Andrew Neil and Jo Coburn are in Manchester with the build-up to the leader's speech on the final day of the Conservative party conference.
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Afternoon. Welcome to this Daily Politics special, live from the
Tory Party conference, here in Manchester, where it's the final
day of the conference. For the first time, there's a sense of
excitement. Last night, the Prime Minister's spin masters briefed the
media that David Cameron will use his speech this afternoon to tell
us to pay off our credit card debts. The newspapers and broadcasters, as
you have no doubt seen, duly reported that this morning.
That buzz before new revised figures for economic growth
downgraded estimates. The British economy has not grown for nine
months. So the cry went up, if the economy is flat-lining, what would
happen if we all stopped spending to pay off our debts? Do you
remember Brains in the Thunderbirds? He used to say,
"Aaahhh! Of Course! Why didn't I think of that before?". Queue the
spinners to el us that the media have -- tell us that the media miss
understood what they were briefed. They have gone back to the drawing
board to replan what he has to say in a couple of hours. As I say,
excitement and turmoil. Mr Cameron delivers his speech against the
grimmest economic backdrop since the mid-1970s. It turned out the
recession is deeper than thought. We lost 7prst of our national
wealth, not -- 7% of our national wealth, not 6%. Italy's credit
rating has been cut again as the eurozone hovers on the brink of
recession and crisis. Even Tescos sales have dropped.
Last year the Prime Minister told this conference that Britain was
out of the danger zone. He won't be repeating that this afternoon. We
will look back at the highs and lows of David Cameron's first year
in advance of his big speech. And that's not all... It east such an
important -- it's such an important day that even Jo has had to hot-
foot it to Manchester. I could not stay away. We sent Adam out to test
the mood on the coalition. Not everyone likes their partners in
crime. We sent Quentin Letts out. He has not been a happy bunny in
Manchester. We have not been able to take the cameras into the bars
late at night. The lobbying, oh, I tell you, if the voters and if the
viewers of Britain knew what went on at these events they would be
You have to stay tuned for that. It is coming up in the next hour.
There's more, we'll be back at 2pm this afternoon here on BBC Two with
live and uninterrupted, at least we hope it will be uninterrupted David
Cameron's speech. Two of the finest, the Guardian's
Allegra Stratton and Iain Martin. What do you make of all of this -
pay off your credit card, the Prime Minister says? It is chaotic. It
may not end up in the speech. If you talk to the Osborne team about
why don't you do a tax cut, they will say, "hang on we don't want a
recovery that is on the backs of people spending more money,
consuming more stuff." That was the problem of the economy under Blair
and Brown. They are economically pure. They think if we start...
Everyone is talking about the paradox of thift. If you look at
the figures, people are paying down their credit cards. When they talk
about paying down the debt, it's the Government that's not paying
down the debt. It will go from 900 billion to 1.4 trillion. So the
Government is telling us to pay off its debt while the Government is
adding 500 billion to its own debt - is that the position we're in?
Absolutely. They came to this conference needing to lay out a
serious agenda for growth. They have failed on that. Figures have
been put out which show if people paid off the credit card debt there
would be a slash to growth of 0.25%. I think they didn't think it
through. They are obsessed with this credit card analogy. They
think that is how they've got through to the public, this
otherwise difficult an algae has made it -- analogy. They went too
far with this, and pay off your store card thing. They were shocked
when all the journalists seized on it as the story. So, do you think
that the two peas -- Ps were bigger than the two Es in the Prime
Minister's degree. He's very proud of the big E. Let's look at the
figures. To get the growth rate predicted, they are unlikely to get
these between now and 2015. Consumer credit rises by almost
�600 billion. We add to the credit card. It's unfair to ask you, but I
don't understand how you reconcile that. You're dealing a Tory
leadership, modernisers. When they took over they didn't expect it to
be about economics. It was a settled issue in 2005-2006.
Sharing the growth? If only there was growth to share. Then the crash
hits in 2008. They find themselves without a credible policy. They
could not say, "we told you so." Since then, they have made it up
since they go along. The reason why I think the politics of this is
difficult for them, I would suggest, is that you use the word "Chaotic."
