Tory Conference: Cameron’s “aspiration nation”

9:46 pm - October 10th 2012

by Shantel Burns    

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Prime Minister David Cameron, has offered himself as the leader of an ‘aspiration nation’ during his closing speech at the Conservative Party conference in Birmingham.

Mr Cameron claimed that aspiration was the “engine of progress” and that it was his government’s mission to “unleash and unlock” the promise in “all our people.”

Throughout his speech, Cameron aimed to rid the party of its rich and fortunate image. Cameron said:  “They call us the party of the better off…no: we are the party of the want to be better off.”

He continued this by saying that the Conservatives were just not good for the successful and strong but also, he said that Tory methods were: “the best way to help the poor and the weak and the vulnerable.”  This a phrase that will no doubt cause many people who have been affected by “Conservative methods” to highly question the validity of the Prime Ministers speech. With cuts to disability payments and benefits it’s hard to see how exactly the Conservatives are helping the poor and vulnerable.

The Prime Minister also reinforced his policy at looking to end automatic housing benefit for people under 25. He said:

“If hard-working young people have to live at home while they work and save, why should it be any different for those who don’t?”

Cameron said the reason why his party want to reform schools, cut welfare dependency and to reduce government spending is because “we’re the Tories whose ideas help everyone – the poorest the most.”

Mr Cameron said to those who complain about his own “posh school education” that he wants every child to have the same kind of Etonian (although he never once mentioned Eton) education that he received.

He continued by saying that he was not here to “defend privilege; I’m here to spread it”. He accused Labour and the left of creating a ‘toxic’ culture which creates a lack of ambition for every child.

In a further attack on Labour, Cameron accused the party of having “one notion – borrowing”, a play on Ed Milliband’s “One Nation” concept.  Cameron repetitively used the word ‘borrowing’ to highlight Labour perceived weakness. He stated that he honestly thought “Labour hasn’t learnt a single thing”.


Is Cameron’s Britain really a nation of aspiration? Or do the copious cuts to benefits, EMA and increased tuition fees make the idea of an “aspiration nation” redundant?

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About the author
Shantel Burns is a News Editor at Liberal Conspiracy, and a publishing and journalism student and current affairs nerd. Blogs at: too.
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Story Filed Under: Conservative Party ,Education ,Equality ,News

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Reader comments

Aspiration. Does he mean sucking up?

I aspire to live in a country where everyone who is able to work has a right to a secure job paying a decent living wage with decent conditions. Where those who are unable to work are allowed a comfortable standard of living and are treated with dignity and respect. Where rampant inequality doesn’t tear at the social fabric, and everyone has a stake in their own existence.

Who can I vote for?

It would be laughable if it was not so cringe worthy. The tory party is the party of the rich. Always has been and always will be. It is funded by a few thousand millionaires and billionaires. There is nothing wrong with that. Politics is about choice. But when you use the poor and the weak as human shields that you hide behind, then you are the most despicable human beings.

When the rich pass policies for themselves, but pretend that their policies are for the poor you know these people are both selfish and morally bankrupt as human beings. If you want to cut the 50p tax rate to 45p at a time when you say the deficit is all important, fine. But have the integrity to admit you are doing it for the rich, not the poor.

As JK Galbraith one said. ….” The modern conservative is engaged in one of man’s oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness.”

4. Corinne Stockheath


No, I think it means he’s given up dropping his “h”s

5. Chaise Guevara

“If hard-working young people have to live at home while they work and save, why should it be any different for those who don’t?”

Yep, once again we have the assumption that all young people are able to live with their parents. Is he ignorant or just callous?

Also: “”If hard-working middle-aged people are able to claim housing benefits while they work and save, why should it be any different for the young?”

@Chaise – It is a piss poor assumption they’re making too, have they really forgotten the lack of any sort of legal requirement to house your own children past a certain age?
Or perhaps they’re really unaware of just how many kids actually do get kicked out of a household.

7. Man on Clapham Omnibus

Say what you like about the Tories but now you can shoot who you like on your own property I have changed my whole opinion about their common sense approach . I am only hoping they’ll soon widen the legislation so we can enjoy the same privileges as the Metropolitan police and shoot anyone we like with impunity.

8. Chaise Guevara

@ 6 Cylux

To be honest, they’re probably struggling with the concept of a home that doesn’t have a couple of spare rooms.

There are just so many reasons you might not be able to live with your parents as a young adult. Parents downsized to a smaller house. Parents moved abroad. Parents died. Parents aren’t talking to you. Parents just want their own space.

Even if you can live with your parents, it’s not gonna do you much good if they live in a small town with no opportunities, and you don’t have a car or a large budget for public transport. This little initiative is a great way to turn earnest young people into long-term benefit dependents.

9. Man on Clapham Omnibus


no one in Britain that’s for sure.

I really don’t know but as far as I can see the aspiration of millions were sucked out of them in the 80’s and pushed many to become welfare dependant during that time which has now left a couple of generations hopeless.
At least Labour tried to address and sort the social mess that the Tories had bequeathed them in 1997.

No offence to the author, but when did Liberal Conspiracy start writing purely descriptive reports about things that anyone who’s remotely politically engaged would already know about without any kind of analysis or novel angle?

12. The Infamous Culex

I aspire to piss on Cameron’s grave.


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