I well remember the atmosphere in the House the Monday after Hillsborough, and the disbelief felt by many of us when the then Home Secretary came to the Dispatch Box and told us that, after a period of reconsideration, the Bill was to continue its progress through Parliament.
This should not be a partisan measure. The elimination of hooliganism should be a matter of agreement throughout the House. I suspect that few Bills could be shown, on critical examination, to be as devoid of merit as this Bill has been, perhaps by the unforeseen but illuminating events that have taken place outside. Hillsborough should have provided an opportunity, but instead it has been used to demonstrate the Government's determination to ignore the obvious. The Government would have commanded great support and respect if they had come to the House after Hillsborough and said that they would wait for Lord Justice Taylor's final report. I suspect—recent events may confirm my judgment—that the doctrine of infallibility pervades all the attitudes of the present Government. No argument in principle, and few arguments in detail, have deflected them from their predetermined course, as was demonstrated by the publication of the Bill in its original form.
Football is the poorer for this measure but, unhappily, football will have to live with it. The Football League and the Football Association will have to make the measure work, but responsibility for it will rest with those who have promoted it so enthusiastically, and I believe that they will come to regret that enthusiasm.
I shall speak only briefly, as I have had a big say on Second Reading and in Committee.
I agree with everything said by my right hon. Friend the Member for Brent, North (Sir R. Boyson). It was not so much the technical objections to the Bill that we paraded in Committee; our opposition comes down to a matter of principle. I believe that it is a gross infringement of personal liberty to impose the Bill on so many law-abiding citizens. It challenges the lawless to try to defeat it, and we shall certainly see such action.
I can tell my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State that the Bill is causing great distress to those who have supported their teams for many years. Season-ticket holders who are committed to their teams will be required to join the scheme, as will those who are already members of their club schemes, young reds or blues—depending on their team colours—and under-10s accompanied by adults. I cannot imagine even East Germany trying to impose a scheme with such draconian requirements on so many in order to isolate so few.
We have debated the anomalies and the omissions. We have discussed the fact that Scotland, which has a greater record of arrests than many clubs in England, is to be excluded, and that we are including all the member states of the European Community which may wish to cross the Channel to watch a football game. We are not even satisfied with that: the legislation will also apply to American tourists. My hon. Friend the Member for Bury, North (Mr. Burt) mentioned football in America. I assure him that if he goes around the stores in the United States he will find many tee-shirts inscribed with the names of such famous teams as Liverpool, Manchester United and Arsenal.
It is so unreasonable that someone who comes to Britain for a fortnight as a tourist cannot watch a football match unless he joins the scheme. One hopes that there is still time for reason to prevail, and that when the FMA looks at the scheme it will build on everything good that has happened in football in recent years, such as the way Millwall has turned around from a club which was condemned to one which, through universal membership, has dealt with the problems of away supporters by putting big screens at the Den so that people who cannot go to away matches can watch the match from their own ground.
The final principle I wish to mention, and the reason why I shall continue to oppose the Bill, is that one cannot impose a law without the consent of the majority of people who will be affected by it. The majority of people who provide the sport—the players—are against it; as are 91 of the 92 chairmen who run the clubs. About 500,000 regular football supporters have signed a petition which has been presented to the House individually by club and by the total membership of the Football Supporters Association. One cannot impose a law on an industry to that extent and hope to succeed. For those reasons I shall oppose the Third Reading.
I have agreed with the hon. Member for Broxtowe (Mr. Lester) on many issues. I wholeheartedly agree with his denunciation of the Bill.
As a Welshman approaching soccer, one has to be modest, to say the least. There are now only three Welsh league teams in the third and fourth divisions. Rugby is our national sport, so I approach the Bill from a rather different angle. My worry and concern is that the Bill will not stop where it is planned to stop—within league football.
The hon. Member for Broxtowe and others have demonstrated the absurdity of including women and old-age pensioners in the scheme. Another absurdity is the way in which the scheme would treat the Liverpool v. Spurs match that we saw yesterday on television in the same way as the Rochdale v. Scarborough match attended by 1,400 people last Saturday. Rochdale and Scarborough will have to have the same membership scheme with its plastic cards for a match watched by perhaps 1,500 to 2,500 people.
The argument why that is necessary, repeatedly produced by the Minister, is that, if we do not have a comprehensive scheme that includes teams such as Rochdale and Scarborough as well as Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur, the thugs will go up the road to clubs not covered by the scheme.
In south Wales the growing non-league sides have got into the Vauxhall League, and, by a marvellous rapid promotion through three leagues Merthyr has even played a European Cup tie, beating a first division Italian side. There was an amazing, wonderful sense of community spirit. My worry and concern is that the next league in which the scheme will intrude will be the Vauxhall league. Already many clubs such as Merthyr are drawing crowds bigger than those at third and fourth division matches. The Government plan to draw the line at the fourth division. But the Bill does not draw the line.
Another body that has emerged from our discussions is a huge new quango called the Football Licensing Authority. Ministers, the Football Licensing Authority and the Football Membership Authority will not only become involved in league football, but will have to decide when to designate matches involving non-league clubs versus league clubs. I suggest that when the Secretary of State leaves the Chamber he watches the first round draw of the FA Cup today. Twenty of the matches are between non-league and league sides. We discussed that issue throughout our discussions in Committee. One of my functions was to identify the interface between non-league and league football.
If the Bill were enacted, it would have to be decided which of those 20 matches would be designated matches. What consequences would flow from their becoming designated matches? I think that the Secretary of State may have made a factual error when he said that every designated match will be covered by the comprehensive membership scheme. I hope that that is not true, because I believe that many matches will be designated but will not be subject to the membership scheme. If they are subject to it, half the clubs competing in the first round of the cup will be dragged into the scheme, making it difficult, if not impossible, for many fans of non-league clubs to support their team.
Anyone who has followed the debates on the Bill will be aware of, first, its gross absurdity and, secondly, its creeping bureaucracy. The new and elaborate Football Licensing Authority and the Football Membership Authority—two new quangos—have been established to handle the problem of hooliganism.
Yesterday, we watched magnificent football being played at the Liverpool-Spurs match. People who were unable to attend that match saw it on television yesterday afternoon. As a casual football spectator, one is shaken by the fact that teams such as Liverpool and Spurs cannot play in Europe, and by the fact that Ministers are ensuring that they cannot do so, which is disgraceful. The actions of a mindless group of hooligans mean that great clubs such as Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur cannot play in Europe. The day that this awful Bill becomes an Act, I trust that Ministers will say to the European football authorities, "This is our solution. We support the inclusion of our great clubs in European football." Whether it be Merthyr Tydfil playing Atalanta or Liverpool playing Real Madrid, there is no excuse for the way that Ministers have behaved to football fans over the past 12 months, as represented and signified by the Bill
Listening to the debates on Second Reading, in Committee and now on Third Reading has been an enormously enjoyable experience. For many hon. Members, it has been one of those rare occasion when something that has been a hobby for many years has been discussed on the Floor of the Chamber. Most hon. Members were football supporters long before we knew anything about politics. An attachment to and love of a football club is deeper than an attachment to or love of a political party or Government.
It is no shame at all. It is a subject which goes very deep. That is why the emotions aroused inside and outside the House have been so great. The argument is all about romance and the differing views of the game, both past and future.
Conservative Members and the Bill, but not Labour Members, have seriously addressed the state of football today. We have asked whether it is good enough, and if there are problems what to do about them. Currently, the game is not in a good state, and has suffered decline for many years for various reasons. Most football clubs are in debt not because of a football membership scheme or the Prime Minister but because insufficient people watch the game.
A public perception of violence has surrounded the game for the past 20 years, some of that has been based on truth, but much has also been based on media myth. The media have blown up incidents and suggested that they happen all the time. Most hon. Members who attend football regularly know that violence does not occur everywhere. However, if one asks the mums and dads who used to take their children whether they think that it happens, or ask a mother whether she is prepared to let her children go to a game alone, or whether those who grew up standing on the terraces with their dads would let their children go, they say "No, we dare not take the risk." That perception of the game, which has helped its decline, has been tackled by the Bill. It is important to change people's attitudes. The Bill, with other measures, will do that.
The romance that I mentioned is a romantic attachment to the belief that the way in which people carried on in the past should continue, without any need of legislative change. I do not believe that that can happen.
Is my hon. Friend aware that on Saturday last at the Nottingham Forest match a great part of the ground was full of children under 10 on their own, called Young Reds? They thoroughly enjoyed the game, to which they had gone because they had been encouraged to join that scheme. Does my hon. Friend realise that his efforts to encourage the attendance of young people who do not go to football matches by imposing this new scheme will mean that the people who already go to football matches will not go? They do not want to be members of this scheme in addition to being Young Reds. My hon. Friend is pitching for people who may or may not understand what is happening in football at the expense of those who do.
I understand what my hon. Friend says. It has been a feature of his contributions, like those of many Opposition Members. I do not believe that that is true. The attachment that those young people already show to football and their desire to watch the game will not be affected by their becoming members of another scheme. The fact that they are already loyal to a club and want to take part in its activities suggests that they will happily take part in this scheme, especially if there are associated benefits—for example, if it is fitted into the activities of their junior members' clubs. It will not act as an extra barrier.
A number of hon. Members have mentioned the tragic events at Hillsborough. Hon. Members should be reminded that, on page 55, Lord Justice Taylor's report states:
Regrettably, only a month after Hillsborough, there were incidents that showed that violence and hooliganism are still liable to erupt at football grounds.
Lord Justice Taylor went on to detail the events on 13 May at Selhurst Park and on 20 May at the Cup final. He said that such incidents were still happening.
Hillsborough was not caused by hooliganism. Alas, we cannot say that it was a watershed for football hooliganism. I hope that it was a watershed for public safety, but hooligans are still causing trouble. Although we acknowledge that Hillsborough was not the fault of hooligans, I stress that it is the hooligan shadow of the 1960s that caused those deaths, in three ways. First, the police fear of fans moving across Sheffield led them to decide to place the fans at the wrong ends of the ground in terms of space. Secondly, the existence of perimeter fencing was a legacy of the fear of pitch invasion, and it contributed to deaths. The third spillover from the past was the police perception at the time the problems arose. They feared an invasion of the pitch more than any great disaster not caused by hooliganism. That is why the shadow of hooliganism of the 1960s caused the deaths at Hillsborough and why we cannot exclude those factors from our thinking.
