know who Cameron thinks he's preaching to...the majority of the Great British public are not listening, thats for sure. I can't wait until he is ousted by someone more qualified to lead the country.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 45.

    37.Major Dennis Bloodnok


    Do you have opinions of your own or do you just regurgitate Tory/Lib Dem spin...???

    The bankers drove us into the ground, and Lab are not more guilty than Tries for giving them enough rope to hang us with....


    http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/ramesh-patel/growth-cameron-austerity_b_2007552.html

  • rate this
    +4

    Comment number 44.

    Here to fight?

    Handbags at the ready...

  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 43.

    They need to get it sorted because another Labour government is something the country could not stand.

 

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