I use the word "Turmoil." Yet the backdrop is economic chaos. It is a
grim, grim backdrop. What is happening does not encourage
competence. In 200 when David Cameron was doing his pre--- 2008
when David Cameron was doing his pre-election speech, and George
Osborne had to go to London. George Osborne is preoccupied with
that. I have to say, with this I don't
think they were pushing, seriously pushing this economic argument.
They would, I think they were trying to make a point. They didn't
realise.... This is a conference without many policy stories. They
didn't realise if you went forward with two journalists then they will
go for language. Talking about credit cards means they think they
are connecting with ordinary people. What do you make of this overall
mood? Where is this conference at now? It's been the most boring Tory
conference since Robert Peel laid out a manifesto.
Broadcasting was challenging then. I had to hold a lantern in those
days. There's a sense, at the end of this season, of politics being
in a holding patd tern and none has reallyal -- pattern and none has
really altered. Final thought from you? They are happy. Look at the
Europe debate, they are happy they have managed to contain that.
Despite the cat. Despite the cat- flap, which was again chaotic!
Over to Jo now. Thank you. It's been quite a 12 months for the
partners of the coalition. This time last year, they might have
thought that Britain would be on its way to economic recovery.
Instead the world has been hit by a second economic crisis and the most
sustained drop in living standards since the 1920's is predicted. They
are putting a brave face on things. At this time of great national
challenge, two parties have come together to help make it happen.
The longer you leave it, the worse it gets. You pay more interest,
millions of pounds, every single day that goes to the foreign
Governments we owe. We will withdraw child benefit from
households with a higher rate tax band. David Cameron says the
changes to tax benefit are tough but fair? They are tough, I am not
sure about fair. Will the cuts hurt? They will hurt. The gamble
from the men from the Treasury is they will also work. We will ensure,
like every solvent household in the country, that what we buy we can
afford. That the bills we incur we have the income to meet.
sprinted through a long, complex list of benefits to be cut. Every
I am here for people who have been knocked off from benefits. We need
to move away from the system we've had for 20 years where ministers
dictate everything that happens in schools.
Under the new system, everyone will pay back less than what they pay
under the current system. The poorest will pay less. The richest
will pay more. Only the Prime Minister could treble tuition fees
and then claim it's a better deal for students.
323. Three-quarters of the Government's
majority had been wiped out. "Shame", Labour MPs called, but it
was too late. We need a social recovery to mend the broken society.
To me, that is what the "big society" is all about. I don't see
how you can build a bigger society when you're harming the very
organisations at the heart of communities who are delivering that
We will not delay in taking the action that is necessary.
Pause, listen to reflect and to improve our NHS modernisation plans.
Almost every hand raised in protest, almost every nurse here, angry.
wanted us to make clear that competition is not there for its
own sake, but to make life better To be fair to my right honourable
friend, the, he's only been in his job for a year. He's doing a superb
job. There's plenty more fuel in The Liberal Democrats made up this
Parliament and they seem to be influencing our school policy,
health, immigration and abortion. Does the Prime Minister think it's
time he told the Deputy Prime Minister who is the boss.
Calm down, dear. Calm down. Listen to the doctor.
Conservative vote has proved to be more robust. They were doing well
against their coalition partners, Do you have any regrets?
With 20/20 hindsight and all that follows I would not have offered
him the job. I suspect he would not have taken it. If it turns out I've
been lied to, that would be a moment for a profound apolicy. In
that event, I can tell you I will not fall short. It's not about
whether Mr Coulson lied to him. It's about all the warnings the
Prime Minister ignored. All of us would have what hoped to
have avoided the use of force. This could have been complied with if
Gaddafi complied with the resolution. The fact is he didn't.
Colonel Gaddafi said he would hunt you down like rats, but you showed
the courage of lions and we salute your courage.
There are pockets of our society that are not just broken, but
frankly sick. Europe's economic crisis is
spreading. A warn from the EU commission. The debt contagion now
threatens Italy and Spain.... Tonight, at 10pm, another surge in
unemployment. Britain will stick to the deficit
plan we have set out. It is the rock of stability on which our
I am joined now by three backbenchers, Andrea Leadsom, Jacob
Rees-Mogg and Anna Soubry. Welcome to all of you. Let's reflect on
that for a moment. Anna, the high point for you over the past year? I
think the high point about the coalition is it's working well.
you think id wouldn't? It is so new to have two parties who fought an
election coming together in the national interests. It has worked
out really well. It's a difficult time. The economy is go ing to...
