Theresa May – 2012 Speech to Conservative Party Conference

theresamay

Below is the text of the speech made by the Home Secretary, Theresa May, to the Conservative Party Conference on 9th October 2012.

Wasn’t it great to say goodbye – at long last – to Abu Hamza and those four other terror suspects on Friday?

So let’s pay tribute to the work of the police, prosecutors and Security Service who keep us safe every day.

And in particular, let’s thank them for delivering a safe and secure Olympic and Paralympic Games.

And let’s thank the officers of the West Midlands Police and others, who are doing such a good job for us here in Birmingham.

I’d also like to introduce my excellent team of ministers. James Brokenshire, the Security Minister, who did such good work in planning for the Olympics. Lord Taylor of Holbeach, our excellent minister in the House of Lords.

Damian Green, who will continue police reform and get to grips with the criminal justice system. Jeremy Browne, our Lib Dem minister who wants to get tough on organised crime. And Mark Harper, who shares my determination to keep on cutting immigration.

This year’s Conference marks the halfway point of this Parliament.

And I’ve been in politics long enough to know that every day counts. We waited thirteen long years in opposition.

We’ve been back in government for two and a half years. And in just two and a half more we’ll be facing the country again. Fighting for an overall Conservative majority and a Conservative government.

But now we’re half way through our first term in office since 1997, I think it’s time to look back at some of the things we’ve already achieved.

Welfare reform, so never again will it make sense to sit at home instead of getting a job.

Taxes cut for people who do the right thing, go out to work, and earn a modest wage.

School reform, so every child in Britain can achieve their potential, no matter where they’re from.

The first veto of a European treaty ever issued by a Prime Minister.

Proper controls on immigration, the first significant falls in net migration since the 1990s, and much more to come.

None of that would have happened without the Conservatives back in government. So let’s be proud of what David Cameron and this Government are achieving.

Everybody knows that our biggest task is the economic rescue mission our country so desperately needs. Dealing with a record deficit and Labour’s debt crisis takes time and it takes difficult decisions. We’re a government prepared to take those difficult decisions, and by doing so we’ve already eliminated a quarter of the deficit we inherited from Ed Balls and Gordon Brown.

My first job was at the Bank of England. So I know there isn’t a shortcut to economic growth, especially after a financial crisis and while our biggest export market, the Eurozone, is in such trouble. But government can lay the foundations for growth by keeping down interest rates, minimising business taxes, cutting out red tape, and investing in our infrastructure. And that is exactly what George Osborne and this Government are doing.

To those who think there is an alternative – that if only we turned the tap back on and started spending again, everything will be better – let’s remember what Margaret Thatcher said in 1980:

“If spending money like water was the answer to our country’s problems, we would have no problems now … Those who urge us to relax the squeeze … are not being kind or compassionate or caring. They are not the friends of the unemployed or the small business. They are asking us to do again the very thing that caused the problems in the first place.”

Mrs Thatcher’s words were right then, and they’re right now.

So let’s hold our nerve and be confident of what we’re doing in government. Because that’s how we’ll win the next election – staying the course, doing what is right and not just what is easy, governing in the national interest and making clear that the Conservative Party is the home not just of those who have already made it, but the home of those who want to work hard and get on in life.

Like you, I spend a lot of Saturdays knocking on doors. And one of the issues that comes up most often is immigration. Maybe that’s why Ed Miliband gave a speech recently and told us that it’s not racist to worry about immigration.

Thank you, Ed, we knew that, but it’s not what the Labour Party used to say. And we won’t take you seriously until you say sorry, admit immigration is too high, and support us in bringing it under control.

I want to tell you about our immigration policies and what they’re achieving. But first, it’s important to explain why we want to control immigration.

It’s not because, as the liberal elites would have you believe, the British public are bigots. It’s because, if we want our communities to be real communities, with a shared pride in our British identity instead of fragmented, separate identities, we have to understand that a nation is more than a market, and human beings are more than economic units.

It takes time to establish the social bonds that make a community, and that’s why immigration can never again be as rapid or on the same scale as we saw under Labour.

Uncontrolled, mass immigration undermines social cohesion. And in some places, it overburdens our infrastructure and public services. It’s behind more than a third of the demand for all new housing in the UK. And the pressure it places on schools is clear. We see it in London where almost half of all primary school children speak English as a second language.

And we must be honest about the fact that, in some cases, uncontrolled mass immigration can displace local workers and undercut wages. You know, the people who lose out under those policies aren’t the liberal elites. Several studies show that the people who lose out are working class families and established immigrant communities themselves.

When we came to office, we found that official government assessments assumed that there was absolutely no displacement of British workers by immigrants. No wonder all the Whitehall departments were lined up in favour of more and more immigration. So when we asked our independent advisers to look at the effect of immigration on jobs, they found that every 100 non-European working age immigrants were associated with 23 fewer British-born people in work.

And, by the way, Labour knew just what they were doing. According to Jon Cruddas, Ed Miliband’s policy chief, Labour were “using migration to introduce a covert 21st century incomes policy.” That’s right, Labour – the party of the working man and woman – admit that they deliberately used immigration to keep down British wages.

So we will reduce and control immigration.

We’ve put a limit on work visas. We’ve set a minimum salary for people who come here to work. We’ve made it mandatory to speak English if you come here on a marriage visa. We’ve set a minimum income level for anybody who wants to bring a spouse to Britain. We’re looking at the abuse of free movement of people across Europe.

We’re cutting out the abuse of student visas, which was a backdoor route into Britain under Labour. We’re accrediting colleges, restricting the right to work, preventing most students from bringing dependants, and limiting the time they can stay here as a student.

The student visa system was so badly misused that in the last year, we’ve reduced the number of visas issued by more than 90,000, just by cutting out abuse. And that means we can expect immigration to keep on falling. But we will keep on doing everything to get annual net migration back down to the tens of thousands by the end of this Parliament.

Last year, for example, I came to conference and I said “enough is enough” on the misuse of human rights laws. You might remember the speech – Ken Clarke and I spent the next few days arguing about a cat. I said we’d change the immigration rules to end the abuse of Article Eight of the European Convention on Human Rights. One year later, the new rules are in place and ready to be tested by the courts.

I still believe we should scrap the Human Rights Act altogether – but for now, we’re doing everything we can to stop human rights laws getting in the way of immigration controls.

I know there are powerful vested interests who will oppose our immigration policies every step of the way.

They argue that more immigration means more economic growth. But what they mean is more immigration means a bigger population – there isn’t a shred of evidence that uncontrolled, mass immigration makes us better off.