The hon. Gentleman referred to the FA cup final on 20 May. All the evidence from that cup final shows that the crowd was able to see the match unsegregated—there was no evidence of widespread hooliganism—and that is always a feature of derby matches, wherever they are played, between the Everton and Liverpool clubs. In the season before last, there were only 24 arrests at matches associated with Everton and 33 at Liverpool, but 452 at Glasgow Rangers.
I make no comment about supporters of Everton and Liverpool. The hon. Gentleman knows more about that than I do, but he also knows, because he was at the cup final, about the pitch invasions and other incidents that took place. They were not major, but they happened. I am afraid that the atmosphere which may exist between Liverpool and Everton did not exist recently when Manchester City met Manchester United, when there was a problem because opposing supporters were mixed in together.
Is my hon. Friend aware that at this year's FA cup final, for the first time in the history of the competition, the cup could not be taken round the ground and paraded to the fans simply because the players were nervous of what might happen to them?
My hon. Friend makes his own point. The point that I seek to make is that all is not well with the state of our game. The Bill has been an attempt to try to do something about that.
What have we heard from the Opposition about what they or others would do? I am pleased to answer now the point raised by the hon. Member for Copeland (Dr. Cunningham). He knows enough about my attitude to the game and the Bill to know that I do not support the Luton scheme strictly. Earlier in the debate, I raised a point about the decrease in policing costs to show that the changing nature of the crowd and the atmosphere at Luton had led to a reduction in policing costs. I genuinely believe that, although away supporters must continue to be part of the football scene, a change in atmosphere produced by the membership scheme can achieve that and can assist in lowering costs.
I hope that the segregated grounds, the closed circuit televisions and the police escorts to and from the station, which are a common feature of first division matches today, will not remain a feature of the game when people realise that they cannot go on like that. We talk about civil liberties here. We should consider the civil liberties of supporters kept penned in after the game against their will to allow the rest of the crowd to disappear, thus enabling them to return to the station safely. That is the status quo in some grounds today. We do not want that to be part of football and we must do something else. I do not support the Luton scheme or the Police Federation's view that the only future for football is to abandon away supporters. The Bill is football's last opportunity to ensure that that does not come to pass.
The Opposition have presented a negative approach to the scheme. I understand the reasons for that and why keen football supporters and the Professional Footballers Association have adopted the same approach. However, now comes the point of change. Once the Bill becomes an Act, we shall all have a vested interest in ensuring that as many people as possible join the national membership scheme. If we do not do that, it will not be my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister or the Government who suffer. [HON. MEMBERS: "Yes it will."] No, it will not. The first to suffer will be the clubs which we want to protect and support by going to matches.
It will be necessary for people to work and to promote schemes in their areas. I bet that most hon. Members will be among the first queuing at their clubs at the start of the appropriate season to pick up their membership tickets because they want to be associated with their clubs and their local areas, and they want to do something to help. The scheme offers the opportunity to raise money for football and to put it back into the stadium and the fans, as we have been asking all along. This is a positive opportunity for football, which football can grasp.
We can be positive about the Bill. If we speak privately to supporters or to executives of the PFA, we realise that they know that football's future, when the Bill is enacted, will be dependent on the membership scheme becoming a success. I want to quote from an important article by David Miller, the sports writer for The Times, which he wrote in January this year. I quote this article in response to the hon. and learned Member for Fife, North-East (Mr. Campbell), who raised the question of civil liberties. He should take note of David Miller's words:
speaking as one who has watched nearly 4,000 matches, I am convinced that a marginal loss in liberty for the general spectator is worth the saving of a beautiful game for future generations and worth the restoration of a decent society. The framework is capable of bringing back to a fine sport some of the dignity and sportsmanship among spectators which has been foully corrupted and of preventing known criminals from attending overseas matches.
If membership is made attractive and the Football Membership Authority has the opportunity, the game will be able to rid itself of its present image and will have a great future. Football should not see itself as being picked upon. Football will be seen as the game that began the great community fight-back against hooliganism and violence in which the football supporter finally shed the unfair image which the violent offender had cast round him. At last our great national game will recover its self-respect.
I do not know whether it was the hon. Member for Bury, North (Mr. Burt) who had a public meeting in his constituency—perhaps he will confirm that—where all the football supporters turned up and took a vote and the hon. Member lost by 300 votes to 10.
That is a little less than the majority that the hon. Gentleman won, and I can safely say that there will be a Labour gain in Bury next time.
The Bill has nothing to do with football. It has to do with politics, law and order and votes. After the 1983 and 1987 victories, the Prime Minister decided that there were many working-class votes to be gained by emphasising law and order. She may have had a point in the case of some of the inner cities where crime and unemployment were growing and where people living in tower blocks were scared of being mugged or burgled. The Prime Minister associated football with the crime problem. She looked at the figures and found that 450,000 people went to a football match one week and perhaps a different 450,000 people the next week—given that clubs only play at home in alternate weeks. She realised that there were 900,000 regular spectators, and the opinion polls showed that about 70 per cent. were in favour of something being done —or something being seen to be done.
I suspect that the Prime Minister sat there one night with Denis over a glass of whisky and asked, "What can we do?" and Denis said, "Why don't you do what our golf club does? Everyone has to be a member and that is how we keep the riff-raff out. That is the only way to run it."
We have seen the Prime Minister's attitude to the Chancellor and to Ministers of Sport, the previous two of whom she sacked, probably because they had the integrity and honesty to tell her that the scheme will not work and is impracticable. It may be a wonderful theory, just as prohibition, prices and incomes policies and other policies over which Governments have made mistakes may be wonderful theories.
The Government think that the scheme can be imposed on a section of the community, but people have to volunteer to accept the law. People may say, "Okay: we don't agree with the breathalyser"—or the highway code or code of conduct—"but we shall go along with it." In this case, however, 98 per cent. of those connected with football—Conservative directors, the fans who stand behind the goal, the players and even the police—say that the scheme will not work. They know that the scheme is impracticable and will cause more trouble than it is worth.
The Prime Minister is a very determined woman and she refuses to accept that fact, just as she refuses to accept arguments at a higher level—about the economy, perhaps —or to take the advice of the Chancellor. When she has rows with the Home Secretary and the Foreign Secretary, exactly the same thing applies. In this case she has plucked an idea out of the sky and seeks to impose it on almost a million people, saying, "This is the way that it will be done."
The Prime Minister has not realised that in every society there needs to be some outlet for violence. I did two years of national service. When we had national service, there was a natural outlet for young people's aggression. Wars, too, have provided an outlet—although not, perhaps, a satisfactory one. There has to be some release of high spirits and tension. We need something to get rid of the natural macho over-enthusiasm of young people, and if football did not exist, something would have to be invented to take its place. If young people can go to football matches and indulge in a spot of harmless tribalism and shout their heads off or wave rattles as they used to in the old days, or chant or sing songs, that prevents crime.
The reason for the terrible crime problem in America is that there is no collective sports outlet. I was recently in Washington with other members of the Select Committee on Home Affairs and we saw the effect of crack on black teenagers, who have no such outlet. They cannot go along and support a football team, because a ticket for a football match in America costs $40. Baseball is much cheaper, but in America football is a middle-class sport.
Is the hon. Gentleman seriously saying that football should be a cathartic experience for hooligans and that either working-class kids should be allowed to vent their spleen —if they are in the small category who are yobs—through the sport or we must invent another outlet for their problems?
There must be an opium for the people. In Spain, Italy, Holland or South America or in the inner cities in England, in Liverpool or at Arsenal, there are huge masses of young people who do not have much hope or expectation. They may have miserable jobs and have to stand by conveyor belts all day. They may even be unemployed. They need something to believe in and it is better that they believe in their football team than in the IRA, or in peddling drugs, muggings, stick-ups or heists and everything else that they have in America. I am not defending the hooligans, but there would be much more hooliganism if football did not exist.
There are problems on new year's eve and at the Notting Hill carnival. There are problems in towns like Aylesbury and Stroud which do not have football teams. Those are lager lout areas where there is no football team to provide a safety valve.
I think that I must be misunderstanding the hon. Gentleman. He seems to be implying that not only should violence at football matches be tolerated for the greater good of society, but it should be encouraged for the greater good of society. I hope that I am wrong, because if that is what the hon. Gentleman is saying, that is the greatest justification for the Bill that I have heard.
The hon. Gentleman is deliberately distorting what I have said. There used to be national service for young people aged 18, 19 or 20. I did national service and it tamed us. However, it does not exist any more. There used to be wars, but they do not exist any more either. The public schools produced the Hooray Henrys, for want of a better word. There will always be a surplus of energy among 18, 19 and 20-year-old males. That will always exist. If there is a natural safety valve for that whether it be playing football or standing on the Spion Kop linking arms and singing songs to get rid of that tribalism, that is a very good and necessary safety valve.
No, I will not give way. The hon. Gentleman will just distort what I have said. he has not been listening carefully. [Interruption.] It is no good the Government Whip, the hon. Member for Staffordshire, South-East (Mr. Lightbown), interjecting from a sedentary position; he is far too fat to have played any sport in his life.
Bombs were set off at football matches in Holland. The Dutch introduced a membership card scheme, but only for the five worst clubs. However, they have had to drop that scheme because it does not work. The hooligans laughed at it, the police said that they could not impose it and the Dutch Government had to drop it. The Dutch Government are a laughing stock.
Never let it be said—but it has been said—that the Opposition support the hooligans. We do not, because we go to the matches. There is no way that I can support the hooligans when I have been involved—innocently—in punch-ups in the past. [Interruption.] Conservative Members may laugh, but they have never been on the Spion Kop. I doubt whether any Conservative Member has paid to go and stand up at a football match on the Spion Kop over the past five or 10 years.