Whatever we do. It is such a big, serious problem. Is it difficult to
say, on that basis, if you look at some things which were picked in
that film, we had the AV referendum, Libya. Yet on this biggest issue,
on the economy, on economic growth, David Cameron struggled to find the
message, that appears to have been reflected today in some of the
speech which have been put out beforehand? The message is right,
that it's serious and it's going to be wrong. It's going to be long.
About the message about what people should do? They should pay down
their debt. They have to restructure, not just the
Government, but individuals as well. There was too much debt within the
system and until debt is repaid, we can't begin to have a well-founded
recovery. Is that wise to your constituents, at a time when many
of them cannot afford to pay off those bills? It is wise to tell
people the truth, even if it is an unpalatable one. Won't people think
he doesn't get the situation, he being David Cameron. If he is
telling people to pay off their credit card bills at a time they
are struggling with family income, he has missed the point, hasn't he?
I don't think so at all. My constituency bag is full of letters
from people saying they understand the need for cuts. Yes, the cuts,
but what about telling individuals? We want to create a better world
for our children. We can go on to Don't you want people to spend? The
message has been that growth is the biggest priority and you are
telling people to stay at home. That is a contradictory message.
is after a fashion. Not everybody is indebted. You want people who
can spend to promote growth but equally you do not want people to
be indebted. As it has been said time and time again, you cannot
spend your way up of debt. You have to sort out, balance your books,
whether it is your house or books on national books, and then you can
move on a positive way. They growth figures have been revised downwards,
albeit slightly, and David Cameron's message is, pull up the
drawbridge. She relates it to her own constituents. Not everybody is
in debt. A lot of people are and they know, because people have been
so responsive and have been paying off their credit card debts and we
are saying, continued to do that. Those who do who are the good
people who have taken sensible measures and he will continue to
spend because they are managing their family finances -- is
possibly. That might strike a chord with women because a lot of them
deal with family finances. Why is David Cameron not getting through
to women voters? I do think we can generalise. -- don't. There are
certain sections of Women voters who have fallen away from us. Some
of those are because unfortunately the cuts have hit women who work in
the public sector because traditionally more women work in
the public sector than men. Obviously people will be less
enamoured with a government they see responsible for them losing
their jobs. The policies are hitting women harder. In some
respects that is true and it is unfortunate. He cannot generalise -
- you cannot. David admitted, in terms of trying to attract them up.
It has been a great pain. Is it about the policies or is it about
Do you think he needs to do more to attract the fairer sex? If we have
the right policies and they succeed, the people of Britain will support
the Conservatives. Having gimmicks, for whatever part of the community,
men, women, whatever, is not right. It is setting your course, sticking
to it, and getting the economy right. And that his policies. What
about as a leader? A personal appeal? I think he has great appeal.
To men and women. Is he showing the right leadership qualities? There
has been debate about the leadership needed now in terms of
the economy. He is a fantastic leader. He is a genuinely
empathetic Person. He gets on well with people and is honest and
forthright. I think he is superbly done. And the media have chosen
unfortunately to pick on two incidents in the chamber when at
the time we laughed about, men and women. The story the next day was
that if -- different to our understanding. And the choices we
have made as a party. In spite of the need to get small businesses
going again, to get the economy going again, to do as much as we
can to get regulation and red tape to enable tables to get going, we
We are showing a balance of the economies. It is about families.