They argue that our cap on economic migration makes us less competitive – but the limit stops economic migration getting out of control; it hasn’t been reached once since it was introduced.

They argue, too, that we need evermore students because education is our greatest export product. I agree that we need to support our best colleges and universities and encourage the best students to come here – but to say importing more and more immigrants is our best export product is nothing but the counsel of despair.

We were elected on a promise to cut immigration, and that is what I am determined we will deliver.

Three weeks ago, the country was united in shock and grief following the brutal murders of Police Constables Fiona Bone and Nicola Hughes.

Their deaths were a dreadful reminder of the risks our police officers take in protecting their communities every day: putting themselves in harm’s way, going into dangerous situations unarmed, not knowing what they might come up against.

We have the finest police officers in the world, and we owe them all a deep debt of gratitude.

The terrible events in Manchester exposed a hidden underbelly of organised crime in this country: criminal gangs, dealing in drugs and guns, laundering money through supposedly legitimate companies, intimidating witnesses and ruling communities by fear. Many of the thugs behind these gangs think they’re untouchable, and in too many cases, they have been.

Official estimates suggest that 30,000 people and 7,500 gangs are involved in organised crime in Britain, at a cost of up to £40 billion to our economy every year. And it’s not an invisible or victimless threat. The drugs pushed on young people on our street corners have been imported by organised gangs. They control the supply of guns and weapons and use them to intimidate entire neighbourhoods. Their huge profits are laundered through seemingly legitimate businesses so the crime bosses can spend their money, free from risk.

We’re getting tough on organised crime. Last year, we launched the first ever cross-government organised crime strategy, so we can bring to bear the full power of the state and its agencies against organised criminals. We’re already seizing more criminal assets than ever before. And we’re establishing the National Crime Agency, which will lead the fight against organised crime, child exploitation, economic crime and border crime, like human trafficking.

I’m determined to give the police and law enforcement agencies the tools they need to take on these gangs. For years, as part of their investigations, law enforcement agencies have had access to telephone records. But now, organised criminals, paedophile rings and terrorists are taking advantage of new technologies, communicating using internet phone services and even video games. That’s why we want to legislate to give the police access to the same information for internet communications as they already have for telephones.

Some say this is a charter for state snooping. I say it’s a nightmare for criminals.

The power would only be available when it’s necessary and proportionate, under the supervision of a senior officer. It would be regulated and overseen by independent watchdogs. And remember, we’re talking about who contacted whom, when and where, nothing more.

So let’s be clear: I don’t want to read everybody’s emails. As Home Secretary I’ve strengthened civil liberty safeguards – not weakened them.

But do we want to see criminals take advantage of new technologies? No. Do we want to see the internet become an unpoliced space? No. Do we want to see terrorists, criminals and paedophiles get away scot-free? No.

We are the Conservative Party, not the Libertarian Party. As Conservatives, we believe the first duty of government is to protect the public. That is why the Conservative Party will always be the party of law and order.

It’s because we are the party of law and order that we are also the party of police reform. And let me be clear: while we have the best police officers in the world, there is every need for reform.

We need to cut the bureaucracy and get back to fighting crime. So we’ve taken an axe to police red tape, saving up to 4.5 million police hours a year and getting the equivalent of an extra 2,100 officers back onto the streets.

We need to give the police the freedom to use their judgement. So we’ve scrapped all police targets and given them a single objective – to cut crime.

We need police forces to be run efficiently with their resources in the right places. So we’re rooting out waste, joining up procurement, and reforming police pay so we reward crime-fighting, not just time served.

Put simply, we need police forces that are single-minded about fighting crime.

But it’s not as simple as me, the Home Secretary, telling the police what they have to do. For years, politicians and bureaucrats have tried to direct police forces in places as different as the West Midlands and Wiltshire. It simply hasn’t worked. So we’re putting the people in charge of policing.

We’ve introduced street-level crime maps so you can find out what is happening where you live, and police.uk has already attracted more than 500 million hits. We’ve made beat meetings compulsory, so neighbourhood policing teams hold meetings with local residents.

But our most transformative change will take place next month. On Thursday 15 November everybody living in England and Wales outside London will have the right to vote for a Police and Crime Commissioner.

These are important jobs, and big elections. The Commissioners will lead the fight against crime in their communities, and they will have significant powers.

They will be responsible for setting police budgets and deciding how much the public pays for policing through council tax.

They will be able to hire – and, if necessary, fire – chief constables.

They will set the policing plan for their force area.

And they will hold their chief constable to account for delivering that plan and cutting crime.

But the Commissioners will be important figures not just because of their formal powers, but because their mandate from the public will allow them to get things done.

Another benefit of giving the public a real voice.

If the police and the local council aren’t working together to deal with problems like noisy neighbours, the Commissioner will be able to bring them together.

If the police need more support from local health services to deal with offending by drug addicts, the Commissioner will be able to make sure they get it.

And I can announce today an important new duty on Police and Crime Commissioners to make sure that victims have a greater say in the punishment of people responsible for anti-social behaviour.

We will change the law so when a criminal receives an out-of-court community punishment, the victim will be given the power to choose the form it takes. They’ll be given a list of options. They might want something restorative or punitive. They might want it to be carried out nearby or as far away as possible. But what matters is that the punishment will be chosen by the victim.

For too long, victims of crime have had no voice – but this Government is giving victims back their voice.

The most important thing about Police and Crime Commissioners is that they will need to stand up for the public and cut crime. If they don’t, they’ll be voted out of their job.

So when you’re telling people to decide who to vote for on 15 November, tell them to ask this: which candidate has the best plan to cut crime in their community?

We’ll be hearing from some of our excellent Commissioner candidates in just a moment, but the thing that sets the Conservative candidates apart in this election is their laser-like focus on cutting crime.

While Labour candidates use these elections to play politics, and the Lib Dems try to make up their minds whether they should even take part, our candidates are talking about how to help their communities by getting tough on crime.

The other important question is: which candidates have the track records that prove that they will be able to get the job done?

Conservative candidates include a former Air Chief Marshal, several magistrates, business men and women and former police officers.

Looking at Labour’s candidates, they seem to think the public are desperate for one last reunion tour of the politicians they rejected at the last election – Lord Prescott and the Has Beens, coming soon to a venue near you.

Labour were the people who told us it was impossible to cut police spending without crime going up, who told us it was impossible to cut spending and protect frontline policing at the same time.

They were wrong on both counts. Thanks to our reforms and the leadership of chief constables, the police are delivering and service to the public is being maintained.

Frontline policing is being protected, there are more neighbourhood police officers, public satisfaction is going up, and crime is going down.

