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.”

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”

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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 189.

    You may Say Eaton mates, but you need bright and intelligent people to work out the mess left by Labour and the CITY fat cats. BTW, who vaulted more CITY Fats to Sir's and Lords, Labour did.
    Still do not agree, so you would prefer a husband and wife team running the country ala' Balls and Cooper. yeah right, Balls is intellectually challenged and only in politics for ego and Cooper is a militant

  • rate this

    Comment number 188.

    Always funny seeing the "tax anyone who does well 100%" on here moaning about "equality". We all know what that means, make everyone as average as they are. Good speech, optimistic, purposeful; a refreshing change from the Beeb's and Miliband's naval gazing hate of itself and Britain, their PC hysteria, the endless bullying and aggression of any world view that doesn't tally with the Huff Post.

  • rate this

    Comment number 187.

    Ali G made a better politician than Cameron anyday

  • rate this

    Comment number 186.


    (And, please, don't try and say you're paying more VAT. You'd have to spend £25,798 ALL OF IT on VATable goods to pay more VAT than tax/NI saved)

    To clarify, that's the 2.5% increase in VAT from 17.5% to 20% I'm referring to.

  • rate this

    Comment number 185.

    14. Will
    The fact is that his policies are reducing national debt and growth is progressing (albeit slowly).

    No, they are reducing the growth of the national debt, it is as I'm typing this still rising just at a slower rate.

  • rate this

    Comment number 184.

    Dave, you cannot create and grow businesses without ordinary people working hard for them. What is needed is leadership from the government to get them to treat their staff fairly and their contributions are correctly rewarded.
    All you have done is encouraged those at the top to keep their snouts in the trough, not take responsibility and treat staff shabbily.
    You have failed hard workers.

  • rate this

    Comment number 183.

    Only the deluded & misguided can truly believe that they will be plucked from obscurity and handed a money making machine leading to more success than they care to admit to. Else, for you and I, the vast majority, we continue to work our back sides off trying to earn a decent living while those who know they will make it rich off our backs are encouraged to do by successive UK governments.

  • rate this

    Comment number 182.

    Not as if the Pursuit of Profit ,personal enrichment and corporate greed above all other motivations every did anything to hurt the economy is it?

    Of course I forget after the Tory Rewriting of History it wasn't the greed,profit and wealth banker driven international crisis backed by the Tories non interventionist agenda that wrecked the economy it was rally all Gordon Browns fault.

  • rate this

    Comment number 181.

    opportunity for every employer to exploit there employees with zero hour contracts, a land of opportunities where the rich get richer, and we stop
    the poors benefits.
    that is what Cameron and clegg will be remembered for.
    divide and rule

  • rate this

    Comment number 180.

    The question is: are you better off now than in 2010? As a retired middle income earner with 2 kids and a wife who works, we are considerably worse off now and there is no sign of improvement for ordinary folks like us.

  • rate this

    Comment number 179.

    155 - I do as well
    How anyone can be fooled by the tories opportunity for all is amazing.
    What he means is opportunity for all privileged people and the Daily Mail reader types to purport to be like DC but don't have the acumen to obtain the funds to be so so blame eveything on the poor, vunerable and so on.

  • rate this

    Comment number 178.

    Private industry/business creates wealth. State industry consumes it - it is vital but consumes it.

    The private sector must generate more wealth than the state sector can consume for a country to be solvent and grow.

    You might not like it but these are the basic facts of life (over simplified obviously).

  • rate this

    Comment number 177.

    How much is Ozzie spending on defending bankers bonuses? HOW MUCH.

    Speak up David i can't hear you.

  • rate this

    Comment number 176.

    "David Cameron will say "profit, wealth creation, tax cuts, enterprise... are not dirty, elitist words".
    OK so here are some dirty and elitist words which every Tory should be familiar with: Tax Havens, Tax Avoidance, Tax Cuts for Millionaires, Brown Envelopes, Duck Houses, Help to Buy £600,000 Houses, Second Homes, Eton Mafia & Boris.
    You can't take the "Con" out of "Conservative"!

  • rate this

    Comment number 175.

    Yes Dave , yes but you have been in power for quite a while now .....but you still are saying what you will do in the future ......as usual its all promises .......all spin......all make believe

  • rate this

    Comment number 174.

    The man just oozes perpetual rubbish formed by his own elitist upbringing

  • rate this

    Comment number 173.

    "You knew the benefits of getting a good education to get a successful career, don't complain when it didn't turn out well. Just get on with your life and stop expecting the gov to fuel your personal greed and bitterness."

    Amazingly offensive - you only vote Labour because you didn't work hard and you've been a failure in life? UTTER rubbish

    But doubtless a comfort to stupid & greedy crooks

  • rate this

    Comment number 172.

    These speeches might get the audience going but we all know they are no more than back-seat rhetoric designed for votes. Fact is that the UK Government is a passenger driven by the EU who's policies have changed Britain forever because we are powerless to deal with the EU's adverse effects none of us want but can do nothing about.

  • rate this

    Comment number 171.

    Land of opportunity if you are one of Camerons mates in the city.

  • rate this

    Comment number 170.

    "From these comments it is evident that the class warriors are really out in force today.Miliband pere would be salivating!" Would he though? I bet a lot of comments are from the squeezed middle class, who work hard only to fund Dave's rich chums!


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