David Cameron has called on the
country to “pull together”, during his first Conservative Party
conference speech since becoming Prime Minister.
The Conservatives’ slogan
“We’re all in this together” is “not a cry for help, but a call
to arms”, he said.
Mr Cameron urged Britons to take
part in projects to improve their communities, start up businesses and
“Come on: let’s pull together.
Let’s come together. Let’s work together in the national interest,” he
The “Big Society” was a
major theme of the speech, winning 10 mentions.
“It’s about government helping
to build a nation of doers and go-getters,” Mr Cameron said.
“Where people step forward not
sit back, where people come together to make life better.”
In the “big society
spirit”, the Prime Minister announced a new International Citizen Service
based on America’s Peace Corp.
The plan is to allow thousands of
young Britons the chance to “see the world and serve others”.
“The Big Society” also
meant facing up to the scale of Britain’s budget deficit, he said.
The Prime Minister acknowledged
again that spending cuts would be “difficult”, but promised it would
He understood that people were
“anxious” about cuts like the abolition of Child Benefit for
higher-rate taxpayers announced this week, but insisted: “There is no
other responsible way.”
It is “right” that those
with broader shoulders bore a larger share of the burden of reducing the
deficit, and the Government would always aim to ensure measures to cut spending
were “fair”, he said.
Mr Cameron denounced Labour’s plan
to scale back the deficit at a slower pace as “selfish and irresponsible”
and warned it would lead to more cuts in the long run.
And he held out the prospect of a
better Britain once the deficit was brought under control.
“I promise you that if we pull
together to deal with these debts today, then just a few years down the line
the rewards will be felt by everyone in the country,” said Mr Cameron.