It's sink or swim time for Britain, says Cameron
BRITAIN is facing an hour of reckoning with a stark choice of "do or decline" David Cameron was to say today.
As the Prime Minister seeks to rally public support at the mid-term point of the Tory-led coalition he is set to warn the nation risked falling behind unless tough, decisive action is taken.
The apparent downbeat tone of his keynote speech to the Conservative conference in Birmingham has been described by aides as a "serious and frank analysis of the challenges facing the country".
And it indicates the PM's determination to stick to his Plan A in tackling the deficit.
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While Labour's alternative, of borrowing more in the hope of boosting growth, may sound 'reasonable', he was to warn it would "hurt the economy and hit people hard" by forcing up interest rates.
In a highly personal speech, Mr Cameron was explaining how his family history helped form his political beliefs, which he sums up as "Hard work. Strong families. Taking responsibility. Serving others."
His father's commitment to providing for his family despite his disability meant his life was "not a hard luck story, but a hard work story".
But despite accusations of moving his party to the right, with £10 billion of welfare cuts, new protections for householders who tackle burglars and the prospect of a referendum on Europe, Mr Cameron was to tell delegates Conservatives have the right ideas for society as a whole, "not just good for the strong and the successful but the best way to help the poor and the weak and the vulnerable".
However, the main theme of his speech was the economic threat facing the UK and the need to stick with austerity.
Mr Cameron is to say: "Unless we act, unless we take difficult, painful decisions, unless we show determination and imagination, Britain may not be in the future what it has been in the past. Because the truth is this: We are in a global race today and that means an hour of reckoning for countries like ours. Sink or swim. Do or decline."
"Labour's plan to borrow more is actually a massive gamble with our economy and our future, and it would squander the sacrifices we've already made."