This week in Manchester we’veshown this Party is on the side of hardworking people.
Helping young people buy theirown home.
Getting the long-term unemployedback to work.
Freezing fuel duty.
Cutting the deficit.
Make no mistake: it is this Partywith the verve, energy and ideas to take our countryforward…
…and I want to thank everyonehere for the great week we’ve had.
When we came to office, we faceda clear and daunting task: to turn our country around.
In May 2019, the needle on thegauge was at crisis point.
People were talking about ourcountry in a way they had not done for decades.
But three and a half years later,we are beginning to turn the corner.
The deficit is falling.
Our economy is growing.
The numbers of our fellowcountrymen and women in work are rising.
We are not there yet, not by along way.
But, my friends, we are on ourway.
I want to thank the people whohave done the most to get us this far.
You. The British people.
Never giving up. Working thoseextra hours. Coping with those necessary cuts.
You. British business. You keptpeople on in the hard times. Invested before you knew forcertain that thingswere getting better.
Together – we are clearing up themess that Labour left.
But I have a simple question, tothe people in this hall and beyond it.
Is that enough?
Is it enough that we just clearup Labour’s mess and think ‘job done’?
Is it enough to just fix whatwent wrong?
I say – no. Not for me.
This isn’t job done; it is jobbegun.
I didn’t come into politics justto fix what went wrong, but to build something right.
We in this party – we don’t dreamof deficits and decimal points and dry fiscal plans
…our dreams are about helpingpeople get on in life…
…these are our words, our dreams.
So today I want to talk about ourone, abiding mission…
…I believe it is the greatConservative mission…
… that as our economy starts torecover…
…we build a land of opportunityin our country today.
Now, I know, it’ll be tough.
But I know we’ve got what ittakes in this Party.
Some people say “can’t be done” –Conservatives say “what’s to stop us?”
They said we couldn’t getterrorists out of our own country.
Well – Theresa knew otherwise...
...and that’s why Abu Qatada hadhis very own May Day this year...
…didn’t it feel good seeing himget on that plane?
Some people said the NHS wasn’tsafe in our hands.
Well – we knew otherwise.
Who protected spending on theNHS? Not Labour – us.
Who started the Cancer DrugsFund? Not Labour – us.
And by the way – who presidedover Mid Staffs…
…patients left for so longwithout water, they were drinking out of dirty vases...
...people’s grandparents lyingfilthy and unwashed for days.
Who allowed that to happen? Yes,it was Labour...
...and don’t you dare lectureanyone on the NHS again.
And some people say a lot ofthings on Europe.
You’ll never be able to veto anEU treaty.
You’ll never cut the Budget.
And if you did these things–you’d have no allies in Europe.
Well we’ve proved them wrong.
I vetoed that treaty…
…I got Britain out of the EUbail-out scheme…
…and yes – I cut that budget.
And in doing all this, we haven’tlost respect – we’ve won allies to get powers back fromEurope.
That is what we will do...
...and at the end of it – yes –we will give the British people their say in a referendum.
That is our pledge. It will beyour choice: in or out.
BRITAIN IN THE WORLD
And friends, you know whatsomeone said about us recently?
Apparently some Russian officialsaid: Britain is “just a small island that no-one pays anyattention to.”
Let me just get this off mychest.
When the world wanted rights, whowrote Magna Carta?
When they wanted representation,who built the first Parliament?
When they looked for compassion,who led the abolition of slavery?
When they searched for equality,who gave women the vote?
When their freedom was in peril,who offered blood, toil, tears and sweat?
And today – whose music do theydance to?
Whose universities do they flockto?
Whose football league do theywatch?
Whose example of tolerance…
…of people living together fromevery nation, every religion, young and old, straight andgay…
…whose example do they aspire to?
I haven’t even got on to the factthat this small island beat Russia in the Olympics lastyear…
…or that the biggest-sellingvodka brand in the world isn’t Russian, it’s British – Smirnoff –made in Fife…
...so yes, we may be a smallisland…
…but I tell you what, we’re agreat country.
But I want to make a seriouspoint about our place in the world.
Following that vote on Syria inthe House of Commons, some people said it was time forBritain to re-think ourrole.
I’m sorry – but I don’t agree.
If we shrunk from the world wewould be less safe and less prosperous.
The role we play, theorganisations we belong to...
... and yes – the fact ourdefence budget remains the 4th largest in the world...
...all this is not about nationalvanity – it’s about our national interest.
When British citizens –ourfathers, mothers, daughters– are in danger...
...whether that’s in the desertsof Algeria or the city of Nairobi…
…then combatting internationalterrorism – it matters to us.
When five of the world’s fastestgrowing economies are African…
…then trading with Africa – andyes helping Africa to develop with aid – that matters to us.
And at the heart of all this work– the finest Foreign Secretary I could ask for: WilliamHague.
Around the world, we really domatter as a United Kingdom…
…England, Wales, Northern Irelandand Scotland.
The date of the referendum hasbeen set. The decision is for Scotland to make.
All the arguments about oureconomy, jobs, currency – I believe they make an unanswerablecase for the UK.
But today I want a more simplemessage to go out to all the people of Scotland.
From us here in this hall, fromme, from this party, from this country, from England, Wales,Northern Ireland…
…and it’s this:
We want you to stay.
We want to stick together.
Think of all we’ve achievedtogether – the things we can do together.
The nations – as one.
Our Kingdom – United.
For 12 years now, men and womenfrom all parts of these islands have been serving theircountry in Afghanistan.