When we came on air, I told you that the Prime Minister's people
brief that the speech would tell us to pay of a credit card bills and I
suggested this created turmoil and that some finesse of redrafting of
the speech was going on. I can tell you now, from Nick Robinson, his
aides are saying that what she wrote in the papers and heard and
the BBC this morning was actually due to "sloppy drafting". And the
briefing for the unfinished speech. Whereas in the original draft he
was going to tell us that means households, all of us, paying off
the credit card and store card bills, he will now have redrafted
to say, the only way out of the debt crisis is to deal with your
debts. That is why households and none of us are paying off the
credit card and store card bills. Already a change. It is hardly a
sign of competence he cannot get it right. It is a debt crisis. The
answer is not to stack up additional borrowing. And I think
the Prime Minister is right to say that we had a crisis in the economy
in this country and in other countries, precipitated by debt in
this country, not only government, that carried on borrowing and
failing to invest when it could have done. And also many households
at a cost to a level of debt that was unsustainable. If we have
recovery that is sustainable, it will have to be based, as the Prime
Minister and Chancellor of Exchequer have made clear, on
Investment. And exports. Unsustainable consumer spending --
and sustainable consumer spending. You have said the only way out is
not to recover more debt. cannot escape for a debt crisis by
borrowing more. So why is the Government adding �500 billion to
our debt? Because we have a clear debt reduction plan. You don't
actually. We have a deficit reduction plan. Part of that means
you will add between now and 2015 �500 billion in debt. Which is far
less than the Labour Party were planning to do. And it takes us to
a place where the annual deficit, it is brought back into balance.
And that his watch... From the point of view of funding debt, you
have to be in a position where you are not adding to it from annual
deficits at a place that is unsustainable. You have told us you
cannot get out of a debt crisis by adding to our debts. That is what
you're telling individuals. You are part of a government that is adding
half a trillion pounds to our debt! both statements cannot be right.
inherited a situation which nothing meal out debt to balloon, but the
deficit to reach a place where literally we were borrowing more
for what did he than Greece. We have to come to a place, and
readmitted after the election, through the deficit reduction plan,
how we were going to take an unsustainable deficit on the
Government's finances to a point were the deficit has been
If you have household debt, you should not max out on credit cards
butchered a stop you have to live within your means. When people's
pay is not keeping price with rising prices, when taxes are
rising, particularly in the middle income levels, where people are put
into the 40% tax brackets, you are taking obey their child benefit.
And you are lecturing them to pay off their credit card bills? I am
not lecturing them. All of us are in a position where we have to live
within our means. We'll have occasions when we borrow to invest.
We have mortgages. Nobody suggests that we shouldn't have borrowing
where it makes sense. The housing market is a great example. If you
get to a place where you are borrowing at levels that are
completely unsustainable and not related to the security in your
house, it cannot carry on. The same is true for stalked card debts and
credit cards. Is it part of the Government's economic policy, then,
that consumer debt should come down? It is the Government's policy
to ensure sustainable recovery. it part of the Government policy
that, as we'll get rid of this debt bubble, that consumer debts have to
be reduced? I don't believe the Government has any target for
consumer debt. He had been telling us to get rid of our credit card
debts. It is clear that whether it is a household or the country, we
cannot get out of the debt crisis by expanding our debt. The issue is,
each of us, what we have to do is move to a more sustainable path. It
is that export and competitiveness. The Prime Minister will say this
afternoon the only way out of the debt crisis is to deal with your
debts. This is the new draft. That is why households are paying off
credit card bills. That is the Government policy. It is fact.
is all of your growth forecast assumes that consumer debt will
rise by �600 billion between now and 2015? The Treasury forecasts
are their estimation, their understanding of what they
anticipate will happen. The basis of your gross factors, your growth
projections, assumed consumer debt will rise by �600 billion, not �400
billion? Do you know what you're doing? Absolutely. It is shifting
from an economic situation which is unsustainable because it is based
on rising government debt and rising household debt that was not
cake will have been repaid to a position where it is. There's
nothing wrong with people financing themselves through borrowing, but
if they do so on a sustainable basis. Are you aware that your
government's own projections show household debt rising in the next
three years? I remember the budget and other components of GDP for the
future, and there are estimates of what level of investment and
expenditure by consumers and government. Are you aware household
debt is projected to rise in order to meet your future growth
prospects? It is not to meet them. When you calculate what they
anticipate the level of GDP is, level of consumer credit is a
component of that. It is not we are targeting for consumers to borrow a
given level of money. It is about individuals, households, the
Government, moving from unsustainable debts as a basis for
economic recovery to one that is sustainable. You have baffled me.
