That speech, much of this debate and this Budget demonstrate the parallel universe in which the governing class in this country is living. Earlier in the debate, nearly four hours ago—it feels like four days—we had the full vaudeville, music hall treatment. They chuntered and they chortled and they laughed—how they laughed!—until their tummies wobbled about the state we are in.
But there were some genuinely funny moments, the funniest of which was when the Secretary of State said that the Budget had sowed the seeds of growth and jobs in this bleak midwinter, which has now frozen out the spring. In the very month in which 4,000 grandmothers and grandfathers froze to death in Britain—froze to death in Britain, in 2013—and the very month in which millions of our citizens had to make a choice between eating and turning on their heating, the Secretary of State believes that this Budget sowed seeds for growth and jobs. No seeds can grow in this climate; hon. and right hon. Gentlemen on the Government Benches should know that.
The truth is that this Budget, produced by a Cabinet of millionaires, governing in their own interests and the interests of a very narrow class, has lost the confidence of the country. Indeed, the political system and the political class as a whole have lost the confidence of the people, who see their own situation, with mass unemployment and poverty stalking the land. Bradford, my constituency, is an almost perfect example. Youth unemployment has tripled in two years; one in eight is unemployed; our child poverty statistics are the second worst in the country; our schools are the third worst in the country; our hospitals are the seventh worst in the country; our young people walk the shuttered-up streets without education, training or jobs; and the Government and others in the media cry surprise when the devil finds work for their idle hands.
The Government have done nothing for Bradford—the Budget does nothing for Bradford—because Bradford is entirely beyond their ken. [Interruption.] Do I know where Bradford is? I am the person who, just one year ago, won a landslide election result—a by-election of historic proportions. I defeated the Labour party, the party of Mr Campbell, precisely because it thinks that yah-boo politics of the type we have seen in the debate is sufficient to meet the gravity of this situation. He should come to his seat and join the debate.
Here is the truth of the matter: our country is in grave danger. It is a country on the slide, which cannot keep its pensioners warm in the winter time, but can fly around the world setting fire to other people’s countries, apparently at the drop of a hat. It is a country that cannot pay for its young people’s education without charging them £9,000 a year to take shelter from the economic winds and study at universities, thanks to the betrayal of the yellow Liberal Democrats.
I have only 15 seconds left. Do you know, Mr Deputy Speaker, how many times in this House just this afternoon the words “immigrant”, “foreigner”, “alien” and “foreign migrant” have been mentioned? There is no U-turn by the Government, but there is no deviation to the right so low that they will not make.