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 249.

    DC can't help how he was born. Should he say I'm posh therefore I've no right to a public position. Should we say I'm poor I've no right to talk about making money and business.

  • rate this

    Comment number 248.

    Were David Cameron and Tony Blair created in a test tube labelled. Ministry of disinformation spokesperson?

    His 'iilk' are fine for sure, but the younger generation are screwed. We are not experiencing an improvement in living standards if house prices inflation runs at 5 times that wage rises. It really is that simple. Most people under 40 feel totally enslaved because by the cost of living.

  • rate this

    Comment number 247.

    Blimey, he really is deluded. Still, I suppose I would be if my wages hadn't gone down 15% in real terms over last 3 years, my pension contributions hadn't gone up by £60.00 a month, my day to day living costs hadn't gone up by 15% over last 3 years, and my expenses were able to just keep on rises with inflation like MPs, well done Dave.

  • rate this

    Comment number 246.

    Funny isn't it ...there is an election round the corner and everything is going so well .Everything is growing and Britain is doing so well. Then you go to the shops and you can't afford much, you can't see a GP easily, fuel prices are up, their are syringes in the bushes, there are fewer police , you get less services and your unemployed yes everything is better for everyone isn't it DAVE ?

  • Comment number 245.

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

  • rate this

    Comment number 244.

    Then again Dave, that's exactly what everybody would expect the leader of a country to say!

    Talk is cheap and 60 million people are getting sick of the same hollow promises!

  • rate this

    Comment number 243.

    This is meretricious tripe. Cameron's is an extreme right-wing party, wedded to neoliberal ideology, and fighting a class war against the poor. It appeals to peoples' innate nastiness and fear. This is a party of the rich for the rich.

  • rate this

    Comment number 242.

    "Labour destroyed our economy, End of discussion"
    OK who destroyed all the rest of the western economies in the same trouble as the UK?
    Let me remind you CaptainFantastic, there has only ever been 6 budget surpluses in recent times, and do you know 4 of these were managed by Labour! Go read the book!

  • rate this

    Comment number 241.

    I'm seriously concerned about David Cameron. Has he suddenly become unhinged?

    A "land of opportunity". Cloud Cuckoo Land more like.

  • rate this

    Comment number 240.

    A land of opportunity for everyone -

    Unless you are not one of the posh boys and girls.

    Unless you were not born here.

    Unless you are disabled.

    Unless you dare to criticise the 'British way'.

    Unless you haven't got, or can't afford, an accountant who knows how to avoid tax.

    I wonder how many would vote for these policies if we were allowed to?

  • rate this

    Comment number 239.

    Cameron is determined to make this a Country fit to live in for the Public School Educated Sons and Daughters of Multimillionaires .

    190 Don't get your facts about Labour from the Daily Mail they will always be wrong.

    Actually Labour wishes to reduce the taxes on small businesses it is the Tories who want to focus exclusively on cutting the taxes of their hedge fund and corporate paymasters.

  • rate this

    Comment number 238.

    I would love nothing more than to slap some sense into David Cameron
    So you're a liberal until there's something you disagree with, at which point you threaten to 'slap some sense' into them. Seems you don't even know the definition of liberal.

    Modern liberalism, have to laugh, we listen to eveyrone's point of view, unless you disagree with me, at which point it gets nasty.

  • rate this

    Comment number 237.

    I work in Local Government and have come from a low background and through hard work improved myself. Now it looks likely that my reward will be redundancy as yet more massive cuts hit our small council. It is highly likely that I will not find work quickly and could lose all I worked for. Is that Opportunity for all? Rich get rich while poor pay for it. Same old Same old as far as I can see

  • rate this

    Comment number 236.

    158: "This country is going to the dogs because governments are pandering to the people that bring nothing to society, and not helping out those at the top who create wealth."

    Nope. As ALL the evidence clearly shows, it has gone to the dogs BECAUSE of pandering to the self-serving parasites at the top.

    "Wealth creation" has NEVER, EVER helped the majority. Not once in all of our history.

  • rate this

    Comment number 235.

    I assume you have your bins emptied, your streets patrolled and your health needs catered for just to mention a few of the public servants who you so despise.

  • Comment number 234.

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

  • rate this

    Comment number 233.

    Land of BTL Opportunity and of the creation of the Rentier class and lowlifes tenants.

    He is really planning to take us back to the 18th century?

  • rate this

    Comment number 232.

    I just heard him say "just imagine what we could achieve with all pistons firing."
    Sorry pal, but I think it's the cylinders that do the firing...

  • rate this

    Comment number 231.

    Cameron is a sweaty, red-faced, lying scumbag. The rest of the Tories are even worse.

  • rate this

    Comment number 230.

    Let's get rid of the debt by passing it on to students, home owners, the elderly... What could possibly go wrong?


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