David Cameron: We're building land of hope and opportunity


David Cameron mocks "Red Ed and Blue Peter polices"

David Cameron vowed to get behind business to create a "land of opportunity for all", in his big speech to close the Conservative conference.

His 50-minute address sought to set out dividing lines with "the 1970s-style socialism" he said Labour now offered.

He claimed the economy was "turning the corner" and the "land of hope is Tory", while "the land of despair was Labour".

Mr Cameron also hinted that benefits for under-25s could be cut in an effort to get more young people into work.

But Labour said the prime minister had failed to address the "cost-of-living crisis" and offered a land of opportunity "for just a privileged few".

'Nag and push'

During the 50-minute speech, Mr Cameron contrasted his own party's philosophy with that of the opposition, saying: "If Labour's plan for jobs is to attack business, ours is to back business."

He criticised Labour leader Ed Miliband, who promised in his end-of-conference address last week to freeze energy prices and increase corporate tax on big firms, telling Tory activists that "profits, tax cuts and enterprise... are not dirty, elitist words".

Start Quote

What will stay in the memory from this conference is the Tories' laser-like focus on the threat from Ed Miliband which they once laughed off.”

End Quote

Mr Cameron argued that adding more state borrowing and spending to ease the "cost-of-living crisis" would risk putting the UK on the economic trajectory of Greece.

"It's all sticking plasters and quick fixes cobbled together for the TV cameras - Red Ed and his Blue Peter economy, " said the prime minister.

Earlier in the week, Chancellor George Osborne announced plans to make the long-term unemployed undertake work placements if they want to continue receiving benefits.

In his speech, Mr Cameron did not make any specific policy announcements, but suggested his party was looking at further changes to the welfare system to include in its manifesto for the 2015 general election.

It was wrong that young people could "choose the dole" and right to "offer them something better".

Mr Cameron added: "And let no one paint ideas like this as callous.

"Think about it: with your children, would you dream of just leaving them to their own devices, not getting a job, not training, nothing?

"No - you'd nag and push and guide and do anything to get them on their way… and so must we. So this is what we want to see: everyone under 25 - earning or learning."

'Stand tall'

Mr Cameron, who did not repeat previous no-notes speeches, often looked straight into the lens of the TV camera to address directly the audience outside the Manchester conference centre.

The BBC's chief political correspondent Norman Smith said it was a surprisingly sober speech in parts, with Mr Cameron stressing there was still much work to do to fix Britain's economy.

David Cameron says the HS2 rail line would be offered by the "party of the future"

It was not enough just to clean up Labour's "mess" and pay off the deficit, he wanted to "build something better in its place".

He added: "In place of the casino economy, one where people who work hard can actually get on; in place of the welfare society, one where no individual is written off; in place of the broken education system, one that gives every child the chance to rise up and succeed."

Mr Cameron invoked the spirit of his predecessor Margaret Thatcher, the winner of three general elections, who died earlier this year, saying she had "made our country stand tall again, at home and abroad".

He also made efforts to distance his party, and himself, from the Liberal Democrats, with whom the Tories have ruled in coalition for more than three years.

He promised: "When the election comes, we won't be campaigning for a coalition, we will be fighting heart and soul for a majority Conservative government - because that is what our country needs...

"This party at its heart is about big people, strong communities, responsible businesses, a bigger society - not a bigger state."

'Strong message'

To cheers, Mr Cameron attacked the Lib Dems for "trying to take all the credit" for lowering the minimum earnings threshold at which people start paying income tax.

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Labour want the choice at the 2015 general election to be between which party can best help voters with the cost of living. Today the prime minister challenged that analysis”

End Quote

He joked: "Well, memo to the Lib Dems: you lecturing us on low taxes is like us lecturing you on pointless constitutional tinkering.

"We are Tories, we believe in low taxes and, believe me, we will keep on cutting the taxes of hard-working people in our country."

Mr Cameron received a standing ovation after the speech, his ninth to conference since becoming leader in 2005.

But, afterwards, Labour leader Ed Miliband said the prime minister had offered nothing to address "the cost-of-living crisis facing Britain's hard-working families".

The Lib Dems said they, not the Conservatives, had made a manifesto commitment in 2010 to raise the level at which people start paying tax to £10,000.

What impact will 'earn or learn' have?

And UKIP leader Nigel Farage said the pro-business message conflicted with the reality that membership of the EU was costing the UK "billions in red tape and direct payments from high taxes".

But there was a more favourable response from business groups, with CBI director-general John Cridland saying the prime minister had "sent out a strong message about how vital British business is to the future prosperity of people across the UK".

Simon Walker, director-general of the Institute of Directors also welcomed the speech, but warned that firms would "be looking for him to match the sentiment with action - if tax cuts aren't dirty, let's have a few more of them".


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  • rate this

    Comment number 2029.

    2023.Onan the Barbarian
    Unemployment is higher than May 2010. The budget defecit has increased

    That's the trouble with the general public - they expect DC to wave a magic wand and make all our troubles go away in a few years. The Labour clowns left our economy in such a mess it'll take far longer than that to get it back on track.