The Government Whip, the fat guy at the front there, has never paid to stand on the Spion Kop. If he had, he would understand the problems with hooliganism. Anybody who has paid to go and stand on the Spion Kop knows that the hooligans must be eradicated. Several things are being done to eradicate the hooligans.
The Football Trust, which the Opposition have supported, is putting £9 million into football every year. For example, I refer to video cameras. It has been proved possible to arrest a hooligan within 30 seconds. If Conservative Members went to football matches they would see video cameras around the grounds. Hon. Members have seen the video cameras in the Chamber —[Interruption.] Conservative Members have all had a drink. I am quite prepared to let them have a laugh. It is half-past 10. They have been in the bar, studying the affairs of the world. As in the Chamber, video cameras at football grounds can zoom in and pin-point a hooligan inside 30 seconds. The man in the control box simply phones down to the policeman who is nearest to section C1, C2, AB or AB2 and so on, and the hooligan is immediately arrested. That is done time and again. That proves that policing works to a great extent inside football grounds.
As the Minister said, the system has fallen down at Crystal Palace—not at Blackpool, because the trouble was outside the ground. There has been one instance inside a ground, and that was at the Birmingham City v. Crystal Palace match at the end of last season. Information was passed on to the police that the average Birmingham away crowd of 3,000 or 4,000 would be doubled or tripled. Thousands of people travelled to Crystal Palace. They went to the wrong ground—the running track—but the police directed them to the right ground. The police took no notice of the advance information that the fans were travelling overnight, and they were caught unawares. That is why, if the supporters were allowed to sit on the Football Membership Authority and add their intelligence to the authority, such instances could be prevented in future.
The obvious, chronic lack of understanding means that we will get no further. The Conservative scoffers never pay to go to a match, never stand in a queue in the rain, and never see the way in which crowds are ripped off. They never get off a tube at Wembley to be forced into a tunnel in exactly the same way as happened at Hillsborough—the tunnels are still there. The authorities know that the tunnel is a death trap. The authorities at Wembley have said that they will put up £1 million so that fans can go straight to the entrance to Wembley. Brent council and London Transport have offered to put up £1 million each, but the Government will not put up their quota. No doubt, when there is a disaster at Wembley and people are killed, it will be the fault of the fans.
Time after time, when people such as myself who stand behind the goal tell the authorities what is wrong, we are jeered at, laughed at and scoffed at until another 95 people are killed. Suddenly, when another 95 people are killed, the scoffers are all experts. This House has 300 or 400 experts who know exactly what is wrong, but none of them was at the match. None of them will pay for a ticket or travel to support a club. None of them has stood in the rain. None of them has been like the kids who go on the Kop and pay two days' pay to stand and watch their favourite team. We have to listen to the scoffs, the jeers and the experts until the next disaster or punch-up happens. Once again, it will be the fault of the people behind the goal and not the fault of the authorities.
The speech by the hon. Member for Bassetlaw (Mr. Ashton) will have been enjoyed by members of the Committee and others in the final say of this great game that we have been playing over the past few months. The hon. Gentleman made some remarkable statements. The romantic side of the story which he normally portrays to the House was overwhelmed by some of his strange theories. None the less, he is not the only one who pays to go to a football match. He is not the only one who stands behind the goal. He is not the greatest living expert on football. Many Conservative Members share his sentiments and experiences as youngsters or even as adults. I remember that, as a small boy, I went to Kenilworth road at a time when small boys could go and watch the great games at Luton.
Many of us understand the problems that the hon. Member for Bassetlaw has put before the House. He is right to say that there are several experts—[Interruption.] There are several who are sitting behind him now who have made a late appearance, perhaps because they have nowhere else to go at this time of night; they are probably now experts on something that we have been considering in detail over the last few months. I echo the words of my hon. Friend the Member for Bury, North (Mr. Burt): it was an extremely good Committee. We discussed the many real problems. Regrettably, as I think the hon. Member for Bassetlaw knows, we shall have to discuss them again, because this scheme is not the ultimate answer.
I do not believe that we shall see the end of football hooliganism as a result of the legislation that we are about to pass. However, we have gone a long way down the road towards arresting a problem that has been the scourge of the game for so long. What amazes Conservative Members, and also many people outside football, is that, when the Government make an attempt—in the opinion of Opposition Members and some of my hon. Friends, a somewhat lame and misguided attempt—to try to remove from football the very problem from which football has suffered, which has had a devastating effect on the game in terms of its public support, by cleaning up the game and pushing hooliganism elsewhere—many of us accept that it will go elsewhere—they are derided and told that they are misguided and that basically all is well. If all were well with football, there would have been no need for the legislation that has taken up a lot of the time of the House.
I regret the need for the Bill. I said that many years ago, and I think that many of my hon. Friends agreed with me. However, something had to be done to save the game as well as to save those who are, regrettably, afflicted by football hooliganism. That is why I was proud to be a member of the Committee. I was also very proud that my right hon. and hon. Friends have brought the legislation before the House, framed, as it has been, by the experience of my own club at Luton.
There was no doubt in the minds of those of my constituents and myself who were at Kenilworth road on that very dark night in March 1985 and who saw the type of havoc that was wrought—some hon. Members on both sides of the House saw it for themselves, either first hand or on television—that something had to be done. Fortunately, my hon. Friend the Member for Welwyn Hatfield (Mr. Evans) was chairman of the club. He and his fellow directors decided that something had to be done.
We could not sit by and watch our town be desecrated by hooligans. We could not sit by and see the support for our club suffer because of a few mindless yobs who decided that night to break up the turnstiles, the pitch, the seating and the benches and to damage my constituents' homes, their garden walls and their cars. Everyone knows the picture that football hooligans paint as they whip through a town and the damage that they inflict upon its residents. That is why the scheme was introduced in the town. It has brought with it a variety of benefits, which I shall outline to the House.
The scheme has brought peace to the town, something that not many towns and cities can claim on Saturday afternoons. It has also brought peace for the residents who live around the ground, for the members who live in and outside the town and for those who come into the town to shop or to visit relatives. As my hon. Friend for Bury, North rightly pointed out to the hon. Member for Copeland (Dr. Cunningham), it has meant the deployment of police away from the ground to other areas of the town and county. We in Luton regrettably suffer from a high crime rate, but it has been arrested. At least we can now direct the police to areas where they are needed, instead of having to herd fans to and from the ground.
The scheme has also brought my town a sense of safety. People can travel on public transport—trains, buses and taxis—or in their own cars in and around the town in the sure knowledge that they will reach their journey's end unscathed. That cannot be boasted by many of our towns and cities.
The scheme has brought peace to those who want to shop in and around the ground, where the shops now stay open right up to kick-off time—and are open when the fans come out. It has brought peace to the pubs, which now stay open and whose takings have risen. We do not have to shut our pubs in Luton just because there is a match on a Saturday.
The scheme has brought commercial advantages to the town centre, where people have returned to shop. Shopkeepers in and around the centre of the town will testify that, since the scheme came into force, people have flocked to shop in Luton, because they know that they will not be interrupted in their shopping by gangs of marauding fans getting off trains and buses on the way to the ground.
The scheme has attracted business men to the town, in the sure knowledge that they can set up their businesses without the thought that every other Saturday they will have to shut them when the fans come through. More than anything, it has brought a pride to our town that we did not possess before. We have become an example to the nation—our arrests are the fewest in the league. That is remarkable for a first division club. Granted its gate is moderate, but it is considerably more than that of many other clubs in the country.
My hon. Friend, to whom I am grateful, will know that in the two previous years there was only one arrest, and that, even with the seven, we have fewer arrests than any other club in the League—including the third and fourth division clubs.
Luton supporters have not complained about many of the things that Opposition Members think they should. They have had to go and buy a membership card, at a pound a year, and about 20,000 of them have done so. No one has complained to me, or to my hon. Friends the Members for Welwyn Hatfield (Mr. Evans) or for Luton, South (Mr. Bright) that his civil liberties have been eroded by this. It is nonsense to say that people will not buy tickets. If they are keen football supporters, it is a small sacrifice to make for the benefits that have been well paraded this evening and in Committee.
People have not complained, either, about the fact that they can now watch football in peace. They can go to a game with their children, or their children can go on their own. I must tell my hon. Friend the Member for Broxtowe (Mr. Lester) that people will not allow their children to go to matches at many clubs because of the history of hooliganism—or worse, the fear of it. At Luton, they do not complain about that, because they know that they can watch the game in comfort and peace.
People do not complain about the commercial advantage that the scheme has brought their club. The books are now balanced and we are attracting more sponsors than ever before. Luton fans do not complain about that, although the Opposition think they should.
Luton people also do not complain about being shouted at and abused by a load of youths, or about hearing racial chants and obscenities. The Opposition say that that will not be eradicated by the scheme. They do not complain about being able to walk to the ground without having been herded in by police horses or dogs. Residents do complain of having to he escorted to their homes by the police at night, as they are at Highbury on big match days. That does not happen at Luton. Fans can go to the ground in peace and comfort in the full knowledge that they will not be attacked as they approach. No longer do they complain when they return to their cars that they have been scratched and damaged, because they are intact now. When they get home their garden walls are still standing——.
They do not complain that some yob has pushed down their walls or jumped into their garden.
The hon. Member for Islington, North (Mr. Corbyn) is a latecomer to these proceedings. Many hon. Members in the Chamber and in Committee have thought long and hard about this subject and have discussed it at great length and with great seriousness. The levity that he tries to bring to the debate is to be regretted. I shall not give way to him because he is a late comer and knows little about our proceedings. Perhaps he had better make a contribution somewhere else.
I do not even know the constituency that the hon. Member represents, nor do many of my hon. Friends. Probably his own constituents do not know about him.
The Bill and the scheme will mean that everybody will be able to enjoy what we enjoy in Luton. As the Minister has said many times, people travelling abroad will be able to do so with a degree of safety and, hopefully, in the knowledge that when they go to a match abroad they will not find the games interrupted by fans who go to wreck matches and not to watch them.
