Faced with the NEI redundancies, all that the Labour city council in Newcastle could do—and I fear that it reveals Labour's industrial policies nationally, too—was to waste yet further resources upon producing a boringly tedious and second-rate report and then to prepare a leaflet drop to every house in Newcastle, telling them what they knew already. However, it did not remind them of the NEI's rates bill of £2·1 million a year, which the city council levied, and the burden that that placed on the company. It is time that the Labour party faced reality and acknowledged that it has prolonged and wallowed in the concept of the north-south divide. When it had its chance, it did nothing to allay it. That is the reality that this House ought to be aware of, and it is the reality that people in the north of England know only too well.