Cameron: Law and order on the economy

By politics.co.uk staff

The Conservative’s status as the party of law and order makes them the ideal candidate to impose discipline on the financial sector, David Cameron has said.

“People don’t want to abandon markets, they want us to reform markets so they work properly,” he said.

“When they look at capitalism today too many people see markets without morality, and that’s what’s got to change. As I’ve said before, we need capitalism with a conscience.

“What they want is a sense of order and social responsibility brought to the operation of the financial markets. And that is a task for the modern Conservative party.”

Talking at a joint conference with the Centre for Policy Studies, Mr Cameron spoke on the subject of ‘The Regulation of Capitalism in the Post Bureaucratic Age’.

He was joined by Professor Richard Thaler, author of ‘Nudge’, a theory combining economics and psychology which aims to nudge people towards wise behavioral choices by suggestion, rather than control.

“We are the party of law and order. So we are the party to bring law and order to the financial markets,” he argued.

“We are the party of social responsibility. So we are the party to bring social responsibility to the financial markets.”

He added: “For too long, our market has been governed by the destructive idea that you can take what you get, however you can get it. We need to change the culture in the City so people understand they don’t just have a responsibility to themselves – but to society too.”

But the Liberal Democrats said the Tories have poor credentials when it comes to financial regulation.

“The Conservatives have spent the last decade being the party most hostile to regulation of financial services,” said Jeremy Browne, Liberal Democrat shadow chief secretary to the Treasury.

“The public remains suspicious of David Cameron because he appears to have no guiding values or consistency and says whatever he thinks is most likely to win votes on any given day.”

The conference will later be addressed by Niall Ferguson, professor of history at Harvard University and author of The Ascent of Money.