Debate on the Address — [1st Day]

Part of Outlawries Bill – in the House of Commons at 6:25 pm on 3rd December 2008.

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Photo of Austin Mitchell Austin Mitchell Labour, Great Grimsby 6:25 pm, 3rd December 2008

My hon. Friend, whose experience in that area goes back a long way, is exactly right. The oil revenues, which the Labour Government of the 1970s had looked forward to as a means of rebuilding, expanding and improving this economy and providing a bonus for the people, as they should have done, were used, in effect, to smash British industry under the guise of modernisation and to break the power of the unions through high unemployment and stringent economic conditions. The revenues were used by the Government to fight their own people. That is what they were doing in the early '80s, and it was a crime against the economy and against the British people. We cannot go back to those methods of dealing with a recession now; we have to move forward. We have to use the methods that the Government are using, and will develop over time, of expansion, growth, Keynesian economic management and re-regulation, so that this situation does not happen again.

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