Should consumer debt rise or fall? Individual consumer debt is a
matter for individual households. The Government's job is to make
sure but on behalf of the taxpayers and public we do not allow our
economy to the damage in the way Labour did by unsustainable
borrowing. I think we had better The Tories and their coalition
partners, the Lib Dems, happiness thick as thieves for over a year.
He has benefited the most on the These are the last minutes of the
conference. Which party has benefit this funding in the coalition? --
which parted has benefited the most from the coalition? It looks as
though neither of them. They got power for the first time. And if
they play it right, they can show they are a party that is worthy of
having power given to them. Is it to the detriment of you guys?
I think we've, I shouldn't say get away with, a lot of our policies.
Why have you gone for that? Well, I think they've ruined quite a lot of
Tory policies. Such as? Well, I think that we'd be harsher on
Europe, for one thing and the economy as welt. You worked very
hard for many years to have a Conservative Government and
Conservative policies and the Liberal Democrats are, some of
their policies are quite ridiculous. Which party has done best out of
the coalition? Why would you say that? Because they have a very
small size of the vote and a very large slice of the influence and
it's not right. I have an admiration for them. Of course they
are wrong on almost everything. That's because they are Liberal
Democrats. There is a chaos theory answer to this.... No, we simply
cannot find out, I am afraid. We both have benefits but not nearly
as much as the country. The liberals didn't want it. They
are scared stiff of it. They don't know what to do with it. I think
the Liberal Democrats should be grateful to have the chance of
having some junior ministerial positions. Whoops!
Take two! The sooner we can ditch them, the better. How about you?
agree. Why do you say that? Because they
didn't have any profile previously. We have been propped up by the
Liberal Democrats who have done very well themselves. Without the
Liberal Democrats we would not have got anything. We have some of our
manifesto put in. It is not ideal, We're doing a poll for The Daily
Politics.... No Andrew Mitchell for Well, the balls have been flying
thick and fast. Let's see where they have been flying to. After an
early start, where people were scathing about the Lib Dems, it
seems now the Tories think they are getting the most benefit.
Have you had a lot of liberal people in? No Lib Dems here. Why
are you so surprised when you see that result? I have to say, the
liberal tail is wagging the Conservative dog. How these guys
who are in Government, with their red boxes and enjoying stuff
enormously, let's face it, hardly anyone voted for them. They must
have done better out of it than we have. The bags are empty. Look
where they have gone. The majority of Tory delegates think they are
getting the benefit. A fair few thought the Lib Dems were and they
were very mean about them. A clear... He started to talk before
I introduced him. Brian Binley, does it surprise you
to see that? I think the British people didn't want another election.
They certainly didn't want Gordon Brown. We have a lot of
Conservative policy on the move. There's a problem with some
activists who have a perception, not only through rhetoric, but
through activity that the tail wags the dog a little too much. We hear
a lot from MPs, Conservative MPs, in the House, and also from
activists here, who feel they have too much influence, bearing in mind
they are far fewer in number. you are in the House, you see a lot
of the rhetoric traded back and forth across the debating chamber.
Let's think about policies, specifically. We heard somebody
there saying "We would have been harsh on Europe, got rid of the 50p
tax rate." Do you think these have been real down-sides for the
Conservatives and coalition or not? I doubt we would have gained more
from powers from Europe. The problem has been the eurozone. That
will give us potentially an opportunity. Do you characterise
the coalition as a necessary evil or a positive collaboration? It has
been good for British politics and good for the nation generally. I
would disagree a little with Jesse. We would have been more robust on
Europe. How? I think the words we would have used. It would not have
been policy. You could not have brought back any powers? You only
have to see how some Conservatives voted, particularly on support for
the eurozone to know that, I think, we would have been less forthcoming
in that respect. George has put on a brave face. A lot of the
Conservative Party would have wanted us to have been less
forthcoming. The NHS Bill, that's been watered down somewhat because
of the liberal presence. I think that we would have had a boulder
Bill, which I think would have been more useful to the patients of this
country. Do you agree with that? would have had a boulder Bill on
the NHS. On the eurozone I don't think much would have changed. The
eurozone has continued to be worse. We are massively implicated even
though we have not signed 7 to more money over and -- that was of and
above pledged at the time. Are you hoping it will be a majority?
