David Cameron swanned around a pro-market event with Prince Charles today to defend profit-hungry businesses against "snobbery."
The Prime Minister and Prince of Wales attended the Business in the Community charity annual conference to hit back at "the snobbery that says business has no inherent moral worth like the state does.
"Frankly I'm sick of this anti-business snobbery," wealthy Mr Cameron snorted.
"In recent months we've heard some dangerous rhetoric creep into our national debate, that wealth creation is somehow anti-social, that people in business are out for themselves.
"We have got to fight this mood with all we've got."
He called on "those of us who believe in markets, business and enterprise" to come together and "prove the sceptics wrong".
Mr Cameron's speech follows massive criticism of the government's work programme to force people on benefits into a month's unpaid work.
It has been branded "slave labour" as benefits could be stopped if a participant leaves before completing a placement.
And Left Economics Advisory Panel co-ordinator Andrew Fisher said: "Big business has been rightly pilloried of late for dodging taxes, paying excessive bonuses, rampant profiteering, and now exploiting the unemployed through workfare.
"Cameron's speech is a reaction to the inevitable public distrust and growing anger with his government handing over our schools, welfare system and the NHS to big business.
"Activists should be proud that we have forced the government on the defensive - and keep up the pressure!"
Business expert Professor Roger Seifert described Mr Cameron's words as strangely Victorian.
Mr Seifert said: "Clearly in a capitalist society the profit motive and profit making are seen by its supporters and apologists as the engine and the steam of all things.
"We know that it does not actually function in that way: businesses, in order to secure profits, exploit workers and consumers alike, do not pay their way in terms of tax and costs they inflict through pollution and ill-health.
"They also distort the use of resources away from socially useful and economically needed to the useless and the wasteful," he added.
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