Police reform is working, and the Police and Crime Commissioner elections are the next step towards our vision of police forces that are single-minded about fighting crime, and which answer to the communities they serve.

So go out and tell people to vote Conservative on 15 November.

The Conservative Party:

The party that will take the fight to the criminals.

The party of law and order.

The party that will win the next general election.

Iain Duncan Smith – 2012 Conservative Party Conference Speech

Ian  Duncan Smith
Iain Duncan Smith

Below is the text of the speech made by the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, Iain Duncan Smith, at the 2012 Conservative Party Conference on 8th October 2012.

At the last election the Labour Government left us the largest deficit the UK has seen since the Second World War.

£120 million a day spent on interest. And £1.5 trillion, owed in personal debt – the size of the whole UK economy.

The Labour Government, spending and borrowing, too ready to leave our children to foot the bill.

They have learnt nothing……

WELFARE

This culture of irresponsible spending had its roots in Britain’s welfare system:

In government, Labour hiked spending by a massive 60%, rising even before the recession hit.

Worse, in 2010, just before the election, in one year, Labour spent £90 billion on working age welfare – the same as the entire education budget for that very same year.

Let me give you an example of this waste. Just 120,000 of the most troubled and difficult families cost us some £9 billion per year in special interventions, from an array of agencies – from health visitors to the criminal justice system.

Imagine that, £75,000 per family with nothing done to transform their destructive lifestyles.

To put this in perspective, by 2010 this increase in welfare spending cost every household in Britain an extra £3,000 a year in tax.

And exactly what did we get in return for spending such vast sums of money?

A complex system of over 30 different benefits

Chaotic in work supplements, some paid at 16 hours, some 24 and some at 30, with benefits withdrawn at different rates – some at 40%, some at 65%, some at 100%, some net, some gross…

You’d need to be a clever banker just to work it out…. well ok; you’d need at least to be clever.

Those we should have been helping:

The strivers, the tryers;

The families trying to do the right thing;

The people struggling to work, like lone parents desperate to ensure they bring their children up in a working household.

Too many of them lost most of every £ they earned in work.

And under Labour, income inequality, that is the gap between the incomes of the rich and poor, was the largest in modern times.

I ask you, what kind of message does that send out?

I will tell you – that it’s not worth working – that it’s not worth trying – that you’re better off playing the system and taking the money.

Shameful!

Small wonder then that Labour left us a growing army of those who don’t work.

5 million people on out of work benefits after the recession – 1 million of them for a decade or more.

1 in every 5 households in the UK with no one working……think about this – in the Britain left by Labour, almost 2 million children were living in workless households – proportionately higher than almost any other country in the EU.

Youth unemployment at a record high.

Yet half of the new jobs being created were being taken by foreign nationals.

Labour attacked marriage but they also penalised couples staying together on welfare – Families on benefits were better off apart. As a result, too many children now grow up without their fathers. And 1 and a half million children grow up with parents addicted to drugs and alcohol.

Small wonder street gangs were rampant in too many of our towns and cities

We know Ed Miliband now says he believes in one nation….but let me remind him…

Labour left a nation divided between those who work hard and pay their taxes and those locked into costly welfare dependency

No, that Mr Miliband is what I call Two Nations, not one nation.

Oh no, you can re-position Labour all you like but….

You won’t solve an economic problem by denying it,

You can’t heal a nation by attacking parts of it,

And if you follow the Unions, you will never lead.

In Government, we know that changing this bitter legacy requires a complete cultural shift.

The end of the something for nothing attitude…

And, the beginning of a journey back from dependence to independence.

WORK PROGRAMME

For those people who the last government left behind – such as the long term unemployed, we have created the Work Programme.

Harnessing the knowledge, skills and experience of voluntary and private sector organisations it will support some 3.3 million claimants.

And unlike the expensive failures of the last government, providers are paid only for the results they achieve paid, not just to get people into work but to keep them there.

When we introduced this great programme, guess who opposed it – Labour opposed it…

WORK EXPERIENCE

Young unemployed people told me time and time again that their biggest barrier to employment is that no employer will hire them without experience, but they need work in order to get the experience.

So we created the Work experience programme, helping young people to take up to 2 months with an employer, gaining vital new skills, and while they are doing this we’re letting them keep their benefits.

This programme has been an incredible success.

Half those taking part are off benefit within 21 weeks of starting.

And we’ve even added the Youth Contract, a subsidy if they employ the young person or give them an apprenticeship.

But the Unions, with Labour support have attacked the programme. They are trying to frighten off businesses, even going as far as calling it “slave labour.”

Just how out of touch they are? Labour and the Unions would rather have the young people of this country living off state handouts, instead of being employed.

… yet again…

When we give work experience to young people crying out for such help, guess who opposed it – Labour opposed it.

HOUSING BENEFIT

Under Labour, Housing Benefit doubled in their last ten years – a rise from £11 billion in 2000 to £20 billion in 2010.

Imagine – when we came to office there were some households getting more than £50,000 in HB alone and some over £100,000 – Staggering.

So I moved fast to bring it under control by limiting the amount people could receive.

This early action will result in annual savings of over £2 billion by 2014/15.

We are delivering savings and returning fairness to a system spiralling out of control.

Housing Benefit reforms, guess who opposed them – Labour opposed them.

SANCTIONS REGIME

Now we are toughening up the penalty for failure to seek work. Where claimants fail to meet their clear responsibilities, benefit will be withdrawn for 3 months for the first offence, 6 months for the second and 3 years for the third.

At last, gone are the days when doing nothing was a long term option – a choice under Labour that someone was free to make. Whether to work, or not to work…

Well from now on the message is clear – you must work. And if you won’t work with us to find work – you will lose your benefit.

So when we toughened up on those shirking work, guess who opposed it – Labour opposed it.

BENEFIT CAP

And this government is going further still. Now we will cap the amount a claimant can receive in total benefits.

Set at a maximum of average earnings it will save £275 million a year.

Even before we bring it in, capping benefits is having an effect – a third of those affected by the housing benefit cap have said they will now seek work as a result.

So, at long last we will restore fairness to the system for those who work hard and pay their taxes….

Yet when we introduced the CAP, guess who opposed it – Labour opposed it.

RESULTS

And despite the economic difficulties, we are seeing results:

Rising employment and falling unemployment.

700,000 more in work than 2010 and over 1 million more in the private sector

Youth unemployment lower than the last election

2.5 million People once on sickness benefit now being re-assessed and two thirds preparing or looking for work.

And 124,000 fewer lone parents on inactive benefits since 2010

That’s why today I can stand before you and say;

The number of people of working age who are not expected to work is at its lowest level since 1992.

