Speaking in Davos later this afternoon the Conservative leader David Cameron will say that he will "stand up for business because it’s businesses, not
governments or politicians, that create jobs, wealth and opportunity." He will continue:
"It’s businesses that drive innovation and choice, and help families
achieve a higher standard of living for a lower cost."
But he will also call on businesses to work within a stronger moral framework:
"I think it’s time to update the free market orthodoxy that has dominated the past few decades. It’s time to assert a fundamental truth: that markets are a means to an end, not an end in themselves. Markets are there to serve our society, not to suck the joy out of it or trample over its values. So we must shape capitalism to suit the needs of society; not shape society to suit the needs of capitalism. That is what I mean by responsible business. Business helping to create a society that is greener, safer, fairer – and where opportunity is more equal. Business helping to create a society that is more family-friendly, where responsibility and power are decentralised, and where we value and build up the institutions of the public realm and civic society. So if markets, and capitalism, and the activities of individual businesses conflict with our vision of the good society and a better life if damage is being done to our environment, or if family life is being undermined we must not sit there and take it, going along with the old orthodoxy that nothing should be allowed to impede the pursuit of profit. We must speak out."
He will call for the financial system to redirect its talents to the world’s poorest citizens: "Our
financial system boasts people so bright they’ve created financial
instruments beyond even their own understanding. Now they need to use
those talents to help the poorest build assets. To go into our most deprived communities, giving them the tools to make the most of the market, to help them with banking and saving and owning."
[CCHQ gave ConHome permission to publish this post in advance of the original 6pm embargo].