We have heard a great deal about the virtues of the Luton scheme. The hon. Gentleman says that there have been very few arrests at Luton during the last two seasons. We know that, when the scheme was introduced, the former secretary of Luton Town said that it was to save visiting supporters from the Luton hooligans. May I remind the hon. Gentleman of a reply that I received from a Home Office Minister last year? He said that 52 Luton Town supporters were arrested following a match with Ipswich Town the season before last. The hon. Gentleman should correct the record.
The hon. Member knows that I always try to be helpful to him, because I know that he has ambitions. With departures impending on the Opposition Front Bench, he will need my help and the help of some of his hon. Friends to put forward his point of view. He should have listened to the extensive replies in Committee which showed, as my hon. Friend the Member for Welwyn Hatfield will confirm, that those 52 so-called Luton supporters merely came from the Luton area and were not travelling on a coach approved by Luton Town football club. That shows the strength of the Luton scheme. We know and can approve certain carriers for our fans and we know that the fans will behave.
My hon. Friend the Member for Welwyn Hatfield and I have paraded the Luton scheme and will continue to do so, because it forms the basis of this excellent Bill. We look forward to hon. Members enjoying the advantages of the membership scheme, as we have done over the last three years. In more ways than one, this is a momentous night for football. At the end of the day, when crowds begin to flock back to our national game, a great deal of gratitude will be extended not only to my hon. Friend the Minister, who has led us splendidly over the last few months, but to the Government, who have had the courage to tackle a problem that was ignored by the Opposition.
Luton Town is a shattering irrelevancy. It is the reason behind the Bill that the hon. Members for Luton, North (Mr. Carlisle) and for Welwyn Hatfield (Mr. Evans) have been forcefully pushing from behind the scenes. However, the provisions of the Bill will not apply to Luton Town, because clause 1(10) allows the exclusion of people from grounds even if they have national identity cards. That will apply at Luton, because the police in Luton are asking for that. The scheme at Luton will continue, and it will not be the scheme that will be applied elsewhere. All the detail, discussions, statistics and information about the changed nature of life in Luton will be irrelevant to the rest of the universe.
The Bill is inside out, the wrong way round. It is a procedural mess. It went first to the other place, rather than coming here. Any measure of such great significance to the interests of our constituents should come to this House before going to the other place, which can examine, revise and make suggestions for change; rather than the other place setting the scene before the Bill is brought to us. Then, in Committee, we tried to open up the discussion and have a logical debate on the Bill. We wanted to look first at part II, which deals with exclusion orders, making people attend police stations or perhaps do community service during match times. That is a way to tackle the problem of hooliganism in that they are targeted, and then action is taken against them. However, we were not allowed the privilege of a sensible debate on that before going on to debate identity cards. That provision was steamrollered through.
All the Committee's debate took place before Taylor's interim report. It was available when we discussed the ways and means resolution, and for Report and Third Reading, but it has not been debated, except when the Opposition have initiated a debate, and there has been no response to the problems with which it deals. It is a disgrace that passage of the Bill was not delayed until Taylor had reported fully. In his interim report, Taylor says that he will not discuss ID cards because he wants to deal with them in the full report.
On Friday, we discussed the ways and means motion and the money resolution before we discussed the Bill itself. The Government's timetable was in a mess, and they had to deal with the Companies Bill and the Children Bill. Therefore, they decided to squash the remaining stages of this Bill by dealing with the Children Bill once they had the timetable motion for this Bill. They forced the closure of the debate, thus preventing Labour Members from participating in the debate.
The guillotines that have fallen on our debates have made a nonsense of them. We dealt first with six groups of Government amendments, and they had only two non-Government groups of amendments, one from the Opposition and one from rebel Tories. That left 12 groups, including those dealing with some important measures—for example, the exclusion of third and fourth division clubs from the scheme—which, were never discussed.
Furthermore, we are involved in a great act of hypocrisy in that we are establishing a system of ID cards that will be collected and paid for by about 1 million people, and will be responsible for 400,000 people attending matches each week. This will be done by a Division being called in which 500 of us will go through one or the other Lobby, and in 15 minutes we shall decide how many Members are here. If there is any need for "smart cards" it might be in this place, because the match played out here has involved no more than one tenth of the hon. Members who will vote.
We witnessed a timetabling disgrace in Committee, which meant that we had only 16 sittings. The timetable motion was introduced before we reached some of the more important items in the Bill. There has not been full and proper discussion of part II and the developments that could flow from it.
The Government have used the most dubious statistics in trying to establish their position. They have been selective and have used specific examples—serious ones, to which we should respond—for universal application. The result is that their conclusions are irrelevant.
We need to know what is happening at the grounds in terms of violence and arrests. We must know also where the arrests take place and of the arrests and charges that ensue. That information has not been made available to us. A written question of mine was answered on 19 December, which was reproduced in many newspapers and described as a league of shame. The figures showed that there were certain areas where problems needed to be targeted, but the average number of arrests—not convictions—was five per match. At the average club, there were three arrests per 10,000 spectators, and there were 22 clubs between Manchester and Colchester where there was one arrest per 10,000 or less. At Colchester, there were in fact no arrests at all. That is better than the much-vaunted Luton record.
The details supplied by the Arsenal football club include nine cases of theft, eight of ticket touting and 12 drug cases. What are the offences that lead to arrests throughout the country? Let us have that information, so that we can respond with the appropriate targeting.
Is my hon. Friend aware that last week, in advance of the scheme being introduced, there was a capacity crowd at the Arsenal ground? The police decided to throw a quarter-mile cordon around the ground. No one could break the cordon unless he had a ticket for the match or could prove that he lived within the area enclosed by the cordon. In effect, there was an identity scheme for the match and for the residents in the area. There have been no problems at Arsenal during the past year.
Order. I am sure that the hon. Member for Derbyshire, North-East (Mr. Barnes) will return to the Third Reading of the Bill.
The Arsenal problem will develop and expand with the introduction of the identification scheme. The police will seek to stop people as they approach the ground to ascertain whether they are entitled to be in the vicinity, and that will lead to potential danger.
The ID scheme will lead to considerable dangers, including a breakdown of order, confusion and financial loss. The card system will prove difficult to implement. The Minister has told us that at each ground the names—and numbers, presumably—of those who have been excluded will be supplied by means of a telephone computer, for example, so that those responsible will know exactly who has been excluded. We have been told, however, that it will be possible to purchase new cards on the day at post offices and grounds, and that at the Halifax and Hartlepool sheds, for example, it will be possible to obtain information to enable people to get new cards. It will be possible for hooligans who are the subject of an exclusion order to obtain extra cards so that they can enter the ground. The system will not prevent that.
There will be crushes at the grounds. The crush that developed at Hillsborough will be seen at other grounds, and to an even greater degree. It is likely that the scheme will not reflect the halcyon dream of the hon. Member for Bury, North (Mr. Burt). Instead, there will be greater problems and greater trouble. Hooligans will be encouraged to beat the system by snatching cards, in the way that they snatch tickets now from people as they arrive at matches. They will even engage in games, challenging people to present their cards. Supporters will find themselves in trouble if their identity cards reveals that they do not belong to the "right" club. The House should instead be developing the provisions in part II and amend the Bill accordingly.
The scheme will interfere with freedom of access to grounds. The Government are introducing internal passport systems for football matches at about the same time that barriers between European countries are being removed to allow the individual more freedom of movement. The Government will criminalise fans while still being unable to contain hooliganism.
I shall be among those who will not seek to obtain an identity card. Two weeks ago, I attended a match at Upton park, to watch West Ham play Sunderland, which I support. I decided to dash out to Upton park only about an hour before the game, which I watched from the terraces behind West Ham's goal. Under the scheme, I would not have been able to do that—which might have been just as well, given that my team was beaten 5:0, which did not make it a particularly enjoyable occasion. However, on other occasions I might want very much to gain admission to a match at the last moment.
Identity cards have massive civil liberty implications. Plastic cards are not only used by burglars and others but can be stolen by hooligans, and even used as weapons—especially if they are cut up. In certain circumstances, even being in possession of a plastic card could be said by the police to be possessing an offensive weapon.
Not only can identity cards set off security systems such as those found in the House of Commons: they may also be imprinted with confidential information about their holders. That aspect has not been hemmed in by the Bill. Cards can hold information that is irrelevant to the claimed purposes of the Bill, which has been given as the need to curb hooliganism—but another reason for the legislation is commercial.
Conservative Members have stressed different aspects of the Bill, with some being much keener on its commercial potential than on its value in containing hooliganism. The scheme will allow information to be collected about the matches one attends, the turnstiles one enters, one's creditworthiness, and information provided by other organisations. The cards could even hold information about the holder's non-payment of the poll tax and any problems he might have in that connection.
In Committee, stress was placed only on the scheme's commercial value and not on improving the situation on terraces in the future. The hon. Member for Bury, North suggested that the identity card scheme will change the face of football. In fact, it will restrict attendances, push up prices and sanitise soccer to make it fit for the credit card-carrying classes. The Bill will provide a vehicle for all kinds of advertising material and junk mail. The consequence will be, as at Luton, that people will carry a plastic card enabling them to watch plastic football played on a plastic pitch.
We have heard a great deal about the problems that face football, and there can be no doubt that what we have heard exemplifies the violence from which it has suffered over the past few years. We have heard much about violence inside the ground, and my hon. Friend the Member for Luton, North (Mr. Carlisle) has described the difficulties that Luton used to experience from violence outside the ground.
We have heard, too, about the problems inherent in estimating the size of the violence problem from the number of arrests made at matches. I suggest that the number of arrests is no gauge of the degree of violence. The problem is not the spectators who are arrested, but inherent hooliganism which is not bad enough for the police to take direct action—or, indeed, which happens away from the police presence.
One of the great benefits that the Bill will bring is an overall reduction in the level of violence. Violence outside the ground is the most pernicious. That is the violence that has earned football the worst name that it has had for perhaps 50 years. It is often claimed that the Bill would not address such violence, but I suggest that once a full membership scheme is brought in and people intending to go to a match who behave in an anti-social manner find that if they are identified—not just by the police, but by the club—they will be prevented from going to future matches, they will no longer visit that club or congregate outside because there will be no purpose in doing so if they know that they will not be allowed in. Away supporters will not catch the train from their home town to see the match and local supporters will stay at home, and perhaps watch "Match of the Day" on television—they will not stand in the street outside the ground creating mayhem.
