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".

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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.”

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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”

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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 89.

    We're all in it together!!!

  • rate this

    Comment number 88.

    DAVE: Yes you will make this the land of opportunity for all that is NOT ENGLISH or BRITISH ORIGIN.

    Congratulations DAVEY BOY. You do not put the people first, you put FOREIGN CORPORATE INTERESTS FIRST.


    If your English and your family helped build the foundations of this country you are NOT part of DAVEY boy's plan.

    Con's = the word CON.


  • rate this

    Comment number 87.

    David Cameron will say "profit, wealth creation, tax cuts, enterprise... are not dirty, elitist words" in his Conservative conference speech.
    Isn’t it curious, however, how the words ‘big’ and ‘society’ now appear to have been excised from his lexicon.

  • rate this

    Comment number 86.

    More like, Workhouses, slums & starvation.

  • rate this

    Comment number 85.

    Oh what Cameron just like we all in it together,so i let see going by last 3 1/2 years it be land of rich get opportunity toget richer while low paid, disabled & poor get opportunity starve,be homeless & freeze to death,work long hours for little money or none at all, make it a crime to be disabled yes this your & tories idea opportunity for all

  • rate this

    Comment number 84.

    "PM to pledge 'opportunity for all' "

    Certainly not for the disabled, whom the Tories seem to hate with a passion.

  • rate this

    Comment number 83.

    "Profit .....is not dirty elitist words". Cameron excessive profit is dirty and elitist, it is also known as exploitation.

    By land of opportunity I think he means that his wealthy cronies, the bankers, the corporations and big business will be given more opportunity to exploit the low paid, the sick, those on zero contracts, the unemployed and pensioners and anyone not in the elite club.

  • rate this

    Comment number 82.

    I don't want a welfare state either, but it's a fact that some need help. All I'm seeing from this toff, is sweep the dross under the carpet. They don't belong in our society, because we'd be better off shooting them.

    Work for benefits? This should be brought up in front of the Geneva convention. Because to me, it sounds a lot like slavery. Time to go Dave, you & George are morons.

  • rate this

    Comment number 81.

    Pull the other one it's got bells on.

  • rate this

    Comment number 80.

    The only path to a successful Nation is to embrace social responsibility, each of us must respect that it is our duty to contribute to the well being of the whole. Obviously we have moments when we must turn to nation for personal help, and that is why we have welfare. Freedom has it's price, and to get it we must contribute to society. Profit is a measure of success, and we must pursue success.

  • rate this

    Comment number 79.

    I wish my wife would give me more opportunity but she keeps closing the door!!!!

  • rate this

    Comment number 78.

    Hey Dave, what about "multi-national corporate tax avoidance"? Are they "dirty words"?

  • rate this

    Comment number 77.

    Dave : ppl have nothing against big business

    However they have a lot against big cartels, and “talent” that brought the country to its knees.

    We also despise a tax system that is so complex that only the rich or big business can afford to take advantage of it

    The result being that it is the ordinary taxpayer that needs to pay for the excesses of your mates in the city.

  • rate this

    Comment number 76.

    Selling your own out at the cost of lives i call it. How many suicides have we had? How many fires per week? How many poison waters? If this is land of opportunity then let us vote now, and you will see what we want. I'm for someone else who wants the country to be great but not at the cost of lives of innocents, this guy wanted to blow innocents with his close mates, who are now in trouble. NOTHX

  • rate this

    Comment number 75.

    It is perfectly well & good for a company to make a profit. This is healthy for business BUT it can only be healthy if the person cleaning the toilets does not have to claim benefits just to survive when the CEO/ shareholders rake it in over & above excessive greed. Rebalance the pay scales between the scivvy and the CEO & you will nuture the right sort of relationship between the two & not greed.

  • rate this

    Comment number 74.

    Well when you are the benefactors (Posh Tory Boys) of the working classes doing more for less, then life is so good at the moment. He could promise me a lump sum of £2,000 tomorrow, I would still never vote Tory again, I have lost over £5,000 in pay and conditions (on an average salary) over last 3 years, whilst I have to watch him send Billions abroad in Foreign Aid! Whilst their expenses rise!

  • rate this

    Comment number 73.

    E.ON are an example of how nice business can be aren't they Dave. It's politicians and business that need to change, not us.

  • rate this

    Comment number 72.

    All irrelevent.

    Anyone on benefits or working in the Public sector will vote labour in the belief they will be better off financially.

    Anyone working hard in the Private sector will vote tory in the belief they will be better off financially.

    It's just a numbers game.

  • rate this

    Comment number 71.

    He's a politician. It doesn't matter what they say or what party they represent, they're all the same; they tell lies to get us to vote for them. Career politicians who only care about themselves and their well-paid, well-pensioned, job.

    Personally, I'm sick of the whole damned lot of 'em.

  • rate this

    Comment number 70.

    66.Jo - It amazes me how many posters despise the concept of profit.

    Think you're confusing profit with profiteering.


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