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”

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 209.

    @yorkshireflatcap I am a grad from uni with a 2:1 (Hons) in Engineering. I managed all of this while comin from a split family where dad was on the dole and mom was earning min wage.I am from a poor family. but am currently on a grad scheme 4 a company that also offers gd apprenticeship schemes (these schemes have increased under the coalition not decreased).Life is what you make it. stop moaning!

  • rate this

    Comment number 208.

    Refuse free work
    Vote Tories out

  • rate this

    Comment number 207.

    This Conference is taking place a mile or so away from some of the most deprived areas in the UK. The deposit alone for a £600,000 house would pay for at least one house here. Please explain why taxpayers should underwrite the mortgages of people who can afford to by a property for £600,000? If people can afford the mortgage they should be in a financial position to pay the deposit??

  • Comment number 206.

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

  • rate this

    Comment number 205.

    The left forget just what Labour left behind....no industrial policy, over-dependence on the City, bloated public sector, welfare-dependency, out of control immigration, a joke of an education policy.

    The Tories have corrected some things.

    But they will do nothing about the immigrant problem, and until they do, they will never create a decent society and economy.

  • rate this

    Comment number 204.

    About time someone told the people of the UK the truth, not fantasy
    The ONLY way out of the mess La La Labour left us with is by producing wealth, NOT spending more than we have.
    All societies that have placed wealth distribution before wealth production have failed. FACT.
    The idle and deluded minds of the left will scaremonger, spin and misinform, but luckily,some people live in the real world.

  • rate this

    Comment number 203.

    The main problem with this is that the minute anyone in the UK becomes "successful" the first thing they do is make sure they pay as little tax as possible. We need legislation to make sure that money made in Britain is taxed in Britain so that the whole country benefits from enterprise rather than just the few.

  • rate this

    Comment number 202.

    95 - You really think that people on benefits rake it in? The majority don't. The phones, flat TV's are all bought on the never never. £71 a week, that's the amount you're meant to live on.

    You're obviously a worker, who reads the nonsense printed in the DM.

  • Comment number 201.

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

  • rate this

    Comment number 200.

    Enough already!

    Use your brain in 2015 and knock the nasty party out of politics!


  • rate this

    Comment number 199.

    135 Quo Vardis
    So what if Cameron is related to the queen? Would you sneer as much if he was related to a shell suit wearing Scouse council estate dweller?
    Think you are showing inverted snobbery!

  • rate this

    Comment number 198.

    No80 Violet,

    'profit is a measure of success'

    It sounds like you have been visiting Bernie Madoff and the gang from Enron in prison.

    The senior banking community in the UK were making large profits, by engaging in widespread criminality, robbing their customers, including their parents and children.

    Is that the 'success' you had in mind, and do you approve?

  • rate this

    Comment number 197.

    You have FAILED to deliver your Pre-Election Promises – That said, quite a lot of people are no longer listening – I for one will be voting UKIP in the 2015 election.

  • rate this

    Comment number 196.

    seems to be a lot of people on here moaning that they are employees and not getting enough - well answer is simple - become the employer we are in a free market - the USSR & Chinas attempt at communism FAILED.
    The current Gov. has created a £10K tax free band - much more than labour every did. Workers need to be rewarded & motivated, benefits culture labour created is not affordable.

  • rate this

    Comment number 195.

    I don't consider myself elitist. I didn't go to university but have worked myself up to a reasonable job. I don't earn bankers bucks but do all right.

    Opportunity is out there, you just have to work at it when you find it.

  • rate this

    Comment number 194.

    "at long last, and for the first time ever" people will be able to "make it" wherever they live, whatever their background... so long as that background includes a family who can support you through both college and university education, stumping up 9K a year for fees, and then find £20-£30k to help you buy a house afterwards.

  • rate this

    Comment number 193.

    If the love of money is the root of all evil where does that leave Cameron and his flock? Money via impoverishment is being used as a stick to poke at the poor whilst the same government uses its connections with the city to make more carrots and carrots for the wealthy. This is going to end badly.

  • rate this

    Comment number 192.

    As the old Greek saying goes, "From crisis comes opportunity" and austerity is the opportunity for the rich and powerful (with the conivance of the CONservatives) to build a cheap labour paradise!

  • rate this

    Comment number 191.

    Words from Tory Leaders
    Ted Heath 1969/70
    Margaret Thatcher 1978/79
    John Major 1992
    all ended, partly or completely, in failure.

    Words from Labour Leaders
    Wilson & Callaghan 1973/78
    Blair & Brown 1996-2009
    all ended in total failure.


    Where to from here?

  • rate this

    Comment number 190.

    I always laugh at Labour voters claiming all business owners are rich. Just single minded, boring, garabage from people that would hope the people who actually employ them end up in the gutter. I can guarantee I paid more tax than some of you last year, yet you have the cheeck to moan as if I'm the bad guy?. Labour destroyed our economy, End of discussion.


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