Next year, the last of our combattroops will be coming home...
...having trained up the Afghansto look after their own country.
More than a decade of war.
Sacrifice beyond measure – fromthe finest and bravest armed forces in the world.
And I want us to stand, to raisethe roof in here, to show just how proud of those men andwomen we are.
We in this room are a team.
And this year, we said goodbye toone of our team.
Margaret Thatcher made ourcountry stand tall again, at home and abroad.
Rescuing our economy. Givingpower to our people. Spreading home ownership. Creatingwork. Winning the ColdWar. Saving the Falklands.
I asked her about her recordonce.
I was sitting next to her at adinner – and I was really nervous.
As ever she was totally charming,she put me at ease...
...but after a while I said:“Margaret, if you had your time in Government again, is thereanything you’d dodifferently?”
And she turned to me and said:“You know, I think I did pretty well the first time around.”
Well we can all agree with that –and we can all agree on this...
...she was the greatestpeace-time Prime Minister our country has ever had.
Margaret Thatcher had an almightymess to clear up when she came to office…
…and so did we.
We will never forget what wefound.
The biggest Budget deficit in ourpeace-time history.
The deepest recession since theSecond World War.
But it wasn’t just the debt anddeficit Labour left…
…it was who got hurt.
Millions coming here fromoverseas while millions of British people were left on welfare.
The richest paying lower taxrates than their cleaners.
Unsustainable, debt-fuelled banksbooming – while manufacturing withered away.
The North falling further behind.
Towns where a quarter of peoplelived on benefits.
Schools where 8 out of 10children didn’t get five decent GCSEs.
Yes, they were famously“intensely relaxed” about people getting filthy rich…
...but tragically, they were also“intensely relaxed” about people staying stuck on welfareyear after year...
…“intensely relaxed” aboutchildren leaving school without proper qualifications so theycouldn’t hope toget a job at the end of it.
That was it.
That was what they left.
The casino economy meets thewelfare society meets the broken education system...
…a country for the few built bythe so-called party of the many…
…and Labour: we will never letyou forget it.
These past few years have been areal struggle.
But what people want to know nowis: was the struggle worth it?
And here’s the honest answer.
The struggle will only be worthit if we as a country finish the job we’ve started.
Finishing the job meansunderstanding this.
Our economy may be turning thecorner – and of course that’s great.
But we still haven’t finishedpaying for Labour’s Debt Crisis.
If anyone thinks that’s over,done, dealt with - they’re living in a fantasy land.
This country’s debt crisis,created by Labour, is not over.
After three years of cuts, westill have one of the biggest deficits in the world.
We are still spending more thanwe earn.
We still need to earn more andyes, our Government still needs to spend less.
I see that Labour have stoppedtalking about the debt crisis and now they talk about thecost of livingcrisis.
As if one wasn’t directly relatedto the other.
If you want to know what happensif you don’t deal with a debt crisis...
...and how it affects the cost ofliving...
...just go and ask the Greeks.
So finishing the job meanssticking to our course until we’ve paid off all of Labour’s deficit,not justsome of it.
And yes – let’s run a surplus sothat this time we fix the roof when the sun is shining...
...as George said in thatbrilliant speech on Monday.
To abandon deficit reduction nowwould throw away all the progress we’ve made.
It would put us back to squareone.
Unbelievably, that’s exactly whatLabour now want to do.
How did they get us into thismess?
Too much spending, too muchborrowing, too much debt.
And what did they propose lastweek?
More spending, more borrowing,more debt.
They have learned nothing –literally nothing – from the crisis they created.
But finishing the job is aboutmore than clearing up the mess we were left.
It means building somethingbetter in its place.
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 educationsystem, one that gives every child the chance to rise up andsucceed.
Our economy, our society,welfare, schools…
...all reformed, all rebuilt -with one aim, one mission in mind:
To make this country, at longlast and for the first time ever, a land of opportunity for all.
So it makes no difference whetheryou live in the North or in the South, whether you’re blackor you’re white, aman or a woman, the school you went to, the background you have, whoyourparents were…
...what matters is the effort youput in, and if you put the effort in you’ll have the chance tomake it.
That’s what the land ofopportunity means.
That’s what finishing the jobmeans.
Of course I know that others in politicsmay talk about these things.
But wishing for something, caringabout something - that’s not enough.
You can’t conjure up a dynamiceconomy, a strong society, fantastic schools all with thestroke of aminister’s pen.
It takes a mixture of hard work,common sense and – above all – the right values.
When the left say: you can’texpect too much from the poorest kids; don’t ask too muchfrom people onwelfare; business is the problem, not the solution…
…Here in this party we say:that’s just wrong.
If you expect nothing of peoplethat does nothing for them.
Yes, you must help people – butyou help people by putting up ladders that they can climbthrough their ownefforts.
You don’t help children succeedby dumbing down education…
...you help them by pushing themhard.
Good education is not aboutequality of outcomes but bringing the best out of every singlechild.
You don’t help people by leavingthem stuck on welfare…
...but by helping them stand ontheir own two feet.
Why? Because the best way out ofpoverty is work – and the dignity that brings.
We know that profit, wealthcreation, tax cuts, enterprise...
...these are not dirty, elitistwords – they’re not the problem...
...they really are the solutionbecause it’s not government that creates jobs, it’s businesses…
…it’s businesses that get wagesin people’s pockets, food on their tables, hope for theirfamilies and successfor our country.
There is no shortcut to a land ofopportunity. No quick fix. No easy way to do it.
You build it business by business,school by school, person by person…