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When I first came into this House, there was no Greater London assembly or Mayor for London. Therefore, in 1997, the hon. Gentleman's words would have been correct. Unfortunately for him, today there are many elected members representing our boroughs in London, and therefore his point is not that well made.
On the other hand, my hon. Friend Michael Gove makes an extremely good point. I had almost forgotten about Frank Dobson. For many years, I was a voter in that constituency as a student. I do not think that the right hon. Gentleman was standing then, otherwise I might have had to consider my vote. We bearded chaps have to stick together. It is true that he would be a sane voice.
One of the things that I find fascinating about this place-I am sure that you have observed it from your position, Mr. Speaker-is that those people on the way up sometimes do not speak as forthrightly as they do once they have been up and are on the way down. Therefore, I find that the people to whom we should listen most in this House are those who have been there, done it and do not want any more preferment. Suddenly, their words have even more credence. I know the right hon. Gentleman to be a fine Member of Parliament.
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