But guess who opposed all this – Labour opposed it.

UNIVERSAL CREDIT

The next stage is the Universal Credit – the most extensive shake up of the welfare system for years, replacing many out-of-work payments with a single, simple payment.

It will be withdrawn at a constant rate, so that people know exactly how much better off they will be for every extra hour they work, to ensure that work always pays more than benefits…

2.8 million households will gain.

The poorest will be the biggest gainers.

900,000 will be lifted out of poverty.

It will save billions in fraud and error which is rife in the existing systems.

And for the first time we will work with those who need help to manage their money so they are ready to cope with the world of work, giving them back their independence and self respect.

Universal Credit, guess who opposed it – Labour opposed it.

PENSIONS

Labour nearly destroyed pension saving in the UK. Their means test meant those who tried to save too often retired on less than those who never saved at all. The result now is 11 million people who don’t save enough for retirement.

So our auto enrolment reforms mean up to 9 million workers will be saving through a workplace pension. And we are creating a single tier pension – which will mean, if you contribute, you will receive a pension above the means test.

The single tier will also ensure that those, such as mothers, who have taken a break in work, will receive full contributions for that time giving them a chance of their own full pension, for the first time ever.

DISABILITY AND SICKNESS REFORMS

We were all proud of what our brilliant Paralympians achieved this summer. Britain has a strong history in support for the disabled and we will continue that support for those in need. Yet, for too long it has continued unreformed, resulting in confusion for those eligible and incorrect payments of over hundreds of millions of pounds.

So by ensuring our reforms get money to those who have genuine need and that they are supported we can build a more positive approach to disability which has too often seen disabled people on the margins to one where they are more and more part of the mainstream.

EUROPE

Now I, like all of you in this hall, know that the interference from the European Court of Human Rights is too often unwarranted and unwanted.

But now I have to deal with the European Commission as they seek to interfere in our welfare arrangements, telling us we will have to pay benefits to anyone from Europe who comes here – from day one.

This will destroy our existing tests which require claimants to live and work in the UK for some time, be job seeking, or self-sufficient…

Ending these tests could cost of a minimum of £155 million or even more.

Nation States run their own welfare and we are not prepared to change that.

So Conference, let me simplify the message for the Commission, in case they don’t understand…..

Ils ne Passeront Pas….. (They shall not pass)

CONCLUSION

Despite all of the progress we’ve made in the last two years, there is still much to do.

We will have reduced welfare bills by £18 billion at the time of the next election and reformed welfare so it will be more effective.

Early action to cut spending has helped reduce the deficit by a quarter but with the rest of Europe and the USA in trouble, its small wonder the UK economy isn’t growing as we had hoped.

George Osborne and I recognise this means we will have to make further savings in the welfare budget, but as we save we are agreed we must relentlessly focus what we do on transforming lives.

Gone must be the days when Governments spent money to buy their way out of a problem.

For you don’t cure drug dependency by parking addicts on methadone…..

You don’t help someone who’s ill by putting them on a sickness benefit and forgetting about them…..

You don’t help family stability by paying families to live apart….

You don’t support pensioners by penalising them when they save…

And you don’t cure benefit dependency by giving people money to do nothing.

That isn’t welfare, it’s unfair – and we have to change it.

For even though we are in a coalition we have a once in a lifetime opportunity to show the British people that the party of Wilberforce, of Shaftesbury and Churchill oh yes and Disraeli too – The historic party of social reform – our party, is alive and well and determined to restore and strengthen British society.

That is why we have all come together here in Birmingham, because we love our country. For this is a remarkable country. Britain has given the world the rule of law, democracy, the free market, the English language and so much more. We have fought for freedom when it has been under threat and never counted the cost.

But if we care for our country we must care for all our people, for they are our country.

That is why our reforms must improve the life chances for the least of us.

That must be our mission, plain and simple – a mission, not to change people but to restore them. Through fair Government, give them the same hope and aspiration that we would all want for our children.

To deliver this mission is to govern as Conservatives.

That and only that is the way to win the next election.

Chris Grayling – 2012 Conservative Party Conference Speech

chrisgrayling

Below is the text of the speech made by Chris Grayling on 9th October 2012 to the Conservative Party Conference.

A few months ago I was in the Clink.

Not the famous prison in Southwark. But the prison restaurant which bears its name in High Down prison just a few miles to the south.

It’s one of the most innovative projects I have ever come across. A restaurant, open to the public, but where the cooks and the waiting staff are all prisoners, learning a new trade, getting ready for a return to the outside world, and with the real hope of getting a job.

It’s an inspirational project and a real example of what our criminal justice system should be doing to try to turn lives around.

That is only one part of what our criminal justice system should do. I was at High Down not too long after last year’s riots. Being close to London, it had a fair share of the people involved in those disgraceful events.

I asked one of the prison officers about the rioters who had been sent there. His reply was illuminating to say the least.

Many of them were really shocked, he told me. They didn’t really believe that anything would happen to them. Still less that they would end up in prison.

Too often those who offend think that nothing will happen to them.

Our job is to make sure it does.

I’ve made no bones about my intention to be a tough Justice Secretary.

That means I want our justice system to be firm, fair and transparent.

One in which the public have confidence.

A system that punishes offenders properly.

A system that supports the hard work done by our police.

A system which looks after the victims of crime.

But that’s not enough on its own.

It also has to be a system which recognises that our prisons are full of people who face huge challenges. A system which is designed to ensure that they do not return to a life of crime when they are released.

Before I set out my plans in detail, I want to introduce you to the team of people who will be making all of this happen with me. My Ministerial team, here on the front row.

We’ve already heard from Damian Green.

There’s Jeremy Wright and Helen Grant. Our Whip David Evennett, and our two P.P.S.s Lee Scott, and David Rutley.

Ladies and gentlemen, that public confidence issue is so important.

We cannot deliver the reforms that are so desperately needed unless the public believe in us.

And so to law-abiding citizens, I want to say ‘we are on your side’.

That is why today I am announcing a change to the law about protecting yourself and your family from intruders to your home.

None of us really know how we would react if someone broke into our house.

None of us really know how frightening it would be if we were confronted by a burglar in the middle of the night.

Or how terrified we’d feel, if we thought our family was in danger.

You might well hit out in the heat of the moment, without thinking of anything but protecting your loved ones. And right now you’re still not sure the law is on your side.

I think householders acting instinctively and honestly in self defence are victims not criminals. They should be treated that way. That’s why we are going to deal with this issue once and for all. I will shortly bring forward a change to the law. It will mean that even if a householder faced with that terrifying situation uses force that in the cold light of day might seem over the top, unless their response is grossly disproportionate, the law will be on their side.