  • rate this

    Comment number 2028.

    Makes me laugh how many people despise the socialists when they have no idea what socialism means and have never seen a socialist Gov. Socialism is NOT communism, Tories, me first and last, NuLabour are wet Tories not socialists, LibDems are? erm just wet?
    Dave's speech, at least some honesty, more for those who already have, less for those who have nothing and are not likely to get anything.

  • rate this

    Comment number 2027.

    2 Minutes ago
    Great??? This will only bring in even more immigrants which in turn take the jobs of the under 25's."

    Utter rubbish! Our own kids won't even get out of bed for the lower paid jobs. They just want to something for nothing.

  • rate this

    Comment number 2026.

    In the 80's Australian PM Paul Keating explained the theory of the J curve economy. Things will likely get worse in a diminishing economy before it gets better. Dave's govt has the vision to take us through this very rough patch of our country's economic history. LimDems live in lalaland and Labour are inept & corrupt. Give Dave a chance. The truth is no one is better off in the short term.

  • rate this

    Comment number 2025.

    @2008. Officially unemployment has lowered, but it includes all the people on zero-hours contracts and 2 hour a week contracts - underemployment is a massive problem.
    Budget deficit not reduced - spending going up, even in the face of swingeing cuts.
    Tax allowances have made little difference with the cost of living going up while real wages are cuts.
    Massaging data cannot disguise peoples' pain.

  • rate this

    Comment number 2024.

    1980 "Labour policies created the monster, encouraging a vast expansion of credit fuelled by wholesale funding of banks and an extraordinary failure of bank regulation."

    Who lobbied for the regulatory regime (the banks)
    Who wanted it to be slacker (Osborne in many speeches)
    Who kept the money?(banks again)
    Who was it who then knighted this appalling substandard regulator (David Cameron)

  • rate this

    Comment number 2023.

    @2008.feastwood "Since the conservatives took over, unemployment has lowered, The budget deficit has been reduced, and the tax free allowance has gone from £6,475 to £10,000 in 3 years, helping people on lower incomes....."

    Unemployment is higher than May 2010. The budget defecit has increased. For every one taken out of tax another has come into the 40% band through lowered threshholds.

  • rate this

    Comment number 2022.

    David Cameron: We're building land of hope and opportunity
    It has been confirmed online by one Bullingdon Club member (DC belongs to this exclusive club) that part of their 'initiation' at Eton was to burn a £50 note in front of a tramp.
    Dave, why just you give it to him? or is this just your own Luciferian arrogance or the Conservatives own attitude to those less fortunate?
    Shame on you Dave!

  • rate this

    Comment number 2021.

    I think Cameron should have said something to put the Daily Mail in its place. The majority still want control of the press, and Cameron ought to be paying his own money for the cost of the Leveson enquiry.

  • Comment number 2020.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • rate this

    Comment number 2019.


    It is the usual cycle. Labour make an absolute dog's breakfast of the country and then the Conservatives have to clean up the doo-doo.


    My dog likes its breakfast and so do I.

  • rate this

    Comment number 2018.

    When in work persons are working for the likes of Asda, working all hours and selling goods at a huge profit for the company - why are they having to apply for housing benefits? - why is Walmart being allowed to get away with paying poverty wages? We are subsidizing the big so called "profitable" companies and now the tories just like labour want more slaves to work for them!

  • rate this

    Comment number 2017.

    Does this guy base himself on someone out of Revelations or what lol. Take the land from the people-sell it back at unrealistic overpriced cost's thus enabling the people who lived on the land to pay for your toys and jaunts through life. Make nothing yet earn millions. It's time we pressed the flush button or had 1 installed. How can we let these people drag the world so lowly. MEH

  • rate this

    Comment number 2016.

    Dear HYS Editor.
    What is your opinion, so that I can see if I would pick yours?

  • rate this

    Comment number 2015.

    From the comments I have viewed it looks like Davey boy has been found out for what he is an-elitist toff with no idea of Britain, the Tories are like the dinasours with no vision of the future except to take it backwards so they and their rich friends can bring us all down to our knees in servitude thank goodness for Ed a man who really cares about the ordinary people of this country roll on 2015

  • rate this

    Comment number 2014.


    Give up pal, too many people who something for nothing around!!

  • rate this

    Comment number 2013.

    Personally, I would like BBC to visit every jobcentre in a 25/30 mile radius of anywhere of a UK city/major town & compare/count available advertised jobs, especially those that are duplicated but counted multiple times, also count the agency jobs that are not jobs but just deceitful/time wasting adverts pretending to be jobs, so agency staff can meet recruitment targets

  • Comment number 2012.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • rate this

    Comment number 2011.

    So Gove believes in a free press, only until they start investigating dodgy MP expenses et al. We don't have and never will have a free press because if we did I would be able to say what I exactly think of Cameron and Gove without fear of the Beeb removing my comments!

  • rate this

    Comment number 2010.

    The Governments contribution so far to youth unemployment is to raise the state pension age.


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