Government Policy

Oral Answers to Questions — Duchy of Lancaster – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 1st May 1995.

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Photo of Gordon Prentice Gordon Prentice , Pendle 12:00 am, 1st May 1995

To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what additional measures are required to improve the co-ordination and effective presentation of Government policy. [20148]

Photo of Mr David Hunt Mr David Hunt , Wirral West

We are always looking at ways of doing even better.

Photo of Gordon Prentice Gordon Prentice , Pendle

Will the Chancellor comment on reports in this morning's The Guardian that he is a leading doubter of the wisdom of rail privatisation and that he wants to see it shelved this side of the election because the policy is too difficult to sell to the general public? Is there any truth in that? What are the presentational advantages, supposed or otherwise, of the privatisation of Nuclear Electric?

Photo of Mr David Hunt Mr David Hunt , Wirral West

I am very happy immediately to tell the hon. Gentleman that there is no foundation to those reports; they are groundless and incorrect. As for the hon. Gentleman's general point, the concept of privatisation has swept the world, with the sole exception of the Labour party. There is an international queue at the Government's door asking how to go about the privatisation process and how to go about improving public services. Privatisation and the citizens charter are the tip of a formidable iceberg. All that I will say about Labour councils and the Labour party is that the Labour party is heading for that iceberg.

Photo of Mr Bob Dunn Mr Bob Dunn , Dartford

As the Labour party finds it hard to distinguish fact from fiction, does my right hon. Friend agree that the red rose party is the red nose party—a party of comic relief?

Photo of Mr David Hunt Mr David Hunt , Wirral West

I am very grateful that my hon. Friend gives me an opportunity to reiterate that what we respect in the House of Commons—in this Chamber—is the fact that politics should be about policies, not about soundbites. It is about time that the Labour party learnt that lesson.

Photo of Mr Peter Pike Mr Peter Pike , Burnley

As the people of this country will once again show their view of the Government's policies on Thursday, and as the Chancellor is responsible for the presentation of Government policy, is he or the Prime Minister to be blamed for the Government's failures?

Photo of Mr David Hunt Mr David Hunt , Wirral West

The hon. Gentleman has forgotten once again that at the last general election the Conservative party secured a larger number of votes than any political party had ever secured before. It is about time that the hon. Gentleman remembered that.