We’ve all backed this change in the past. It’s time it happened.

We are about to start another important change too.

It’s called ‘two strikes and you’re out’.

So, if you commit two serious violent or sexual offences, you will get an automatic life sentence.

Everyone deserves a second chance. But those who commit the most serious offences, crimes that would attract a sentence of 10 or more years, cannot be allowed to just go on and on causing harm, distress and injury.

Those people are a real threat to our society, and we must treat them as such.

Thirdly, I am announcing today that we are making big changes to community sentences, so that they deliver proper punishment in the community. Right now large numbers of those sentences deliver no punishment at all. We will change that. We will legislate to make sure there is a punitive element as part of every community order.

We are also legislating to use more state of the art technology to enforce curfews and exclusion zones. So, for example, we’d be far better placed to know whether a paedophile has broken his order by hanging around local schools.

We need to do everything we can to safeguard our communities.

Ladies and gentlemen,

I will not compromise on punishing offenders or protecting the public.

But the biggest challenge in our criminal justice system is a very different one.

I want to see more people who deserve it go to prison. But I also want to see far fewer coming back.

The failure of our system to prevent reoffending is stark.

Half of offenders are reconvicted within a year of leaving prison. Some re-offend within a matter of weeks, or even simply days, of leaving jail. Around one-third of offenders sentenced for indictable offences last year had

15 or more previous convictions or cautions.

You know what we do?

When someone leaves prison, we send them back onto the streets with 46 quid in their pockets.

Back to the same streets.

Back to the same groups of people.

Back to the same chaotic life styles.

Back to the same habits as before.

So why are we surprised when so many commit crime all over again?

It costs the economy at least £9.5 billion a year.

It blights communities, and ruins lives.

It is a national scandal.

But the impetus to break this cycle is not just an economic one, or an issue of public safety.

We know – and have known for some years – the factors which affect people’s life chances.

But the statistics – even if we think we know them – really are grim.

Around a quarter of prisoners were in care as a child;

Just think about that.

A quarter of people in our jails today were in care as children.

I find that truly shocking.

Nearly a third of them experienced abuse as a child;

Half our prisoners have no qualifications;

Half haven’t been in paid employment in the year before custody;

About two thirds have used drugs in the month before entering prison;

Nearly a quarter have a severe and enduring mental illness.

Nearly three quarters of the prison population were identified as having either a severe and enduring mental illness, a substance addiction … or both.

These are issues we simply cannot ignore.

We have to address them if we are to stop re-offending.

I want to say to offenders ‘We will send you to prison. But we want to change things so that you don’t keep coming back’.

Over the past two and a half years I have been working with Iain Duncan Smith to transform our welfare state. It’s now time to do the same in justice.

As Employment Minister I pioneered the use of large scale payment by results contracts to help the long term unemployed through our Work Programme. It’s a simple proposition really. You decide what works best, and we pay you when you are successful.

It’s an approach that’s already beginning to make a difference getting the long term unemployed back to work. I plan to bring that same approach to preventing reoffending. We will allow nimble private and voluntary sector providers to innovate, to find the right mix of training and mentoring, to do what works in ensuring that those leaving prison and community sentences do not reoffend.

And there will be more.

Inside prison, there will be more purposeful regimes. Maidstone prison for example has a textiles facility which produces work wear, and a laundry that employs offenders working a 33 hour week. There is plenty offenders can, and should, be productively doing.

Inside prison we must give prisoners proper skills and training. Take the Timpson’s academy in Liverpool prison. Prisoners receive training in shoe repairs, engraving, and dry cleaning. The workshop is fitted out to look like a Timpson’s shop, and offenders have the opportunity to apply for a job with the company on release.

We will make more effective use of drug rehabilitation and alcohol treatments to help tackle the root cause of crime and re-offending. In Kirkham prison for example, they have recruited 2 ex users and offenders as ‘Recovery Champions’ to support the Substance Misuse Services. We will also build on the already ongoing work to make prisons drug free, not somewhere that offenders get sucked into ever more damaging cycles of behaviour.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

We are already proud as a Government of our reforms to Welfare and Education.

When we meet here again in a year’s time, I want there to be a real sense that our justice reforms are starting to make an equally big difference to our society.

When you think about the reality for the people who are in our prisons, you realise that we have absolutely no choice. It just has to happen.

There’s one other aspect of our prison system that also has to change.

We have to do something about foreign national prisoners. Their number has increased by forty per cent in the last ten years. They account for more than ten thousand of the places in prison.

It is a tough task. But it’s one we are already tackling, so that more foreign prisoners are sent back to serve sentences in their own countries.

It’s something that Jeremy Wright and I will be putting a lot of effort into sorting once and for all.

There’s another priority for us as well.

Just before the General Election David Cameron and I went to a small community centre in Liverpool to meet a group of mothers, all of whom had seen violent crime rip their families apart. They all told the same story, of a criminal justice system that seemed to be more on the side of the offender than of the victim and their family.

They said they didn’t receive enough information about what was going on. Sometimes the offender was back on the streets and they didn’t even know it. They felt that they were being forgotten.

Well I haven’t forgotten that conversation, and I think it’s time to make sure we put the victim and their family first. That’s why one of my first actions on becoming Justice Secretary was to appoint a Minister for Victims, Helen Grant. I am sure she will do an excellent job.

Her first task will be to appoint a new Victims Commissioner to work with her to make sure we put victims first. I want that person to be someone who knows at first hand what the impact of crime can be. Then I want them both to work with victims and their families to make sure their interests come first.

There’s one other promise I want to make to you today.

At the last election we promised to do something about our out of control human rights culture.

It’s just crazy that people who are determined to attack our society are able to go back to the courts again and again and claim that it would infringe their human rights to send them back to the countries they come from.

We know we cannot deal with this in the way we want while we are in coalition.

But we cannot go on the way we are.

So my commitment to you is that Damian Green and I will give this Party a clear plan for change on human rights.

A plan we can take to every doorstep. A plan we can use to fight the battle that we all want to win at the next election – to secure a majority Conservative Government.

Ladies and Gentlemen.

My goals for our criminal justice system are simple.

I want to send a message to law-abiding citizens that says ‘we are on your side’.

I want to send a message to victims that says ‘we will support you’.

I want to send a message to criminals that says ‘we will send you to prison, but we will also help you go straight’.

This is what I believe a tough, fair justice system should look like.

This is what a revolution in rehabilitation should look like.

And that is what we will deliver.

