[un-allotted half day] — Unemployment

Part of Opposition Day – in the House of Commons at 4:48 pm on 14th December 2011.

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Photo of Alec Shelbrooke Alec Shelbrooke Conservative, Elmet and Rothwell 4:48 pm, 14th December 2011

This debate is about unemployment and what can be done about it. However, the consideration of what unemployment means has been lost in some of our discussion. On Thursday, when travelling, we were delayed for an hour because someone had fallen in front of train in Alexandra Palace. I do not know whether it was a suicide attempt. At the weekend, we had the news in Leeds that a father had murdered his family and killed himself. Suicide is increasing and there must be a link with the economic situation. I hope that all hon. Members would deem that the personal disaster that it is.

I find it deeply offensive that Opposition Members mocked this afternoon every time Government Members said that we were trying to do something for the unemployed in this country. They are laughing at the unemployed. Do you know why you are laughing at the unemployed? Because the left has always used the unemployed as a political tool. If you keep people down, you try to use them as a tool. And what did you do in 13 years of government? You borrowed huge amounts of—