Conservative. I think we should have a Conservative Party leading
next time around. The Conservative Party is a National Party. What
we're seeing here is a decision by the delegates here to reflect the
nation's interest in the form of coalition. That's why they are
comfortable with coalition. One of the tensions reflected by Nick
Clegg's speech, he said, clearly, the Human Rights Act is here to
stay. Is it? No. Not in its present form. He says it is. You could have
worries and then look at repeal. Repeal has a lot of issues. We
would be bound by the.... Would you like to see it. Do you think Nick
Clegg is wrong? I'm one of the few people who think the Human Rights
Act is an impeccable piece of legislation. It was brought into
law by Winston Churchill. The Human Rights Convention was
brought into effect, not the act, which was brought into effect by
Tony Blair. As you know, Brian, they are identical word for word.
It's the same language. What about the British Bill of Rights. That
will not happen, will it? interesting thing will be how it
will be able to take the right tradition that the Conservatives
have supported of basic freedoms for human beings and through into a
new instrument. Take a badge before you go, please. I know you like all
of them, "Don't panic" "love the coalition." Who is your favourite
Liberal Democrats? I like Mark Hunter. I am not spoilt for choice.
I like Martin Horwood. He is my neighbour in Cheltenham. We will go
back to the conference floor where William Hague has been speaking.
are putting forward the real growth agenda, which is what Europe
desperately needs. It does not need any more institutions, costly
regulations, cumbersome directives or a single more bureaucrat. It
needs burdens on businesses, lifted the expansion of the single market
and a passionate belief in the benefits of trade. It is now
acknowledged that when we said that joining the euro would be a
disaster for Britain, we were right. When we said.... APPLAUSE
When we said that Labour should not have let us get sucked into the
eurozone bail outs, we were right. Now, thanks to David Cameron,
European bail outs for Greece will not call on the British taxpayer.
When we said... APPLAUSE When we said the costs of the EU
budget were out of control, we were right. Now, we have had
unprecedented success in bringing it under control.
When we said that no more areas of power should go to the EU, we were
right. Now, thanks to the European Union Act, 2011, bylaw, that cannot
happen without a referendum in this country.
APPLAUSE. And we are just as right that the European Union has more
power in our national life than it should have.
I belief as strongly as I ever have that when the right moments come
this party should set out to reduce that power.
APPLAUSE 14 years ago I predicted the
eurozone would become a burning building with no exits. But because
the eurozone countries are our friends and neighbours, because our
prosperity and financial stability is tide to theirs, we must now
support them in their efforts to quench the flames.
That was William Hague. The foreign affairs theme continued on the
conference floor with a speech from the Defence Secretary, Liam Fox.
There are those in Europe who are calling for the EU to take a
greater role in Europe's security. Let me tell you, Europe already has
a guarantor of its defence. It's called NATO.
It is nonsense to duplicate and divert from NATO at a time when
resources are scarce. The last thing we need is more EU
You know, many of those calling for deeper EU defence integration are
already failing to fulfil the commitments they have made to NATO.
My message to them is clear: You cannot expect to have the insurance
policy, but ask oh thisers to pay the premiums for u.
-- for you. APPLAUSE
NATO must maintain its primacy in European defence. NATO is the
alliance that keeps the United States in Europe and that is not a
luxury, it is a necessity. APPLAUSE
At a time when we are reducing the number of military headquarters in
NATO, where I shall be this afternoon, it is not the time to
start increasing them in the European Union. That is why William
Hague vetoed the long-term Euro- aspiration of creating a permanent
EU military headquarters. APPLAUSE
That was the Secretary of State for defence. He'd just had his 50th
birthday. Mrs Thatcher turned up. That is an achiefment. We don't do
titles on this programme. We have a man with one though, he is
International Development Secretary, he is Andrew Mitchell. Welcome back
to The Daily Politics. In charge of foreign aid,s we used to call it,
and you are increasing the budget, spending billions more. What's it
like to be at a Tory conference in charge of the least popular policy
of your party? Well, I think it's getting better understood and
increasingly popular. Some of the polling suggests that is the case.
