POLITICS
03/10/2011 13:06 BST | Updated 03/12/2011 10:12 GMT

George Osborne's Speech To Tory Conference 2011

Today, all around our country - indeed, all around the world - people are anxious, worried about their jobs, their families, how they're going to pay the bills.

I come to you with words of resolve, determination, confidence and belief.

Belief that the British people will overcome this challenge as we have overcome so many before.

Together, we will ride out the storm.

I don't want anyone to underestimate the gravity of the situation facing the world economy.

But I also don't want anyone to think that the situation is hopeless; that there is nothing we can do.

Yes the difficulties are great.

But we should be careful not to talk ourselves into something worse.

And we should never take our eyes off the prize:

A British economy freed from its debts; growing strongly; spreading prosperity to all our people;

so we can fulfill that solemn promise to the next generation:

we will leave the world a better place than we found it.

Our economic problems were not visited on this country by some cruel act of god or blind force of nature.

They were created by the mistakes of human beings.

And the endeavor of human beings can put them right.

What were those mistakes?

There were three above all - and they are all connected with each other.

First, the last government borrowed too much money.

They thought you could borrow without regard to ability to pay, spend without regard for value for money, all on the premise that boom would never end in bust.

They saddled the country with the worst debt crisis in our history.

What a catastrophic mistake. Let us make sure it never happens again.

"Economic advisor to Gordon Brown".

I'm not sure I'd put that on my CV if I were Ed Balls.

It's like "personal trainer to Eric Pickles".

Although I have to say, when it comes to chasing down council waste, no-one runs faster than our Eric.

The second mistake was made by banks who ran up staggering debts of their own, buying financial instruments even they couldn't understand.

The banks and those regulating them believed that the bubble would never stop growing, that markets were always self-correcting, that greed was always good, that their ponzi schemes would never collapse, and that none of the debts would ever turn bad.

The message from this hall is clear: they let down their customers, they let down their shareholders, and they let down their country.

And there was a third mistake.

Our European neighbours plunged headlong into the euro without thinking through the consequences.

How could they believe that countries like Germany and Greece could share the same currency when they had vastly different economies and no mechanism to adjust?

For generations to come, people will say: thank god Britain didn't join the euro.

Let us recognize the foresight and the fortitude, the street stalls and the leaflets, the pavement pounding and the canvassing, of the people in this hall today, who campaigned to keep the pound.

And there's one man here today, who precisely saw the consequences, warned of them, campaigned against them, put his reputation on the line to oppose them, was ridiculed for it, but who stuck to his course and was proved right - my friend, William Hague. I've waited ten years to say that.