The Bill constitutes a major benefit for those living near football grounds. It will remove from them the Saturday afternoon threat, not of being beaten up or otherwise assaulted, but of racial abuse, sexual harassment, urination in their front gardens and vandalism of their motor cars, the threat of not being able to go out and do the shopping, and lead a normal, active life on a Saturday afternoon.
That, I feel, is the negative side of the Bill. The positive side is much more exciting for the clubs themselves. As one whose constituency contains two league clubs, I can see the advantages that the Bill will bring to both of them. For the first time they will know who their supporters are, and will be able to identify not only paid-up members and those who have bought season tickets, but everyone who claims to have allegiance to them.
I understand that Luton regularly has gates of some 10,000 for a home match. Its present membership scheme comprises 20,000, and is closed. The membership scheme could well increase that number. If we assume a doubling of the average gate as the number who will identify themselves as supporters—the small clubs will, of course, benefit particularly—we can take that to be the number who, having been identified by name and address, will be available to those clubs, which will be able to solicit financial support from them. More important, the clubs will be able to find out why those people do not attend on a regular basis to watch their teams play.
That will help clubs such as Fulham which, regrettably, has fallen on rather hard times, with the average gate below 4,000 for a home match. It will enable the club to find out why it is attracting such a small number, and to find ways of increasing support, to become financially viable and to bring about a resurgence in football's popularity.
The ability of the Secretary of State to license grounds will do much to see that managements, at League and club level, live up to their responsibilities. Throughout these debates we have heard how it has not been possible to ensure that managements run their clubs in a safe and proper manner. If, once the Bill becomes law, a management runs a club in a way which seems to encourage violence or with a lack of safe procedures, the Secretary of State will have power to threaten and, in extreme cases, to withdraw the club's licence. That will oblige managements to come more into the 20th century and be fit to run clubs in the 21st century.
The problem that hon. Members have highlighted with part II is that it excludes from attending overseas matches only those who have been identified as having committed an offence here or abroad. The success of that provision will depend on our convincing Governments abroad to prosecute British fans who misbehave at matches overseas, and I feel sure that we shall do that.
In general, the Bill is greatly to be welcomed and its passage will help to make football the popular family sport that it once was.
It is a pity that after the many hours that hon. Members have debated the Bill—I regret that I was not a member of the Standing Committee, much though I should like to have been—the Government remain determined to press ahead with it. The Bill should have been given a red card long ago and consigned to the rubbish bin, and I hope that even at this late stage, the vote soon will result in it having that fate.
The Government made the basic mistake at the start of identifying hooliganism as a football problem, when it is clearly a general problem of society. Hooliganism is occurring throughout Britain, not only in cities and towns but in villages, on Fridays and Saturdays, and often it has nothing to do with football. The present trend to hooliganism must be examined in a different way. It will not be tackled by this measure.
The Government were also wrong to call hooliganism an English football problem. One need only examine the problems that are associated with the game in other countries. In any event, the Government have a responsibility to prove that their legislation will deal with the problem that they claim exists. Or has the Prime Minister alone decreed that it exists? They have failed to show that it will tackle the problem effectively. Having studied what was said on Second Reading and in Committee, nowhere can I find proof that, had the Bill been law, the problems that the Government have identified would have been avoided. Our fear is that the measure will create more problems than we already have.
Nobody connected with football wants hooliganism to continue. The trouble is that the hooligans, who are certainly not football fans, will find a way through the system and into the grounds. The Bill will create more problems at gates and outside grounds and will not help to reduce the numbers required to police matches.
Burnley football club invited local Members of Parliament to visit its ground, meet its directors and watch a match. Its policy is that anyone who is convicted of a football-related offence is barred from Turf Moor for life. Only the hon. Member for Hyndburn (Mr. Hargreaves) and the hon. Member for Pendle (Mr. Lee) accepted the invitation. The right hon. and learned Member for Ribble Valley (Mr. Waddington) and the hon. Member for Rossendale and Darwen (Mr. Trippier) chose not to attend, but they will support the Bill tonight. The hon. Member for Pendle has not been convinced that the Bill will deal with the problems that the Government have identified and has chosen to abstain. The hon. Member for Hyndburn will be voting against his party and the Bill. Other hon. Members should recognise that the Bill will not tackle the problem of football hooliganism.
If the Bill is forced through, it will lead to the destruction of many football clubs. The financial implications of installing and running the system, and the Bill's effects on attendances, will cause drastic problems for clubs that are currently experiencing financial difficulties. That will be regretted by many people such as myself who have been football supporters for many years.
As Labour Members have said, football depends not only on regular supporters but on casual supporters, such as those who are visiting relatives at Christmas and want to see a match. Often, when a team starts a successful run, casual supporters follow that team at further matches, but the membership scheme will deter that. The Bill is bad for football, and it will be a bad Act, if it receives Royal Assent, because it will not deal with football's problems but will cause more difficulties.
Unfortunately, after the Hillsborough tragedy the Government continued to press forward with the Bill. Local government, the police, football management and football supporters should have awaited the final report of Lord Justice Taylor in order to achieve a solution that is better than the Bill for football.
The Government must recognise that the Bill has not commended itself to anyone who supports football. It is opposed by all but one of the football clubs, by the Football League and by the Football Association. Everyone who has the interests of football at heart recognises that if the Government persist with the Bill they are once again being foolish. I hope that the Minister will recognise that and, even at this late stage, be prepared to withdraw this nonsensical Bill.
When the Bill was first published, the Police Federation had reservations about it, which I expressed on Second Reading. To a large extent, those reservations were concerned with the ability of legislation such as this to deal with the problems that occur outside grounds in addition to those that occur inside them.
The federation takes the view that something must be done to deal with the serious problems that face Britain. We must face the fact that many hundreds of people have been killed or injured attending football matches over the past couple of years. That must be addressed by the House, by the police and by the country.
Since the Second Reading, I have spent a day with officers of the South Yorkshire police, who were intimately involved with the policing of the Hillsborough stadium disaster. I have seen and studied with the greatest possible care the police films of that match and of the identical match that took place between the same teams 12 months earlier. I hope shortly to have an opportunity of showing those films to colleagues in the House. I was struck by the fact that at the match 12 months earlier there were very few problems outside the perimeter fence a short time before the kick off. However, at the match at which the disaster occurred 3,500 individuals were determined to get into the ground at short notice. Unfortunately, some of them had been drinking too much and 1,111 police officers had to deal with that robust crowd. We shall be dealing with that matter when the Taylor report is debated in the House.
I do not have much time. I hope that the hon. Gentleman will forgive me, but I know that the Front-Bench spokesmen want time to reply. We will have an opportunity to deal with that when the Taylor report is published.
The police take the view that although the legislation may not be perfect, it should he given a chance to work. The identity cards which have been the subject of our debate today will carry a photograph of the individual who belongs to the membership scheme. That will be a considerable advance. As my hon. Friend the Member for Fulham (Mr. Carrington) pointed out in his excellent speech, that will deter individuals who go to matches simply to disrupt them. There will be no point in their attending because they will not be able to gain admission.
The acid test will come when the football membership scheme is published and the House has an opportunity to decide whether to support the action of my right hon. Friend if he approves the scheme. The scheme will result from the Bill, which is merely a framework to make possible a membership scheme that has the force of law. The police will judge the scheme when it is devised, published and submitted and if it is approved by my right hon. Friend. The scheme will be subject to the most careful scrutiny, and a decision on its viability will be taken by the House in a few months.
When the scheme is published, the police will want to consider the precise way in which it is proposed that it should operate. They will want to be sure that the FMA is well constituted and capable of supervising the scheme properly. They will want to be certain that the chairman of the FMA, whether a man or a woman, is an individual who commands the respect of the House, all those who enjoy football, the police and all those who have to ensure that supporters can go to football matches and return home safely. I hope that my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State and my hon. Friend the Minister, in considering that appointment, will realise the importance of appointing an individual of great stature.
Until the scheme is published and until we know who is to be the chairman and who are to be members of the Football Membership Authority, the Police Federation will suspend judgment. In the meantime it is right to proceed with the Bill. Also, I will reserve judgment, on behalf of my constituents who are football supporters and enjoy attending matches in London and elsewhere in the country. A final judgment will be made by the House when my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State brings the scheme before us to consider.
The debates on Second Reading, in Committee, on Report and on Third Reading have dealt with the framework and generalities of the scheme. We need to see the detail of the scheme and to be convinced beyond doubt that it can and will work. When that day comes, every hon. Member will have a much better opportunity to make an informed decision than he or she can in supporting the Third Reading.
Although the Bill deals specifically with England and Wales, there is legitimate Scottish interest and concern in what is going on. We are only too aware that, with a stroke of a zealot's pen, the same sort of provisions could be introduced in Scotland. We are citizens of a part of the United Kingdom with a great interest in football. I object on my constituents' behalf because, when they are travelling through the rest of Britain, they will be deprived of the ability to attend football matches as and when they wish.
I speak from a United Kingdom basis. Since its start, this misbegotten exercise has been based on a misunderstanding of the problem. The assumption, which is wrong and which has been the foundation of the Prime Minister's whim, is that the problem of so-called football hooliganism depends on attaching itself to football. That is not the case. All that the legislation will do, if it achieves anything, is move the problem from football grounds into town centres and on to transport. The people who are responsible for the core of the trouble at football grounds in England and abroad have nothing meaningful to do with football. They can attach themselves at any time, in any way, to another branch of society. The weakness of the legislation lies in the idea that legislating specifically for football will reduce the problems which have wrongly been identified as football hooliganism.
That the Government should produce this legislation is an admission of defeat. In 1979, after their electoral humiliation, the ultra-Right in Britain made it known through its publications that it was going to attach its efforts to football, with the specific aim of causing trouble and exactly the kinds of problems abroad which have now become so commonplace. Instead of weeding out that social and political problem, the Government have branded 1 million football supporters—a generic category of society—in this unique way. That is entirely wrong.
