10/02/2015 14:00 GMT | Updated 10/02/2015 18:59 GMT

David Cameron Channels Kinnock To Warn Of Life Under Ed Miliband

WPA Pool via Getty Images
LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 04: (L-R) Leader of the Labour Party Ed Miliband and British Prime Minister David Cameron walk through the Central Lobby after listening to the Queen's Speech at the State Opening of Parliament on June 4, 2014 in London, England. Queen Elizabeth II will unveil the coalition government's legislative programme in a speech delivered to Members of Parliament and Peers in The House of Lords. Proposed legislation is expected to be introduced on a 5p charge for plastic bags in

David Cameron made the unexpected decision to channel former Labour leader Neil Kinnock's infamous warning of life under Margaret Thatcher in order to attack a prospective Miliband government.

In an address to the British Chambers of Commerce on Tuesday afternoon, he warned that the current Labour leader saw enterprise as "the enemy" and would punish them if they wanted "to aspire, to work... to turn a profit".

In a message that BBC political editor Nick Robinson described as "channeling [his] inner Kinnock", Cameron told the assembled businesspeople: "A former Party leader, back in the day, gave a famous warning, let me update it – and change the party.

"I warn you, I warn you not to grow your business – because they’ll come after you.

"I warn you not to take people on – because they’ll slap taxes on you. I warn you not to create wealth – because they’ll demonise you. I warn you not to aspire to aspire, to work, to turn a profit, to build something better – because in their vision, you are the enemy, private sector ‘bad’; public sector ‘good’."

Neil Kinnock's famous 1983 speech warning about electing a Thatcher government

The prime minister also announced that a Tory government would boost access to finance for growing firms, under a scheme called "Help to Grow", which would help 500 fast-growing firms a year.

What Neil Kinnock said:

If Margaret Thatcher is re-elected as prime minister on Thursday, I warn you, I warn you that you will have pain–when healing and relief depend upon payment.

I warn you that you will have ignorance–when talents are untended and wits are wasted, when learning is a privilege and not a right, I warn you that you will have poverty–when pensions slip and benefits are whittled away by a government that won’t pay in an economy that can’t pay.

I warn you that you will be cold–when fuel charges are used as a tax system that the rich don’t notice and the poor can’t afford, I warn you that you must not expect work–when many cannot spend, more will not be able to earn. When they don’t earn, they don’t spend. When they don’t spend, work dies.

I warn you not to go into the streets alone after dark or into the streets in large crowds of protest in the light, I warn you that you will be quiet–when the curfew of fear and the gibbet of unemployment make you obedient.

I warn you that you will have defence of a sort–with a risk and at a price that passes all understanding, I warn you that you will be home-bound–when fares and transport bills kill leisure and lock you up.

I warn you that you will borrow less–when credit, loans, mortgages and easy payments are refused to people on your melting income.

If Margaret Thatcher wins on Thursday, I warn you not to be ordinary, I warn you not to be young, I warn you not to fall ill, I warn you not to get old.

A pilot scheme will be launched at the Budget before the election using £100 million from the British Business Bank, he said. Cameron also called on employers to pass on he benefits of falling oil prices and stronger economic growth.

The prime minister's election message was rained on by the British Chambers of Commerce chief John Longworth, who mocked the Tories ' flagship election slogan, boasting of having a "long-term economic plan".

See more on General Election 2015

Longworth, the BCC's director general, told the Financial TImes: "Do you know what it is? No? Exactly. Neither do I. They have done a lot of things, the current government, which have been pro-enterprise but we don’t really know what the plan is for the next parliament.".

See more on #BCCConf

British Chambers of Commerce Chief John Longworth Doesn't Think Much Of The Tories' 'Long Term Plan'

Britain Leaving The EU Would Be A 'Disaster', Poland Warns

Longworth's verdict will be particularly embarrassing as senior ministers - including Cameron and George Osborne, have given the well-worn phrase "long-term economic plan" major prominence in the Tories' election campaign.

See more...

Miliband's 'Anti-Business' Backlash Isn't Ruining His Campaign

Ed Miliband Riles Business With 'Father's Month' Paternity Leave Plan

Lord Mandelson Backs Ed Miliband For Prime Minister