David Cameron tells Tory conference he wants Britain to be ‘the aspiration nation’
THE Prime Minister today promised to “get Britain on the rise” by unleashing the power of enterprise and aspiration to overcome the economic crisis in his speech to the Conservative Party’s conference.
• David Cameron gives personal speech at Conservative Party conference
• PM recalls his upbringing and late father’s disability
• Cameron rejects notion of Tories as party of privilege
In a sometimes sombre address to the conference in Birmingham, David Cameron warned that the UK faces an “hour of reckoning” in which the decisions it makes will determine whether it will “sink or swim, do or decline”.
The effects of the downturn, coupled with the rise of new economic powers around the globe, mean that Britons can no longer assume that their country will be able to continue to earn its living as a major industrial country, he said.
But he told delegates that he was confident that Britain will “rise to the challenge” and harness the “individual aspiration and effort” of its people to ensure prosperity in the future.
He promised to support “the doers, the risk takers, the young people who dream of their first pay-cheque, their first car, their first home and are ready and willing to work hard to get those things”.
In deeply personal passages, Mr Cameron revealed how the example of his disabled father taught him the keys to success and to Britain’s recovery - “Hard work. Strong families. Taking responsibility. Serving others.”
Mr Cameron acknowledged that the Government’s deficit reduction plan was “taking longer than we hoped”, which he blamed largely on the eurozone crisis.
But he insisted that Britain was “on the right track”, saying: “Yes it’s worse than we thought, yes it’s taking longer, but we are making progress.”
And he insisted that the country will overcome its challenges, because “at our best, we’re unbeatable”.
Citing the summer of the Jubilee, Olympics and Paralympics, he told delegates: “Though the challenge before us is daunting, I have confidence in our country.
“Why? Because Britain can deliver. We can do big things.”
And he promised to reform welfare, planning and education to unlock enterprise and growth and support aspiration.
“Let us here in this hall, here in this Government, together in this country make this pledge - let’s build an aspiration nation. Let’s get Britain on the rise.
“Deficit, paid down. Tough decisions, taken. Growth, fired up. Aspiration, backed all the way.
“We know what it takes to win - to win in the tough world of today, to win for all our people, to win for Britain. So let’s get out there and do it.”
Mr Cameron was scathing about Labour’s Plan B to stimulate growth by borrowing more for investment, which he described as “a massive gamble with our economy and our future”.
Dismissing Ed Miliband’s bid to snatch the Tory One Nation slogan for his party, he denounced Labour as “the party of one notion - more borrowing”.
And he rejected accusations that the Conservatives were the party of the rich and privileged.
While other parties “sneer” at those who want to get on in life, Tories “salute” them, he said.
“They call us the party of the better-off,” said Mr Cameron. “No: we are the party of the ‘want to be better off’, those who strive to make a better life for themselves and their families - and we should never, ever be ashamed of saying so.”
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Monday 20 May 2013
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