If the Government wished to approach this problem seriously, they would weed out the few hundred people at its core. Their conspicuous failure to do so has led them into this crazy situation tonight. To brand football supporters in this way and to set them apart as a category of society that uniquely needs to carry identity cards and to be subject to these controls is an affront to 1 million people.
I do not expect Conservative Members to appreciate that point, because they are not in the same category as those people. The 500,000 people who signed the petition and those who realise that they have been singled out in this way because football is the object of their enthusiasms, know where the legislation comes from and why football supporters have been picked out. For the sake of nailing a tiny proportion of their number, 1 million people are to be subjected to this indignity.
The bottom line of the legislation lies in this question, which has never been satisfactorily answered in my hearing: what happens on a wet Wednesday night in November when, 10 minutes before kick-off, the system goes down and 40,000 people are pressing forward to get into a ground? If Ministers cannot answer that question, their responsibility for introducing this legislation is even heavier than it might otherwise be. If the Minister for Sport cannot give a guarantee—I believe that he cannot —that the problems created will not be infinitely worse than they are at present, he should withdraw the legislation, or there will be a heavy weight on his conscience if things go wrong.
Memorably, the right hon. Member for Henley (Mr. Heseltine) said that the poll tax would become known as the Tory tax. I forecast that the football ID cards will, and should, become known as "Tory cards", and may they be another nail in their coffin.
After a long and sometimes tortuous examination of these measures, many Labour Members, myself included, continue to believe that the Bill amounts to a massive irrelevancy in dealing with the problems of football and the social problems that give rise to them.
The Government have panicked, for many reasons. It was no accident that when they came into office, Ministers immediately disbanded the working party that had been operating successfully for a number of years, which included not only those connected with football, but representatives of the police, the traffic and coastal authorities, British Rail and others. The working party had got on top of the problem to the extent that in 1979 we were able to lift the restrictions that we had had to impose on Leeds and Chelsea. Thereafter, the problem ceased to be under constant review. Because we are dealing with the ills of society, we need to be permanently vigilant; we should target matches and target groups of people who one knows will cause disturbances. But none of that has been happening.
Having come to office on a promise of eliminating violence in society and having faced an increase in that violence throughout her 10 years in office the Prime Minister decided that the one area of activity where she might be able to isolate the problem and take some action was football. She was wrong about it, but that was her logic.
As I said, we are discussing the nature of society, and we must not forget that a football team is a focus for the public pride of the community of which it is part. That is why millions of people who have left these shores have continued to wonder how their teams are doing.
I was very taken with what the right hon. Member for Brent, North (Sir R. Boyson) said earlier—[HON. MEMBERS: "The right hon. Member?"] Yes, and so he should be. We need to consider the problems of our society and what we are doing about them, and I echo what the right hon. Gentleman said in that regard. He said that there was a crisis of adolescence in our society, and whether that description is accurate or not, there is not the slightest doubt that the demise of school sport and the playing of games at school—a demise which is being actively encouraged by the Government—is having an extremely detrimental effect on young people. I say this constructively to the new Secretary of State—the Minister knows it, too—that we have fewer and fewer teachers of physical education. When PE teachers come out of our colleges, incidentally, most of them believe that there is something wrong with team sports. They believe that we should encourage people in recreation at the expense of teams sports, when in fact we should be encouraging both. The new changes in the curriculum, brought about by the former Secretary of State for Education and Science—the downgrading of physical education and team games—are also having a catastrophic effect.
Under Rab Butler's Education Act, the two compulsory subjects in the schools curriculum were PE and religious instruction, both of which have now been downgraded. I passionately believe that one cannot make such changes without reaping a damaged harvest. To add to all that, at a time when we should be encouraging youngsters to play games, we are also telling local authorities to sell school playing fields and to privatise sports centres where possible, thus prising out of those sports facilities the very youngsters whom we should be encouraging to play if we wish to prevent problems from arising.
We have a new Secretary of State for the Environment and we hope that he will look at these matters with a fresh mind. We hope that he will not be hidebound by too much tradition—as he should not be—and by the policies that he has inherited. We hope that he and his colleages will relate what they are trying to achieve in environment and sport to what is happening in education.
The Opposition oppose the Bill on the grounds of practicality. The major source of the problems with football occur outside football grounds. They lie with hooliganism at motorway service stations and the problems in our town centres and shopping centres. We know from what has happened abroad this summer that the people we are trying to catch will not register under the scheme. They will not say, "I'm a good boy so I'll register under the Government's scheme." The people who try to force the doors open at football grounds and who go to Sweden without tickets when they know that the match is all-ticket, are there simply to defy authority. Unless the Government start to tackle that problem, they will find no solutions.
John Williams from Leicester university wrote about these problems in his excellent book "Hooligans Abroad" in 1982. Seven years ago Leicester university—the only university researching the problem at the time, I believe —drew our attention to the matter, but the Government have largely ignored what was said. Quite properly, the Secretary of State asked us to consider what has happened this summer. This summer we have seen the growth of this challenge to society which, I have to say, comes from very Right-wing organisations.
I was grateful to the Minister for Sport condemning in forthright terms in an earlier debate the evil of the National Front and other Right-wing organisations—and, worse, the British National party. An excellent article with photographs appeared in The Mail on Sunday recently and I have had reports to confirm what it said. Apparently those people who should not even have been in Poland went to that country for the England match and also visited Auschwitz to have their pictures taken outside the gas chambers while they gave the National Front salute. That is the vile level to which some of those people have sunk.
Those people constantly desecrate our national flag. No other country in the world would stand for its national flag being continually contaminated in the way those people contaminate ours. They give the Fascist salute while they sing the national anthem. We must deal with those problems. They also disseminate Fascist propaganda.
It is no wonder why other European countries ask us why they should have our problems thrust onto them. They say that it is our task to stop those people going abroad. We support part II of the Bill in the hope that it will do that. However, we do not have a lot of confidence that it will.
As my hon. Friend the Member for Copeland (Dr. Cunningham) said, the net result of this summer's troubles —if the six people who have been charged are convicted —is that six names will be removed from the list of agreeable supporters. That is ludicrous. After the hundreds who misbehaved in Sweden, Iceland, Poland and on the ferries, only six people are to be charged. That suggests a tremendous breakdown in our relations in the Council of Europe on these matters. We must have a little sympathy with European Governments who say, "All we want to do is to collect the hooligans and get them out of our country as fast as we can. We must have a strategy for doing with that."
The Opposition have been accused of not producing any firm proposals, but time and again we have said that the only thing that will work is to target the matches where trouble will take place and target the groups that will cause that trouble or social evil.
I now refer to the lunatic decision not to wait for Lord Jusice Taylor's report before we put the Bill on the statute book. All hon. Members wish Lord Justice Taylor well. He must report not only on the horrific deaths of more than 90 people but on the competence of the Sheffield inspectors, the city council and the competence of and possible mismanagement by the Sheffield police. We cannot amend the Bill when we hear his findings. We must accept the Bill or turn it down. It is not good enough for the Government to continue to say that the Football Membership Authority will produce a scheme which will take account of that—it may do so; we hope that it will. However, we cannot duck responsibility. The buck stops here. The responsibility for getting this legislation right rests with Parliament. It does not rest with the Football Membership Authority that we are establishing. That is the Opposition's serious objection to the scheme.
Hon. Members know perfectly well that within a quarter of an hour of an important kick-off in the middle of winter, when people must examine photographs on cards and put them through some system, they will be totally overwhelmed if the computer breaks down. When about 15,000 people are trying to get into the ground, what on earth will anybody do? There will be total chaos and people will try to solve their own problems because the police will be unable to do so.
Police costs will be high. The only people who can arrest offenders will be the police. As the Minister said in Committee, that means that there will be at least one policeman on every turnstile. That will not reduce police costs. Of course there must be a policeman on every turnstile because nobody else can do the arresting.
The principle of civil liberties was put extremely well by the hon. and learned Member for Fife, North-East (Mr. Campbell). He is the most distinguished athlete present in the House. [Interruption.] I am reminded of my hon. Friend the Member for Vauxhall (Miss Hoey). I n a moment of generosity, I include the Minister for Sport. As the House well knows, his sporting proficiency consists of sitting in the back of a boat and being pulled over the finishing line by eight other people. No doubt he steered the boat very well, as occasion demanded. He steered the boat much better than he has steered the Bill through Parliament.
Grave civil liberty issues are involved in this matter. I sum them up in one sentence. It is absolutely monstrous that the Government have targeted this Bill against all decent football supporters. Impositions are being made on them. The reason for that is that the Government have abdicated their responsibility to deal with the evildoers in society whom they pledged to deal with when they came to office. For all those reasons, and because we know that the Bill will not work and that it will be an expensive imposition on football and our communities, we shall vote against Third Reading.
I am grateful to the right hon. Member for Birmingham, Small Heath (Mr. Howell). Everyone is delighted that he has been restored to good health. He handled admirably his leadership of the Opposition in Committee and of this evening's proceedings. I thank him and his Committee colleagues across the parties for their forthright but constructive and helpful contributions. The measure has been debated at great length. I am indebted to them for the tone and content of the proceedings both in Committee and on the Floor of the House. I am also deeply indebted to my hon. Friends for their diligent and invaluable support.
The number of amendments that were tabled for consideration demonstrate the constructive nature of the debate. As the right hon. Member for Small Heath knows, we have accepted many of the Opposition amendments. He rightly concentrated, as did many other speakers in the debate, on part II and the international dimension. To suggest that the Government regard football hooliganism purely as an English problem is to be blind to reality. Hooliganism is a major international problem. During the last year, the Dutch Government have had to face it in far greater and increasing terms than we have. In many respects, we have begun to contain the problem, but we have not cured it. Hooliganism is increasing fast in many European countries, not least in Italy. It is a cause of major concern in the lead-up to the World Cup in June and July of next year.
