Only a few days to go: We’re raising £25,000 to keep TheyWorkForYou running and make sure people across the UK can hold their elected representatives to account.

Donate to our crowdfunder

Industry and Education

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 7:45 pm on 21st November 1994.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Mr Harry Greenway Mr Harry Greenway , Ealing North 7:45 pm, 21st November 1994

I will concentrate my remarks on education, and I so agree with my hon. Friend the Member for Rugby (Mr. Pawsey) that the debate on education has been well won by the Conservative party for many years. Sir Edward Boyle put it as well as anyone: The purpose of the State in education is to give children an equal chance of proving themselves unequal. That view contrasts completely with Labour's handling of education over many years and with the way that it still approaches the matter.

I am not saying that the Labour and Liberal parties do not have their hearts in the right place, but they are not prepared to think hard enough about education. Many Labour supporters argue, for example, that one must be gentle with immigrants and the deprived and not expect too much of them—but that is to do such children no favour. Immigrant children or those with home difficulties must work extremely hard, provided that they have the ability, to overcome difficulties that others do not have. If they have a language problem, they need to work extra hard, not be allowed to take it easy because they are thought to have difficulties at home. Labour's whole approach is wrong.

I was surprised to receive in my post this morning a letter from the hon. Member for Sheffield, Brightside (Mr. Blunkett), addressed to all parliamentary Labour party members. It stated: Education is due to be discussed next Monday evening as part of the Queen's Speech Debate … I am attaching two separate briefing notes to assist you with any press or public inquiries you may receive in connection with these events."—