Boris Johnson – 2012 Conservative Party Conference Speech

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Below is the text of the speech made by the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, to the 2012 Conservative Party Conference on 9th October 2012.

Thank you first for all you did to make sure that we Conservatives won in London this year and thanks to that intrepid expeditionary force of volunteers from around the country.

The busloads from Herefordshire who crossed deep along the Ho Chi Minh trail into Hackney where they of course found people’s problems aren’t really so very different after all.

You showed that we can overcome a Labour lead and win even in places Ed and co are so cocky as to think they own. And if we can win in the middle of a recession and wipe out a 17 point Labour poll lead then I know that David Cameron will win in 2015.

When the economy has turned round and people are benefiting in jobs and growth from the firm leadership you have shown and the tough decisions you have taken.

And I was pleased to see the other day that you have called me a blond haired mop. A mop. Well if I am a mop then you are a broom. A broom that is cleaning up the mess left by the Labour government and a fantastic job you are doing. I thank you and congratulate you and your colleagues – George Osborne the dustpan, Gove the J cloth etc

Because for the last hundred years it has been the historic function of Conservatives to be the household implements after the Labour binge has got out of control.

And it is thanks to Conservatives here in this hall that I was allowed to bask in the glory – often wholly undeserved, I am afraid, but never mind – of the greatest Olympic and Paralympic Games that have ever been held.

I think anthropologists will look back with awe at the change that took place in our national mood – the sudden switcheroo from the gloom of the previous weeks.

You remember what they were saying? When the buses were on strike and the taxi drivers were blockading the west end. And thousands of the security staff seemed mysteriously to have found better things to do. And the weather men were predicting truly cataclysmic inundations on the night of the opening ceremony. And then sometime in that first week it was as though a giant hormonal valve had been opened in the minds of the people. And the endorphins seemed to flow through the crowds. And down the tube trains like some benign contagion.

Until everyone was suffused with a kind of reddibrek glow of happiness and from then on it was as if nothing could go wrong. And the G4s guys turned up after all. And five million people were showed to their seats without delay. And the volunteers revealed a kindness and a friendliness that we had almost forgotten. And the tube trains ran with metronomic efficiency. The Jubilee line going three miles an hour faster than they did when I was elected. And the sociologists will write learned papers on that sudden feeling that gripped us all. Was it eudaimonia, euphoria, eupepsia or some other Greek word beginning with eu? You name it

Was it relief? It was surprise, wasn’t it? There we were, little old us, the country that made such a Horlicks of the Millennium Dome. Putting on a flawless performance of the most logistically difficult thing you can ask a country to do in peacetime. And some of us were frankly flabbergasted, gobsmacked.

And I want you to hold that thought, remember that feeling of surprise – because, that surprise is revealing of our chronic tendency in this country to underestimate what we can do. And we need now to learn the lessons of the Olympics and Paralympics. The moment when we collectively rediscovered that we are a can-do country. A creative, confident, can-do country.

The Olympics succeeded because we planned for years and we worked together. Public sector and private sector. And we put aside party differences. And yes this is the right moment to say thank you to Tony Blair and Gordon Brown and Tessa Jowell. And yes, Ken Livingstone. Ken old chum there is no coming back from that one. You have just been clapped at Tory party conference. As well as to Seb Coe and Paul Deighton and Hugh Robertson and David Higgins and John Armitt

But for the success of these Olympics there is one Conservative we need to thank today. One Prime Minister who loves sport and who to this day is championing cricket in inner London. Oh yes. It is thanks to John Major, who put in the Lottery that we have gone from one gold medal in 1996 to the sporting superpower we are today.

And we created the conditions in training and infrastructure that allowed our young people to take on the best of the rest of the world and do better than them. We gave them the stages to perform on. The stadia in which they could show their competitive genius. And that is exactly what we have to do with the economy today.

I am a Conservative. I believe in a low-tax and low-regulation economy and I believe that as far as possible government needs to make life easy. For those who get up at 5 to get their shops or businesses ready – the strivers, the strugglers – whatever the vogue word is for them today. We know who they are, and there are many in this room. The backbone of the UK economy as Napoleon almost said.

Britain is a nation of small and medium-sized enterprises and they make up 75 per cent of the London economy. And it is these businesses that have the capacity to grow. To take on young people, to expand and become world-beaters. And we need to think, every day, what we can do to create the right conditions for them to flourish. And to become more than medium-sized. To become the gold medalists of the global economy

For the last four years my team in City Hall has been working – as you have been working, in Government – to fight the recession and to create the conditions for a dynamic recovery. And yes, we One Nation Conservatives are well aware that in a society where the gap between rich and poor has been growing – as it did under Labour – that we have to look first to the poorest and the neediest and those who cannot easily compete and that is why I am so proud that we have expanded the London Living Wage. Now paid – entirely voluntarily – by about 250 of the swankiest banks, law and accountancy firms in London putting about £60m into the pockets of some of the lowest paid people in London.

We have protected or expanded every travel concession for young people, for people in search of work, for the disabled and we have taken Londoners off the age escalator and restored the 24 hour Freedom Pass. And I apologise to the people of Labour-run Birmingham as I generally and periodically apologise to so many other cities but that is a privilege that older people have only in Tory-run London. And we are delivering it on November 1 as I promised because we have been able so to manage the budget that we have cut £3bn in waste and have not only frozen council tax over the last four years but are now cutting our share by ten per cent.

But when times have been toughand when the city has been afflicted by riots barely one year ago then we need to remember that there is one virtually all-purpose cure for want and squalor and anger and deprivation, better than more benefits, better than police crackdowns and that is a job. The self-esteem, the excitement, the fun, the human interaction and competition that a job can offer. Before you even talk about the money.

London is an amazing creator of new jobs. But they don’t always go to kids who grow up in London and we need to work out why and we need to look at what is happening in our schools. I am a passionate supporter of Michael Gove’s free schools revolution parents, teachers, charities are coming together to create wonderful new places of learning, like Toby Young’s West London Free school in Hammersmith or the East London Science school, led by a formidable physics teacher called Dave Perks who wants all his pupils to learn triple sciences so that they can apply for top universities and the kind of high skill jobs created by the London economy.

And I don’t want a handful of these schools. I want dozens of them, right across the capital. So I can announce today that I am setting up New Schools for London to help find the sites that they need. And we are opening up the GLA’s property portfolio to find the site.

And I want to boost the teaching of the STEM subjects because it is an utter scandal that we are going through a golden age of engineering projects and yet this country is short of about 50,000 engineers and there are parts of London where A level physics or advanced Maths are hardly taught. And with so many school leavers failing to find a job we are seeing a tragic waste of talent 54,000 18-24 year olds on the dole.

