Launch of the Conservative manifesto
12.15pm update: DOWNLOAD THE MANIFESTO HERE
I'll be blogging the highlights below (not verbatim).
10.54am David and Samantha Cameron arrive.
11.18am Samantha Cameron takes her seat
11.19am William Hague: comes on and says that Battersea Power station is ripe for regeneration - just like our country. He welcomes Cameron to the stage, saying this is the culmination of four and a half years work. He says that the Conservative party was too narrow in its thinking before but has changed under David Cameron. "The party of one nation is back where it belongs." Problems cannot be solved by politicians alone... come and join the government... we are in this together... let's work together to mend the broken society, to mend our broken politics and to restore Britain's reputation... Vote Blue Go Green was never just a slogan... Change comes from strong people, not strong government. And that change cannot come soon enough.
11.23am George Osborne: How are we going to get the economy moving is central to the election. We mustn't have a tax on jobs while the economy is still weak - and more than 100 leading businessmen now back the Tory position against putting up national insurance. Britain needs a new economic vision... where we save and invest and export. We will give eight benchmarks to people so they can judge the next government. Politicians alone will not get growth going again - it is entrepeneurs, business people and wealth creators in the private and public sector. We ask teachers, doctors, nurses, policemen, to help get better value in the public sector. And we will help business people by cutting corporation tax and making it easier to employ people.
11.27am A video is played featuring the founder of Powerday, a "green success story".
11.29am Theresa May: Once again Labour is not working. More children are from workless households, and during the period of economic growth millions remained on out of work benefits. We've got to get Britain working again and have big plans for welfare reform. There will be personal tailored support for those who want to work - to help them back into work. Ad we invite the voluntary sector tp be a prt of our work programme too. We will pay by results too. We can stop the culture of welfare dependency.
11.32am Michael Gove: Britain is a great place to live in 2010, but thee is another side to life - the broken society. The poorest have got poorer and inequality has widened. There is increasing drug and alcohol dependency. We'll keep tax credits in the fight against poverty and bring new energy to the fight against crime. But we will tackle the causes of the problems in the welfare system too. We will recognise marriage in the tax system. Come and help us create the Big Society... Let's create a new generation of smaller schools with good discipline and higher standards. There is no limit to what we can achieve together.
11.35am Julie from Llandudno features in the next video, explaining why she is now voting Conservative.
11.39am Andrew Lansley explains why the NHS will always be our No 1 priority for government. It will always remain free at the point of use, but there needs to be reform. We will be the only party promising to increase spending year on year. We'll scrap targets. We'll drive up targets by making doctors and nurses answerable to patients. I'm asking doctors and nurses to come forward and set up employee-owned co-operatives. Play your part and do your bit.
11.43am Caroline Spelman: We've got to return Parliament to people as part of mending our broken politics. Too many decision are taken by unaccountable people or centrally. We plan the most radical redistribution and decentralisation of power away from the politics elite. More mayors, more referendums, more power to neighbourhoods... Please help us expose waste... veto council tax rises. If you elect us on May 6th - you will be in power on May 7th.
11.46am A film is shown showing how people can change politics featuring Shaun Bailey, the PPC for Hammersmith.
11.49am Sayeeda Warsi: Politics has been dragged through the dirt - a deep scar has been left on our democracy, people doubt whether things can change. But they can. David Cameron led the way in openess on transparency on MPs' expenses. We'll cut the number of MPs and their perks. People must not dismiss all politican as rotten - come and help us fix broken politics. Dont complain about your MP in the pub - recall them. And if you don't like the laws being passed, get involved and directly influence them online. She then intorduces Cameron
11.52am David Cameron comes on. He goes through various cultural references to Battersea Power Station in TV and film. Gene Hunt found Shazza and rescued her here in a recent Ashes to Ashes episode. Fire up the power station - it's time for change! The manifesto is a plan to change Britain for the better but is not a traditional manifesto. We don't say give us your vote and we'll solve your problems. Rather, we're all in this together, we want and need everyone to get involved - those who want to set up co-operatives, parents who want to set up schools, communities who want to take over local parks and libraries... There'll be no more hiding place for waste and inefficiency as we give you the opportunity to scrutinise government. We are inviting people now through email, Facebook and Twitter to join our government and when you get that invitation, forward it to your friends.
The alternative to big government is good effective government, focusing on what needs to be done - the partner of the Big Society, not its boss. It's time to say to Labour, it's not about you the government, it's about we the people.We can make things better without spending more money - because communities will solve the social problems that causes spending to rise in the first place and public sector workers will deliver more for less and people will make sure waste will be cut out. Good government costs less with the Conservatives. We will put responsibility at the heart of national life - showing leadership at the top by cutting and freezing ministers' pay and freezing public sector pay for a year for all but the lowest paid. And the 50p tax rate will have to stay and the tax credits for families on more than £50,000 will have to go. Anything that encourages responsibility is a good thing. Let's help people come together by abolishing the couple penalty in the tax and benefits system. Let's give teachers the power to enforce discipline. Let's have common sense not health and safety nonsense. We must end the culture of entitlement and build a culture of responsibility. he quotes JFK in saying people should ask what they should do for their country.
People have a real choice at this election. For example the jobs tax will kill the recovery and we will oppose it. 7 out of 10 working people will be better off under us. There's a real choice on society too. Labour introduce a new regulation or a new tsar... our way is to say social problems need a social response - it's time for the Big Society, not big government. There'll be a new culture of responsibility among young people with the new National Citizen Service. Our approach is to get rid of centrlaised bureaucracy, open up to outside providers and pay by results.
On politics, Labour are getting on with process reforms. The best way of building trust after the expenses scandal is to hand power back to people and cut the cost of politics by cutting the number of MPs and ministers' pay and reducing the number of quangos. Real people power, not more state power.
This is properly funded. Yes, there will be cuts and we will stop some things. So many things to do, so little time to do them. The manifesto is optimistic and ambitious. There is a big choice in 23 days' time. Labour have lost their way. The Liberal Democrats have little to say. We stand for the working people Labour have abandoned. And we stand for the idealists the Lib Dems will disappoint becasue they can't win.
If you vote Conservative, you are voting to change the whole system not just the government.