I've had the chance to make a speech at the conference on Sunday,
where I set out the reasons for this, that even in these extremely
difficult economic times we have a plan that stands by commitments on
development. We do this because it's the right thing to do and very
much in our national interest. you accept that there could be
circumstances where you couldn't keep to that commitment? Well, it
is a commitment on the size of the national cake. It is not a fixed
figure. I think that is the right
commitment to make. We have set out very clearly,
George Osborne set it out earlier this year, very clearly what our
spending plans are. We have every intention of sticking to those
plans. If the economy goes into recession, which is now a
possibility, you don't have to blame the Government for that -
look at events abroad, if the eurozone goes into meltdown,
unemployment starts to soar, living standards collapse more. Will you
still continue with our commitment to spend billions on overseas aid?
We are clear that is the case because it is the right thing and
you see British support for that and the -- in the response across
Britain to the disaster, for example in the Horn of Africa at
the moment, where times are straightened than in the past,
people are more generous. It is part of the British character, I
think. It is also very important for our national security. This
budget goes to ensure that we are more secure. Our security does not
only gained by guns and bullets, but by training the police in
Afghanistan, building up Government structures in the Middle East,
getting girls into schools in the Horn of Africa. Those things, as
well as guns and bullets help protect our security. It is hard to
prove any of it. You boost about spending money in schools in
Pakistan. You spend a fraction of what the Saudis spend in Pakistan.
Those schools are different from the ones you are spending on. That
bit is true, isn't it? The ma dra is as. Which is what the Saudis pay
for. Some are doing extremely good work at teaching kids the basics of
life. A lot are Islamic fundamentalist hot beds. I have
seen evidence that some of them are doing good work at teaching
children to read, write and count well. What we're seeking to do is
get four million children into school over the next four years in
Pakistan. I cannot think anything more that would frustrate the
terrorists' aims than having a well educated population. The bombers on
9/11 were well educated? That is not the point. They are reacting to
some of the very extreme causes of poverty that they see in their own
country. What we know is doing development upstream in countries
like Somalia and Afghanistan is more effective at tackling the
causes of before they spread out, where you have to handle the
Do you accept that 70% of the people he would rather protect the
collapse in police numbers and finance your department's budget?
think the number of people in the Conservative Party who have
reservations about the development budget is falling all the time. The
reason is that we are getting across this Plaid about it being
the right thing to do and in our national interest. We have made our
plans which have secured international recognition and
respect, which is why we have German rates of interest, although
we have Greek levels of debt, and those plans include giving strong
support to the police, making sure the front line is preserved, and
making sure we have strong defence forces for this country. That was
the result of the SDR last year. And also standing by hour of
international commitments and not balancing out books on the poorest
people. You are tax in the country highly in order to finance things
like your department -- you're taxing. Living standards are being
squeezed as never before. Not as 1925 according to the Governor of
the Bank of England. And yet the Tories are urging hard-pressed
people to spend even more in your area, give more of their own money.
Why are you doing that? If there are the billions more out of their
tax when they are hurting, why do they then have to dig into their
pockets even deeper? If you have seen the broadcast, when we see it,
it is a very good use of a party political broadcast. The is a bunch
of rich people asking ordinary people to give money. Every which
are one has contributed. They can afford it. It is creative use of a
political broadcast. If you look at Comic Relief for the last two years,
although each year the economy has got more difficult, people have
been more generous. It is part of the British DNA. Should people, if
they have spare cash, should they use it to give money in the way you
Apology for the loss of subtitles for 43 seconds
Of the future, that is the slogan. William Hague started it off last
year. Last year we had a tricky time with the actor must stop the
him sharing a bedroom with his special adviser. This year the
relationship is back on. And now we embark on a difficult task, to take
the country that Gordon Brown and all those who run the Labour Party
had their hands on for 13 years is to make it strong again. And that
And there he with, rare footage showed him with a backbencher.