It is important to work through the Council of Ministers and to have international co-operation, but it does not help to solve the problem if hooligans know that they can travel to a match in another country and be let in without tickets if they cause sufficient trouble outside the ground, that they can fight down town after the game and be arrested and locked up in gaol and then kicked out of that country the following morning without being charged. One understands the instinctive reaction of any country to wish to be rid of hooligans from another country, but unless hooligans know that tough action will be taken against them in those countries, the problem will not be solved internationally. That is why it is so important to work through the Council of Ministers, not just with regard to the international dimension but with regard to bringing the hooligans to book so that we can implement part II.
Government are already trying to identify with the Italian authorities what the relevant offences are. People brought before the Italian courts and convicted will be subject to a five-year mandatory ban from travelling abroad to matches that are likely to be a focus for violence. That is a very important part of part II. It is another reason why it is so important to work together internationally.
There are examples of improved co-operation. I cite the recent Polish match where there were no incidents. There were problems away from the ground that resulted in sickening and appalling scenes, but the behaviour at the match was without incident, despite great provocation by the Polish fans.
I welcome the fact that the Polish Government took the decision to use the Football Association's list of known trouble makers as the basis for accepting or rejecting visas. International co-operation of that sort is to be welcomed. We need to ensure that, wherever possible, international co-operation and the implementation of part II is put in place.
Many hon. Members on both sides initially hoped that the Government would take action on passport control. It is impractical. Under current arrangements, anyone can go to a Post Office, and then to another on the same morning, on to another, to get British visitors' documentation to travel anywhere in Europe. All hon. Members know that cross-boundary movements in mainland Europe often involve no more than holding up a passport to a car window, let alone having it checked. So the Government needed in part II to find an alternative way of stopping known hooligans travelling to matches and the best and most effective way was to allow courts the opportunity as part of a sentence to determine that a convicted hooligan had to report to a police station on the day of a match which was likely to be the case of trouble abroad. That has exactly the same effect as withdrawing a passport, but it is foolproof.
Civil liberties will be safeguarded; the scheme will not interfere with them. Not everyone has the right to enter a football ground now: clubs refuse entry to thousands of unwanted spectators. Hooliganism infringes the civil liberties of others—shopkeepers, shoppers, the general public and property owners in town centres and near grounds—and, not least, the genuine football supporter.
We have taken careful note of the vital importance, when developing the commercial potential of the scheme, of the FMA and the clubs having to act in line with the principles of the Data Protection Act 1984. Members would have the right to see and challenge the accuracy of any computerised information held about them, and appropriate security precautions would be taken to safeguard that information. No details of convictions will be held on the cards.
The right hon. Member for Small Heath said some words about the working party to which he referred, with which I believe all hon. Members would agree:
I know that most of its supporters will understand how important it is in the long-term interest of their own club and
for its supporters personally, that we eliminate these disorders and make the support of our national sport the pleasure that it ought to be.
Football clubs might also suffer some financial disadvantage, but again my working party believes that this is a price that must be paid in order to overcome the problem."—[Official Report, 6 April 1977; Vol. 929, c. 1324–25.] The Government wholly endorse that. Our only regret is that the problem is not only outside the grounds. In the past 12 months, there has been a pitch invasion at Southend, there have been 54 arrests at Portsmouth, 23 police were injured after stone-throwing inside the ground at Stockport, 34 people were ejected from inside the ground at Millwall last November, and there were 16 arrests inside the ground at Aldershot. Week in, week out, to my regret, incidents continue to occur inside as well as outside grounds.
The point about the discretionary powers of the FMA is that the authority will be able to ban for two years renewable anyone who brings the game into disrepute, inside or away from the grounds, in the vicinity of a match or at a service station on a motorway. That will create a real deterrent. Louts who think that they can indulge in one-off thuggish behaviour will suddenly remember that they can be reported to the FMA or come to its notice by any other means, without being brought before the courts, and they can face the possibility of a discretionary ban, in addition to the mandatory ban that the courts can impose.
This discretionary ban is vital. At present, anyone can be banned for life from any ground on the whim of the club, but we believe that civil liberties need protection, so there will be a right of appeal against these discretionary bans—a right that does not exist now. Such a ban would allow anyone to be banned from any ground at any time and for any length of time.
It is clearly important for us to have a framework within which we can respond to the recommendations of Lord Justice Taylor. It must also allow us to respond swiftly to safety issues and to recommendations about ground configuration and the membership scheme. It is equally important that the Football Licensing Authority should put safety first and make sure that the safety of individuals is at the top of the list. Those are all part and parcel of an effective and comprehensive package of measures to keep hooligans away from football matches. I strongly commend it to the House.
|Division No. 362]||[12 midnight|
|Aitken, Jonathan||Bennett, Nicholas (Pembroke)|
|Alexander, Richard||Bevan, David Gilroy|
|Alison, Rt Hon Michael||Biffen, Rt Hon John|
|Allason, Rupert||Blackburn, Dr John G.|
|Amery, Rt Hon Julian||Bonsor, Sir Nicholas|
|Amess, David||Boscawen, Hon Robert|
|Amos, Alan||Bottomley, Mrs Virginia|
|Arbuthnot, James||Bowden, A (Brighton K'pto'n)|
|Arnold, Jacques (Gravesham)||Bowden, Gerald (Dulwich)|
|Arnold, Tom (Hazel Grove)||Bowis, John|
|Ashby, David||Braine, Rt Hon Sir Bernard|
|Aspinwall, Jack||Brandon-Bravo, Martin|
|Atkins, Robert||Brazier, Julian|
|Baker, Rt Hon K. (Mole Valley)||Bright, Graham|
|Baker, Nicholas (Dorset N)||Brown, Michael (Brlgg & Cl't's)|
|Baldry, Tony||Browne, John (Winchester)|
|Banks, Robert (Harrogate)||Bruce, (Dorset South)|
|Batiste, Spencer||Budgen, Nicholas|
|Bellingham, Henry||Burns, Simon|
|Bendall, Vivian||Burt, Alistair|
|Butcher, John||Howell, Ralph (North Norfolk)|
|Butler, Chris||Hughes, Robert G. (Harrow W)|
|Butterfill, John||Hunter, Andrew|
|Carlisle, John, (Luton N)||Irving, Charles|
|Carlisle, Kenneth (Lincoln)||Jack, Michael|
|Carrington, Matthew||Jackson, Robert|
|Cash, William||Jessel, Toby|
|Channon, Rt Hon Paul||Johnson Smith, Sir Geoffrey|
|Chapman, Sydney||Jones, Gwilym (Cardiff N)|
|Chope, Christopher||Jones, Robert B (Herts W)|
|Churchill, Mr||Jopling, Rt Hon Michael|
|Clark, Dr Michael (Rochford)||Key, Robert|
|Clark, Sir W. (Croydon S)||King, Roger (B'ham N'thfield)|
|Clarke, Rt Hon K. (Rushcliffe)||Kirkhope, Timothy|
|Colvin, Michael||Knapman, Roger|
|Conway, Derek||Knight, Greg (Derby North)|
|Coombs. Anthony (Wyre F'rest)||Knight, Dame Jill (Edgbaston)|
|Cope, Rt Hon John||Knowles, Michael|
|Couchman, James||Lawrence, Ivan|
|Cran, James||Leigh, Edward (Gainsbor'gh)|
