Debate on the Address — [1st Day]

Part of Outlawries Bill – in the House of Commons at 5:00 pm on 18th November 2009.

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Photo of David Maclean David Maclean Chair, Statutory Instruments (Joint Committee), Chair, Statutory Instruments (Select Committee), Chair, Statutory Instruments (Joint Committee), Chair, Statutory Instruments (Select Committee) 5:00 pm, 18th November 2009

It is a privilege to follow John McFall. I commend him on his loyalty in supporting the Government's programme, but I must tell him that these measures will not achieve their main purpose: they will not put clear blue or even clear red water between the Government and the Opposition in polling terms. I have seen this before, in 1996, when we had a proper Queen's Speech of real measures that were good for this country. No doubt an element of it was also designed to expose the differences between us and the then Labour Opposition. What happened was that the Labour Opposition voted for most of it, and the public yawned and got on with the decision they had already reached, which was that it was time for a change. I therefore say this to the Prime Minister: by all means hang on and wait for "events dear boy, events," but it is naive and foolish to think that there are some bits of legislation that will suddenly make the public change their verdict on this Government.

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