You can see consistentsy. It will be welcomed by all those
people in the country. Downing Street talking to backbenchers is
not the only arm-bending that goes on at this conference. Look at
this! That's the sort of thing that the
Treasury does to statistics. Let's be honest, all politicians
treem of standing here, at -- dream of standing here, at the door of
Number Ten. The Mayor of London gave his routine speech, so routine
that parts were heated from last year. The delegates liked him and
he goes down very well. Is he really credible for this place? I'm
not convinced. We are insisting on homes that are
big enough for families with children and rooms big enough for
human beings, rather than hobbits. None of us, as you may have noticed,
none of us are getting any smaller. Boris lacks the seriousness of
George Osborne. The Chancellor gave a speech about deficit reduction.
It did have that pattern of gravity. His speech did not lift off.
The activists gairve him respebgtdable applause -- gave him
5th 4th May are in a debt crisis will stop you cannot borrow your
way out of debt. And so we reached the end, and I cannot say I am
sorry. There has been a decadence Quercus. We have not taken the
cameras into that bars. But the drinking has been sybaritic. The
lobbying by, if the voters and viewers of Britain knew what went
on at these events, they would be horrified!
We found three delegates. Don Valley Color of Pete Babri and
Theodora Clark. Where are the rule of delegates? The Tory grass roots?
Are you one of them? Yes I am for a stop I am not a researcher and I do
not work for an MP but I still has a parliamentary candidate last year.
There are some good financial reasons why a lot of people from
the grassroots level do not come first but it is quite expensive to
come to this conference, I feel for a star or so you agree that it is
not the same that it has been in previous years? Very much so. It
would be good if we could suggest that we have a single day passes.
Rather than having to come though the entire period. To me you agree?
Has it been hijacked by lobby and its? I wouldn't say so. I would say
I am so the cut Tory activist for a stop I think that is representative
of a whole lot of people who are here. It would you like to hear
from the speech? It will be a He must also tell the economy and
show he is the right leader to work it out. Is it the right message,
asking people to pay off their bills? We do it? How many people
can genuinely pay-off their bills? You are still struggling, even
though interest rates alone. When I do not we come something -- why do
not come up with something inevitable? A had not have a credit
card before stuck -- I do not have. The importance of this is, and part
of conference is not just talking to activists, and giving a message
to the whole country. There is an important message in, reducing your
debt, in respecting the weight with the -- in respect of the way we
We are joined to -- by our BBC political editor, Nick Robinson for
a stop there seems to be term there, Caersws, shambles, well over the
strutting -- there seems to the turmoil, chaos. The Prime Minister
and his aides have read and heard her players suggesting he wants
people to pay off their credit card. It implies he will stand up there
and say I cannot stop spending for a stop which would be catastrophic
first stop what is being said is, Look, mistakes are made in
briefings and sometimes you say something and you realise that is
not going the way we thought it would be. We have to change course,
and that is what has happened here. The problem, I would suggest, for
them, is it is hard... I cannot remember covering a party
conference when the economic backdrop was grimmer, it is grimmer
than the Lehman Brothers' backdrop. You have to go back to 1968 to get
a grimmer one. Voters will be looking for a sense of competence
and they know what a're doing and saying. It is hard. He's walking a
tightrope. On one hand he wants - that is the message they wanted -
he wants a message of hope and optimism, saying this is what the
future could look like. He does not want to be accused of having
hopelessly in denial or unrealistic. That was the tightrope they were
focusing on staying on. He has fallen on something different,
which is to do with economic competence. I tell you why this has
happened, which is, and it happened before the last election - the
truth is, politicians have deliberately blurred the issue of
debt and the deficit. Andrew Lansley sitting in that
chair.... Why? When they do market research - people understand the
notion of debt and they fear it and don't like it. When the
Conservatives attacked Gordon Brown they always use the word "debt." He
would say "our debt is not particularly big." The argument was
about the deficit. In other words, the debt at which -- the rate at
which the debt is getting bigger. By using household parallels, which
are not accurate.... Gets them into trouble. It is your birthday. This
will help you pay off the Nic Robinson credit card bill. Would
you like to open it? Have you seen this expensive wrapping paper?
Quick, we're running out of time. Thank you very much. A United scarf.
I was at Old Trafford on Saturday. 2-0 against Norwich. Very, very