And that is why we are driving forward a massive programme of apprenticeships. We have done 76,000, and we are going to do 250,000 over this four year term and businesses won’t invest and shops won’t open unless they are confident that the place is safe. And so we have brought crime down by 12 per cent. And Bernard Hogan Howe has committed to reducing it by a further 20 per cent over the next four years. A further 20 per cent over the next four years. And in the last year the murder rate has fallen yet again to levels not seen since the 1960s. And it is no disrespect to my old friend Mike Bloomberg to say you are four times more likely to be murdered in New York as you are in London

And for business to flourish they need employees who can afford to live within a reasonable commuting time from their place of work and so a job-creating economy needs good housing and good transport. And that is why we are not only building record numbers of affordable homes – 54,000 over the last four years – far more than Ken Livingstone

But we have this week set out a new plan. To help the struggling middle to buy their homes. And if we invest in transport then we can not only drive the creation of thousands of new jobs in London – I am thinking of Battersea or Tottenham or Croydon – but we drive jobs across the country.

I am pleased to inform you, Conference, that since we last spoke I have kept my promise to Londoners and introduced a new generation hop-on hop-off replacement for the Routemaster. They are the cleanest greenest new bus in Europe. They have conductors and unlike the hopeless broken-backed diplodocus of a bendy bus which was made in Germany, they are made in the United Kingdom. Aand that Ballymena factory has just received the biggest single order in its history. 608 of these great big dome-browed scarlet beasts. And unlike the hopeless broken-backed diplodocus of a bendy bus which was made in Germany, they are made in the United Kingdom.

And when we buy new trains we drive jobs in Derby. Conductor rail from Chard. CCTV from Warwick. Railway sleepers from Boston. And if we build that platform for growth – with better education, with safer street, with more housing and better transport infrastructure then the private sector will produce amazing and world-beating results.

Go to tech city and see young Londoners devising apps so that teenagers in America can watch movies on their Xbox. Go to soho and see them doing the special effects for so called Hollywood movies When they eat cake on the champs elysees, they eat cake made in London. When they watch Gangnam style on their TVs in Korea, they watch it on TV aerials made in London. The dutch ride bicycles made in London. The Brazilians use mosquito repellent made in London. Every single chocolate hobnob in the world is made in London. We export everything from badger shaving brushes to ballet shoes. And as I look ahead I am filled with confidence about the capital

We will sort out our aviation capacity problem. We will create new river crossings. We will regenerate East London and we will put in air conditioned and driverless trains. Wven if Bob Crow says his RMT drivers won’t test drive the driverless trains. We will continue to expand cycle hire and plant thousands of trees.

We have the right time zone the right language and we have the right government in Westminster and I will fight to keep it there.

We fought to keep London from lurching back into the grip of a Marxist cabal of taxpayer-funded chateauneuf du pape swilling tax minimisers and bendy bus fetishist.

I will fight to keep this country from lurching back into the grip of the two Eds. Unreformed, unpunished, unrepentant about what they did to the economy and the deficit they racked up.

We need to go forward now from the age of Excess under Labour. Through the age of austerity to a new age of Enterprise in which we do what we did in the Olympics and build a world-beating platform for Britain for British people and businesses to compete and win and we need to do it now under the Conservatives and we will and it begins here.

Eric Pickles – 2012 Speech to Conservative Party Conference

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The below speech was made by the Secretary of State for Communities, Eric Pickles, in October 2012.

After two and a half years in Coalition, it still seems strange to be working with our yellow chums in government.

I sit next to Vince Cable in Cabinet.

He’s not as cheerful as he seems on telly.

But I wasn’t always a Conservative.

I was born into a Labour family.

My great-grandfather was one of the founding members of the local Independent Labour Party.

As a 14 year old, my birthday present was a book by Leon Trotsky.

Aptly, ‘the Revolution Betrayed’.

Not exactly Harry Potter.

Trotsky rightly warned of the oppressive bureaucracy of the Soviets.

But it was the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia that made me join the Conservative Party as a protest.

Gradually I became a Conservative.

A Tory that has a burning dislike of oppressive state bureaucracy.

A Tory that knows that prosperity and fairness is best delivered through freedom.

Now, I came from a humble background.

And I am proud to be both a Member of Parliament and a member of David Cameron’s Cabinet.

It was the Conservative Party that helped me get where I am today.

And now, I want others to have a chance in life.

There is nothing more fundamental than supporting home ownership.

We have reinvigorated the Right to Buy, reversing Labour’s savage cuts.

We are offering families up to seventy-five thousand pounds discount to buy their home…

…Using the money from additional sales to build more affordable homes.

The Right to Buy gives something back to families who worked hard, pay their rent and play by the rules.

Across the country, Margaret Thatcher’s Right to Buy has given people a sense of pride and ownership in where they live.

Sadly, many Labour councils are keeping their tenants in the dark about these new extended rights.

Their council leaders have pledged to fight tooth and nail against the Right to Buy.

A right can only be exercised if you know about it.

So I can pledge my department will be talking direct to tenants to inform them of their Right to Buy.

It’s a great policy to campaign on for May’s local elections.

We should tell every tenant in every council estate – that we’re on their side.

We are also tackling a great injustice – discrimination against our Armed Forces.

Precisely because they have served overseas – servicemen and women don’t have a ‘local connection’ under housing rules.

Amazingly foreign migrants have been given greater priority on housing waiting lists than those who fought for Queen and Country.

So we have changed the rules to give Armed Forces first priority for our first-time buyer and shared ownership schemes.

And we have given councils new freedoms to allocate social housing to those who have worked hard and given something back to society…

…from the Armed Forces to community volunteers.

And can you believe it?

Some Labour councils are turning their back on our Armed Forces.

Why?

Because there could be some “equality issues” – well,

I don’t mind discriminating in favour of our military heroes.

Conference,

I believe in lower taxes.

Whereas Labour doubled council tax.

We have worked with councils to freeze it for the last two years.

And this year, we are again offering additional funding to help councils freeze their bills.

And we’ve scrapped Labour’s plans for an expensive and intrusive council tax revaluation, and Labour’s plans for new taxes on your home improvements.

We want to make it easier for families to improve their home and build a new conservatory.

Labour want to tax it!

We have also cut business rates for small firms, doubling their rate relief.

Bit by bit, we are pulling back the burden of regulation imposed by Labour.

Clamping down on loony health and safety,

Stopping the gold-plating of Euro Directives and equality rules,

Opening up more government contracts to small and medium firms.

And we have scrapped Whitehall rules which forced up parking charges and made it impossible to park in town centres.