|Currie, Mrs Edwina||Lennox-Boyd, Hon Mark|
|Davies, Q. (Stamf'd & Spald'g)||Lightbown, David|
|Davis, David (Boothferry)||Lilley, Peter|
|Day, Stephen||Lloyd, Sir Ian (Havant)|
|Devlin, Tim||Lloyd, Peter (Fareham)|
|Dorrell, Stephen||Lord, Michael|
|Douglas-Hamilton, Lord James||MacKay, Andrew (E Berkshire)|
|Dover, Den||Maclean, David|
|Emery, Sir Peter||McLoughlin, Patrick|
|Evans, David (Welwyn Hatf'd)||McNair-Wilson, Sir Michael|
|Evennett, David||McNair-Wilson, Sir Patrick|
|Fallon, Michael||Madel, David|
|Favell, Tony||Malins, Humfrey|
|Fenner, Dame Peggy||Mans, Keith|
|Field, Barry (Isle of Wight)||Maples, John|
|Finsberg, Sir Geotfrey||Marland, Paul|
|Fishburn, John Dudley||Marshall, Michael (Arundel)|
|Fookes, Dame Janet||Martin, David (Portsmouth S)|
|Forman, Nigel||Mates, Michael|
|Forsyth, Michael (Stlrling)||Maude, Hon Francis|
|Forth, Eric||Maxwell-Hyslop, Robin|
|Fox, Sir Marcus||Mayhew, Rt Hon Sir Patrick|
|Franks, Cecil||Mellor, David|
|Freeman, Roger||Meyer, Sir Anthony|
|French, Douglas||Miller, Sir Hal|
|Gale, Roger||Mills, Iain|
|Garel-Jones, Tristan||Miscampbell, Norman|
|Gill, Christopher||Mitchell, Andrew (Gedling)|
|Glyn, Dr Alan||Monro, Sir Hector|
|Goodson-Wickes, Dr Charles||Moore, Rt Hon John|
|Gorst, John||Morris, M (N'hampton S)|
|Gow, Ian||Morrison, Sir Charles|
|Greenway, Harry (Ealing N)||Moss, Malcolm|
|Gregory, Conal||Moynihan, Hon Colin|
|Griffiths, Peter (Portsmouth N)||Mudd, David|
|Grist, Ian||Neale, Gerrard|
|Ground, Patrick||Needham, Richard|
|Grylls, Michael||Nelson, Anthony|
|Hague, William||Neubert, Michael|
|Hamilton, Hon Archie (Epsom)||Newton, Rt Hon Tony|
|Hamilton, Neil (Tatton)||Nicholls, Patrick|
|Hampson, Dr Keith||Nicholson, David (Taunton)|
|Hanley, Jeremy||Nicholson, Emma (Devon West)|
|Hannam, John||Norris, Steve|
|Harris, David||Onslow, Rt Hon Cranley|
|Haselhurst, Alan||Oppenheim, Phillip|
|Hayes, Jerry||Parkinson, Rt Hon Cecil|
|Hayhoe, Rt Hon Sir Barney||Patnick, Irvine|
|Hayward, Robert||Patten, Rt Hon Chris (Bath)|
|Heathcoat-Amory, David||Patten, John (Oxford W)|
|Heddle, John||Pattie, Rt Hon Sir Geoffrey|
|Hicks, Mrs Maureen (Wolv' NE)||Peacock, Mrs Elizabeth|
|Higgins, Rt Hon Terence L.||Porter, David (Waveney)|
|Hill, James||Portillo, Michael|
|Hind, Kenneth||Powell, William (Corby)|
|Hordern, Sir Peter||Price, Sir David|
|Howard, Michael||Rathbone, Tim|
|Howarth, Alan (Strat'd-on-A)||Redwood, John|
|Howarth, G. (Cannock & B'wd)||Renton, Tim|
|Howell, Rt Hon David (G'dford)||Riddick, Graham|
|Ridley, Rt Hon Nicholas||Taylor, Ian (Esher)|
|Ridsdale, Sir Julian||Taylor, John M (Solihull)|
|Roberts, Wyn (Conwy)||Taylor, Teddy (S'end E)|
|Roe, Mrs Marion||Tebbit, Rt Hon Norman|
|Rossi, Sir Hugh||Temple-Morris, Peter|
|Rost, Peter||Thompson, D. (Calder Valley)|
|Rowe, Andrew||Thompson, Patrick (Norwich N)|
|Rumbold, Mrs Angela||Thurnham, Peter|
|Ryder, Richard||Townend, John (Bridlington)|
|Sackville, Hon Tom||Townsend, Cyril D. (B'heath)|
|Sainsbury, Hon Tim||Tracey, Richard|
|Sayeed, Jonathan||Tredinnick, David|
|Scott, Rt Hon Nicholas||Trippier, David|
|Shaw, David (Dover)||Trotter, Neville|
|Shaw, Sir Giles (Pudsey)||Twinn, Dr Ian|
|Shaw, Sir Michael (Scarb')||Vaughan, Sir Gerard|
|Shelton, Sir William||Viggers, Peter|
|Shephard, Mrs G. (Norfolk SW)||Waddington, Rt Hon David|
|Shepherd, Colin (Hereford)||Walden, George|
|Shersby, Michael||Walker, Bill (T'side North)|
|Sims, Roger||Waller, Gary|
|Skeet, Sir Trevor||Walters, Sir Dennis|
|Smith, Sir Dudley (Warwick)||Ward, John|
|Smith, Tim (Beaconsfield)||Wardle, Charles (Bexhill)|
|Soames, Hon Nicholas||Warren, Kenneth|
|Speed, Keith||Wells, Bowen|
|Spicer, Sir Jim (Dorset W)||Wheeler, John|
|Spicer, Michael (S Worcs)||Widdecombe, Ann|
|Squire, Robin||Wiggin, Jerry|
|Stanbrook, Ivor||Wolfson, Mark|
|Stanley, Rt Hon Sir John||Wood, Timothy|
|Steen, Anthony||Yeo, Tim|
|Stern, Michael||Young, Sir George (Acton)|
|Stevens, Lewis||Younger, Rt Hon George|
|Stewart, Andy (Sherwood)|
|Stewart, Rt Hon Ian (Herts N)||Tellers for the Ayes:|
|Stokes, Sir John||Mr. Tony Durant and Mr. Alastair Goodlad.|
|Tapsell, Sir Peter|
|Abbott, Ms Diane||Cohen, Harry|
|Adams, Allen (Paisley N)||Coleman, Donald|
|Allen, Graham||Cook, Frank (Stockton N)|
|Archer, Rt Hon Peter||Cook, Robin (Livingston)|
|Armstrong, Hilary||Corbett, Robin|
|Ashton, Joe||Corbyn, Jeremy|
|Banks, Tony (Newham NW)||Cousins, Jim|
|Barnes, Harry (Derbyshire NE)||Cox, Tom|
|Barnes, Mrs Rosie (Greenwich)||Crowther, Stan|
|Barron, Kevin||Cryer, Bob|
|Battle, John||Cummings, John|
|Beckett, Margaret||Cunliffe, Lawrence|
|Beith, A. J.||Cunningham, Dr John|
|Bell, Stuart||Dalyell, Tam|
|Benn, Rt Hon Tony||Darling, Alistair|
|Bennett, A. F. (D'nt'n & R'dish)||Davies, Rt Hon Denzil (Llanelli)|
|Bidwell, Sydney||Davies, Ron (Caerphilly)|
|Blair, Tony||Davis, Terry (B'ham Hodge H'l)|
|Boateng, Paul||Dewar, Donald|
|Boyes, Roland||Dicks, Terry|
|Boyson, Rt Hon Dr Sir Rhodes||Dixon, Don|
|Bradley, Keith||Dobson, Frank|
|Bray, Dr Jeremy||Dunwoody, Hon Mrs Gwyneth|
|Brown, Nicholas (Newcastle E)||Eadie, Alexander|
|Brown, Ron (Edinburgh Leith)||Evans, John (St Helens N)|
|Bruce, Malcolm (Gordon)||Ewing, Harry (Falkirk E)|
|Buchan, Norman||Fatchett, Derek|
|Buckley, George J.||Fields, Terry (L'pool B G'n)|
|Caborn, Richard||Fisher, Mark|
|Callaghan, Jim||Flannery, Martin|
|Campbell, Menzies (Fife NE)||Flynn, Paul|
|Campbell, Ron (Blyth Valley)||Foster, Derek|
|Campbell-Savours, D. N.||Foulkes, George|
|Canavan, Dennis||Fraser, John|
|Cartwright, John||Fyfe, Maria|
|Clark, Dr David (S Shields)||Garrett, Ted (Wallsend)|
|Clay, Bob||George, Bruce|
|Clelland, David||Gilbert, Rt Hon Dr John|
|Clwyd, Mrs Ann||Godman, Dr Norman A.|
|Golding, Mrs Llin||Morley, Elliot|
|Gordon, Mildred||Mowlam, Marjorie|
|Gould, Bryan||Murphy, Paul|
|Griffiths, Nigel (Edinburgh S)||Oakes, Rt Hon Gordon|
|Griffiths, Win (Bridgend)||O'Neill, Martin|
|Grocott, Bruce||Orme, Rt Hon Stanley|
|Hardy, Peter||Parry, Robert|
|Hargreaves, Ken (Hyndburn)||Patchett, Terry|
|Harman, Ms Harriet||Pendry, Tom|
|Hattersley, Rt Hon Roy||Pike, Peter L.|
|Healey, Rt Hon Denis||Powell, Ray (Ogmore)|
|Hoey, Ms Kate (Vauxhall)||Primarolo, Dawn|
|Hogg, N. (C'nauld & Kilsyth)||Quin, Ms Joyce|
|Hood, Jimmy||Radice, Giles|
|Howarth, George (Knowsley N)||Randali, Stuart|
|Howell, Rt Hon D. (S'heath)||Redmond, Martin|
|Howells, Geraint||Rees, Rt Hon Merlyn|
|Howells, Dr. Kim (Pontypridd)||Reid, Dr John|
|Hoyle, Doug||Rhodes James, Robert|
|Hughes, John (Coventry NE)||Richardson, Jo|
|Hughes, Roy (Newport E)||Robertson, George|
|Hughes, Simon (Southwark)||Rogers, Allan|
|Illsley, Eric||Rooker, Jeff|
|Ingram, Adam||Rowlands, Ted|
|Irvine, Michael||Sedgemore, Brian|
|Janner, Greville||Sheerman, Barry|
|Jones, Barry (Alyn & Deeside)||Sheldon, Rt Hon Robert|
|Jones, Martyn (Clwyd S W)||Shore, Rt Hon Peter|
|Kaufman, Rt Hon Gerald||Short, Clare|
|Kennedy, Charles||Skinner, Dennis|
|Kirkwood, Archy||Smith, Andrew (Oxford E)|
|Knox, David||Smith, C. (Isfton & Fbury)|
|Lambie, David||Smith, Rt Hon J. (Monk'ds E)|
|Lamond, James||Smith, J. P. (Vale of Glam)|
|Leadbitter, Ted||Snape, Peter|
|Lester, Jim (Broxtowe)||Spearing, Nigel|
|Lestor, Joan (Eccles)||Steinberg, Gerry|
|Lewis, Terry||Strang, Gavin|
|Litherland, Robert||Straw, Jack|
|Livingstone, Ken||Taylor, Mrs Ann (Dewsbury)|
|Lloyd, Tony (Stretford)||Taylor, Matthew (Truro)|
|Loyden, Eddie||Thompson, Jack (Wansbeck)|
|McAllion, John||Thornton, Malcolm|
|McAvoy, Thomas||Turner, Dennis|
|McCartney, Ian||Vaz, Keith|
|Macdonald, Calum A.||Wall, Pat|
|McFall, John||Wallace, James|
|McLeish, Henry||Wardell, Gareth (Gower)|
|McNamara, Kevin||Wareing, Robert N.|
|McWilliam, John||Watson, Mike (Glasgow, C)|
|Madden, Max||Watts, John|
|Mahon, Mrs Alice||Welsh, Michael (Doncaster N)|
|Marek, Dr John||Wigley, Dafydd|
|Marshall, David (Shettleston)||Williams, Rt Hon Alan|
|Marshall, Jim (Leicester S)||Williams, Alan W. (Carm'then)|
|Martin, Michael J. (Springburn)||Wilson, Brian|
|Martlew, Eric||Winnick, David|
|Maxton, John||Wise, Mrs Audrey|
|Meacher, Michael||Worthington, Tony|
|Meale, Alan||Wray, Jimmy|
|Michael, Alun||Young, David (Bolton SE)|
|Michie, Bill (Sheffield Heeley)|
|Mitchell, Austin (G't Grimsby)||Tellers for the Noes:|
|Moonie, Dr Lewis||Mr. Frank Haynes and Mr. Allen McKay.|