Now, councils need to do their bit to help.

And to encourage that, we are giving councils a financial stake in their high street.

From April, councils will keep more of the money they raise in business rates.

No longer will it all be snatched back by Whitehall.

So councils will have a direct interest and motivation to see their local economy grow and develop.

Conservative councils, I know, will seize this opportunity.

They will reward enterprise and hard work.

By cutting waste and bureaucracy, we’ve been able to cut council tax and business rates, and still pay off Labour’s deficit.

I’m doing my bit in Whitehall.

My department is reducing its running costs by five hundred and seventy million pounds.

Yet despite the fact that Labour were planning big cuts in local government budgets, Labour have opposed every single saving we’ve made.

All they offer is more borrowing and more taxes.

They are simply not credible.

I believe that more joint working, cutting fraud, clamping down on senior pay, greater transparency, and better procurement will help deliver sensible savings in council budgets, and protect frontline services.

We practice what we preach.

We’ve published every single item spent on the Government’s corporate credit cards, reducing our card spending by three quarters.

It has exposed astonishing waste by Labour – wining, dining and jollies at your expense.

Conference,

Whereas arrogant Labour Ministers had a party at your expense, I’m proud of what this Government has done to support people’s street parties.

The Royal Wedding, the Diamond Jubilee and the Olympics were great occasions of the nation coming together.

This Government has backed British values,

having pride in our nation and our flags,

supporting our united identity and our common English language.

We have stood up for the role of Christianity and faith in public life.

And protected councils’ right to hold prayers at meetings, if they wish.

Upholding values of tolerance and freedom of religion.

They’re not human rights.

They’re British rights.

Rights that existed long before European Judges came into existence.

And, at the same time, we will confront and challenge the minority of extremists who spread hate and division.

We are stronger as a nation when we stand together.

And – what a great thing it is – that kids in Birmingham, across colours and creeds, have been waving the Union flag this summer for British champions like Mo Farah.

Born overseas, but now proud to be British.

We Brits are increasingly proud to fly flags as an expression of our local and national identities.

Now, flying a flag should be a pleasure, not a chore.

Brussels has been trying to make it compulsory for public buildings to fly the EU flag all year round.

Bless them – they thought it was a good idea.

We have successfully fought off this ludicrous policy.

We’ll fly flags – but of our own choosing.

So I’ve cut the rules which has held back flag-flying of Britain’s local and military flags.

Such as the great flag of Yorkshire and its White Rose.

Now, I’m proud to have been born and bred in Yorkshire, but Essex is my home now.

I have been transformed from a Yorkshire TYKE to an Essex TOWIE.

My constituency is the location of the television programme The Only Way Is Essex.

It’s fun TV and we all enjoy it.

But there is another Essex Value that runs deep in the DNA of our Party:

– if you work hard, you can go far.

It’s a message well understood by Margaret Thatcher, John Major and by David Cameron.

And it’s this:

It doesn’t matter where you’re from, it’s where you’re going that counts.

As Conservatives, we are at our best when we back that aspiration.

We should reject the voices of the left who want to sneer at success, kick enterprise and punish the rewards that go with hard work.

There are, of course, some families in our society who are caught in a culture of welfare dependency, criminality and low self-esteem.

They have been let down.

A cosy centre-left consensus saw this as ‘too difficult’ to tackle.

They just kept paying the benefit and abandoned people in sink estates.

We saw it during last year’s riots – opportunistic thugs – a Gucci generation looting flat-screen tellies and trendy trainers.

And we see it with a generation who want nothing other than the next benefit cheque, and don’t care about their kids’ future.

That is why we have launched a Troubled Families initiative – to tackle this head on.

We are bringing all the different public agencies together.

Dedicated workers to intervene and turn these families’ lives around.

It’s not about social workers feeling their pain or respecting their “lifestyle choices”, it’s about tough love – very tough love.

It’s not acceptable for parents to blow their benefits on booze or drugs.

Or allow their kids to skip school and drift into crime.

So we will work with families to provide the guidance and supervision that kids need.

Every council has signed up to a scheme.

By the end of the year, we have committed to be actively working with over forty-thousand families across England.

By the end of this Parliament, we aim to have turned around one-hundred-and-twenty thousand troubled families.

It won’t be easy.

But we will help improve the lives of the most vulnerable, neglected and exploited in society.

Conference,

Just as we want to change things, we also want to protect the good things – especially the environment.

So we’ve introduced a new protection for valuable green spaces and have given councils new powers to stop unwanted garden grabbing.

Now, there’s been a lot of press speculation in recent weeks on the Green Belt.

Protecting the character of the countryside is stamped deep into the heart of Conservativism.

And I want to be absolutely clear – the Green Belt plays a vital role in stopping urban sprawl – and we will protect it.

To maintain those environmental safeguards, we have to be tough on those who break them.

We are helping councils tackle the rogue landlords who build “beds in sheds” – which house and exploit illegal immigrants.

We have outlawed squatting in people’s homes. Invade someone’s house and you now go to jail.

We’ve handed councils the powers to close down the protestors’ shanty towns that blighted the likes of Parliament Square and St Paul’s.

Now, long-drawn out cases like Dale Farm have brought the legal system into disrepute.

You know the story: in breach of planning law, travellers move in over a bank holiday weekend, and it takes years for councils to remove them.

A small minority exploit Labour’s human rights and equality rules and have cost taxpayers millions of pounds.

Such episodes give the whole travelling community a bad name and fuels community tensions.

So I can announce today new powers for councils to literally stop those caravans in their tracks.

New instant Stop Notices will allow councils to issue unlimited fines for those who ignore planning rules and defy the law.

We will stand by those who play by the rules, and use the full force of the law against those who break them.

Conference chums,

In my Ministerial office, I’ve placed reminders of what it means to be a Conservative.

A bust of Disraeli.

A poster of the great Winston.

A momento of the magnificent Margaret.

But over my left shoulder is a photograph that often catches the eye of visitors.

Ché Guevara.

The Cuban Revolutionary.

Smoking a very large Havana cigar.

It’s there to remind me: that without constant vigilance – the cigar-chomping Commies will take over.

Well, that isn’t going to happen on my watch.

After more than two years in government, I’ve learnt that cigar-chomping Commies come in many guises.

We may be in Coalition, but we are doing sound Conservative things, and we should be proud of what we’re doing.

Proud of taking on the vested interests of oppressive bureaucracy,

Proud of cutting back waste to pay off Labour’s overdraft,

Proud of rewarding those who work hard,

And proud to be at the front of a revolution.

A very Conservative revolution that will allow Britain to deliver.

Thank you.